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LSAF 2013 Official Show Report by Joe Alexander of HTS


May 4th - Hello from Dallas / Fort Worth!

A few rooms were setting up and playing yesterday, but the big day is today. Sonnie and I met up and visited three rooms last night, and we will be going full tilt today! Later in the evening yesterday, we met up with Dennis (tesseract) and then went out to dinner...


 

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I am amazed how many of the displays are using tube amps. Makes me want to try a couple monoblocks on my 2ch system. But Alas, a person really needs to :spend: a fair bit to get anything decent.
As usual a great job on letting us see what you saw Joe :T
 

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I am amazed how many of the displays are using tube amps. Makes me want to try a couple monoblocks on my 2ch system. But Alas, a person really needs to :spend: a fair bit to get anything decent.
As usual a great job on letting us see what you saw Joe :T
Tony - it seems most 2 channel setups I have seen actually use tube amps. Axpona was the same way. I am not an amp knowledgeable person, but I think the general concensus is that tubes provide cleaner, warmer sound.

There were a couple tube amps at LSAF that I thought were priced for someone starting out that sounded very good...
 

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I am amazed how many of the displays are using tube amps. Makes me want to try a couple monoblocks on my 2ch system. But Alas, a person really needs to :spend: a fair bit to get anything decent.
As usual a great job on letting us see what you saw Joe :T
You do not have to dish out mega bucks to have a tube amp, there are many amps that are very reasonably priced and you can easily acquire them. Without spending too much money you could get one and see how you like it in your system.

I will more than happy to point you in the right direction if you can let me know a bit about your system and how much you want to spend.
 

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So did anyone check out my cardboard pyramid speakers and battery powered preamp in the River City Audio Society room?
 

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I am looking at tube amps myself. I plan on picking up an OPPO BDP-105 to use as a preamp for a tube amp(s) powering a two channel setup.

The one thing I was not expecting at this show was to be wowed all that much by what I was hearing. Clearly I was wrong. There were a LOT of great sounding systems there that sounded awesome! I could have left with any number of them and been wowed.

Another thing I learned is that the passion for two channel audio is very VERY alive and well. I gained much more appreciation for just simply listening... and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I never thought I could really just sit for hours on end and do nothing but listen... but I did... and it was truly enlightening.

I am anxious and excited to try some various two channel setups.

The exhibitors and other folks attending were truly fabulous. It was a blessing to meet so many enthusiasts with a serious passion for great sound.

Of course it was a true pleasure to meet Joe and Dennis from HTS and spend some quality time with them.

Some of my favorite time was not only listening, but having dinner with everyone... a real treat to say the least.

I am looking forward to the next show. :T
 

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I am looking at tube amps myself. I plan on picking up an OPPO BDP-105 to use as a preamp for a tube amp(s) powering a two channel setup.

The one thing I was not expecting at this show was to be wowed all that much by what I was hearing. Clearly I was wrong. There were a LOT of great sounding systems there that sounded awesome! I could have left with any number of them and been wowed.

Another thing I learned is that the passion for two channel audio is very VERY alive and well. I gained much more appreciation for just simply listening... and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I never thought I could really just sit for hours on end and do nothing but listen... but I did... and it was truly enlightening.

I am anxious and excited to try some various two channel setups.

The exhibitors and other folks attending were truly fabulous. It was a blessing to meet so many enthusiasts with a serious passion for great sound.

Of course it was a true pleasure to meet Joe and Dennis from HTS and spend some quality time with them.

Some of my favorite time was not only listening, but having dinner with everyone... a real treat to say the least.

I am looking forward to the next show. :T
Very well said Sonnie. I was there two years back and missed out on last years event. This years I had an impression that the turnout was much better organized and that there we a lot more visitors attending the show, many rooms were bustling with activity, some rooms were so busy that I had to go two or three times just to get a seat and listen to the system.

We also are looking forward to next years event, we sure will be attending again with a different system of course! :D
 

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So did anyone check out my cardboard pyramid speakers and battery powered preamp in the River City Audio Society room?
Unfortunately, I did not make it into the room. It was really packed when I went by, and I never got a chance to make it back. :(
 

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Tony - it seems most 2 channel setups I have seen actually use tube amps. Axpona was the same way. I am not an amp knowledgeable person, but I think the general concensus is that tubes provide cleaner, warmer sound.

There were a couple tube amps at LSAF that I thought were priced for someone starting out that sounded very good...
Hi Joe,

While your observations are correct (tubes being very prevalent at 2 ch Audio/Fashion shows), your "consensus" is not...:).
Personal preferences should never be conflated with facts.
The only consensus amongst audiophiles, is that there is none. Tubes, wires, digital, you name it.
Tube amplifiers can be designed to be virtually indistinguishable sonically from SS, or not (whether intentional, or not). Note my distinction of "sonic", pertaining to soundwave/soundfield (pardon the pun). This would, by definition, be the "sound" at the pinna (ears) minus the "other" factors which have a significant impact on "sound" processing after the pinna, such as visual perception, expectation and other biases, etc., etc.
Tubes can certainly "warm/define" the "sound", as defined above. For the newbs, they are absolutely not a requirement however (for 2ch, cleaner sound, etc.), unless one wants to make a certain fashion statement, or impose a "sound" all of its own.
I fall in neither "camp", using both SS and Tubes, as you witnessed at both events. I like both...and so can you. :)

cheers,

AJ
 

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Hi Joe,

While your observations are correct (tubes being very prevalent at 2 ch Audio/Fashion shows), your "consensus" is not...:).
Personal preferences should never be conflated with facts.
The only consensus amongst audiophiles, is that there is none. Tubes, wires, digital, you name it.
Tube amplifiers can be designed to be virtually indistinguishable sonically from SS, or not (whether intentional, or not). Note my distinction of "sonic", pertaining to soundwave/soundfield (pardon the pun). This would, by definition, be the "sound" at the pinna (ears) minus the "other" factors which have a significant impact on "sound" processing after the pinna, such as visual perception, expectation and other biases, etc., etc.
Tubes can certainly "warm/define" the "sound", as defined above. For the newbs, they are absolutely not a requirement however (for 2ch, cleaner sound, etc.), unless one wants to make a certain fashion statement, or impose a "sound" all of its own.
I fall in neither "camp", using both SS and Tubes, as you witnessed at both events. I like both...and so can you. :)

cheers,

AJ
Thanks for the correction AJ - a better statement on my part would have probably been "of those I queried". And, of course, as you stated at LSAF, everyone comes in with some level of personal bias.
 

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You do not have to dish out mega bucks to have a tube amp, there are many amps that are very reasonably priced and you can easily acquire them. Without spending too much money you could get one and see how you like it in your system.

I will more than happy to point you in the right direction if you can let me know a bit about your system and how much you want to spend.
I dont have any funds put aside right now for that however if you look at my signature you will see what I am using in my livingroom system. That is probably where I would try them out.

Hi Joe,

While your observations are correct (tubes being very prevalent at 2 ch Audio/Fashion shows), your "consensus" is not...:).
Personal preferences should never be conflated with facts.
The only consensus amongst audiophiles, is that there is none. Tubes, wires, digital, you name it.
Tube amplifiers can be designed to be virtually indistinguishable sonically from SS, or not (whether intentional, or not). Note my distinction of "sonic", pertaining to soundwave/soundfield (pardon the pun). This would, by definition, be the "sound" at the pinna (ears) minus the "other" factors which have a significant impact on "sound" processing after the pinna, such as visual perception, expectation and other biases, etc., etc.
Tubes can certainly "warm/define" the "sound", as defined above. For the newbs, they are absolutely not a requirement however (for 2ch, cleaner sound, etc.), unless one wants to make a certain fashion statement, or impose a "sound" all of its own.
I fall in neither "camp", using both SS and Tubes, as you witnessed at both events. I like both...and so can you. :)

cheers,

AJ
Very good points, As I think the so called "Warm" sound that many people here may not be actually what is being heard my thoughts are without doing a true A/B test with the same speakers in the same room its hard to say what I would hear unless I try :)
Ive never been one to like the "warm" sound I prefer to hear it as it was intended to be heard with a sub to boost the lower frequencies.
 

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Very good points, As I think the so called "Warm" sound that many people here may not be actually what is being heard my thoughts are without doing a true A/B test with the same speakers in the same room its hard to say what I would hear unless I try :)
Ive never been one to like the "warm" sound I prefer to hear it as it was intended to be heard with a sub to boost the lower frequencies.
Thanks and to be perfectly clear with what I am saying, there are plenty tube amps that will indeed physically "warm" the sound (field), make it more detailed, etc, etc.
A (somewhat extreme, but clear) example of one, would be this. With even (mostly 2nd) order distortion approaching 50% :eek: at LF, it would absolutely be "warm, fast, detailed, non-fatiguing", etc, etc. with most loads (speakers). The problem being, that there is no "bypass" for this superimposed on everything special EFX, only an "Off" switch!
May be the bees knees to some, with some speakers/systems. Others, not so much. All a taste/preference thing, rather than a right/wrong.

cheers,

AJ
 

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If you have been following along, I have completed the official show reports.

Some of my final thoughts:

- LSAF had a completely different feel to it than Axpona did. At Axpona, I really felt it was - best analogy I can think of - like a business transaction. LSAF felt like a speaker GTG - everyone just coming together to enjoy themselves and listening to some great setups. Kudos to Wayne for a great event.

- LSAF had a nice mix of DIY kits and fully built equipment.

- I really need to get a playlist together to take along to the next show - on the plus side, I was exposed to several artists that I was not familiar with that should make it much easier to put together a varied list.

- The exhibitors that attend LSAF are a great bunch - going out to dinner with the crew on Friday night was a real treat.

- Pictures turned out a little darker than I would have wished - still working on taking decent pictures so hopefully you will all bear with me. :)

- Having a couple other HTSers at the show made it much more comfortable for me personally - and we were able to bounce thoughts off one another.


I am still working on the overall process for reporting on shows moving forward so please let me know what you like about the show report, and what you would like to see in future show reports.

Any questions, comments, or thoughts, fire away!
 

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LSAF 2013 was such a blast, hoping I can make it next year. Stayed up bouncing from room to room until 3-4 am each night, listening to some really high end systems and a lot of new (to me) music, as well as a few old favorites. I'll post some pics in this thread, as time and this debilitating cold I recently developed allows.


The OddWatt room had some very cool, singularly designed minimal stage (only 2) low to zero (adjustable) negative feedback amps, with a very nice turntable rig that gave little indication we were listen to analog vinyl.


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The Sim Sonics room had Martin Logan Electromotion ESL pair, DIY passive/pre with remote controlled autoformer attenuation, and a DIY Nelson Pass First Watt F4 amplifier. Phono pre was from Artemis Labs


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Brines Audio room. Smooth, cohesive sounding single driver crossoverless speakers.


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The Advanced Home Theater Systems room, with Evolution Acoustics MMMicroOne Monitors and BMC CS2 amp. Really smooth sound, love that folded AMT.


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Stereo Clarity LA-50 Speakers & all in one HTPC with a 7 channel amplifier. Realistic sized images and satisfying bass.


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I spent the largest portion of my evenings enjoying the Affirm Audio/KR Audio/Emia/Inner Urban/Black Man Brew room. Lots of music, old and new via vinyl and computer files. Excellent home brews, eclectic sounds and an affable group of guys made this room the most fun for me and my gal.

The MAXXHORN Lumination speakers use Feastrex drivers, rear-loaded into a full-range tractrix horns. This single driver speaker was very efficient, with the Edgarhorn subwoofer filling in the bottom octaves nicely. We danced and played high SPL tunes until the wee hours of the morning. Thanks for the hospitality, guys!


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I spent a large portion of my daytime here in the Bamberg Audio room, talking with owner Phil Bamberg and learning more about the importance of phase coherency, an attribute that I personally find appealing in a well designed speaker.

The Series 5 TMW disappeared like no other speaker I have ever heard, leaving only the performers on a well placed soundstage in front of me. Bass from the Rythmik amp/woofer/passive radiator towers was deep, clean and powerful.


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Wayne Parham's Pi Speakers room displayed my kinda sounds. Efficient constant directivity speakers backed by flanking subwoofers. Clean, powerful and effortless. Lots of fun watching videos, it was hard to get into this room, so many people stopped by to give a listen and to hang out and chat with the very friendly Mr. Parham.


Four Pi loudspeaker with optional B&C DE250 compression driver and JBL 2226 woofer.


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Three Pi Subwoofer with Selectronic ProFet amplifier.


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...snip...

- Pictures turned out a little darker than I would have wished - still working on taking decent pictures so hopefully you will all bear with me. :)

Any questions, comments, or thoughts, fire away!
If possible, take a tripod. Shoot one pic with a flash and one without. This gives you options on which one you want to work with. Also, software like Paint Shop Pro or PhotoShop will help a great deal wtih post production. GAMMA correction works better than adjusting the brightness for making a presentable picture.
 
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