Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016

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Brian Walsh

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #20 on: 12 Apr 2016, 06:00 pm »
Press release (PDF): http://goo.gl/ZIKwNK

James Romeyn

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Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #21 on: 12 Apr 2016, 07:19 pm »
A very easy and informative read.

It's called a six piece system, and it's seven pieces if you count the 1kW sub amp/active xo/parametric EQ/bass curve EQ.

Duke's preferred "Two Streams" label is descriptive.  One highly directional on-axis line of sight array (front firing) + a discreet, totally separate, late-arriving, full range system (rear firing) for reverberant field. 

The following just occurred to me in the last week, and I'm surprised it took so long for the light to come on (or should I be not surprised?). 

Another long-held architecture exists for exactly the same "Two Streams" paradigm, and one in which I have hundreds of hours of listening experience: The Live End/Dead End acoustically treated sound room (LEDE).  The general design of such room is for the front third (speaker end) to be treated to be as acoustically "dead" as possible: all boundary surfaces are treated to be as anechoic as possible.  Conversely, all remaining two-thirds of boundary surface is untreated, for a "live" acoustically reflective effect.  The front third has thick carpet and pad, the rear two-thirds of the floor is hard and reflective.

The point of an LEDE sound room is to damp as much as possible all early reflections, followed by high level of properly delayed reverberant field w/spectral curve similar to on-axis output.  "Sound" familiar?  (No pun intended.)

Over about three decades, in VMPS' LEDE sound room, I heard the best and largest VMPS speaker models, from the VMPS True Ribbon (British Strathearn mid array), to the 5 foot BG ribbon, to the RM-60 Wing, and everything in between.  I modified a large living room into a quasi-LEDE sound room, the difference being the entire floor was carpeted.   

I prefer hearing Duke's speakers w/his "Two Streams" architecture (four models prior to Bienville Suite) in regular listening rooms more than any LEDE experience.  The stage is significantly deeper and wider, and I believe pitch sensitivity is greatly enhanced.  Greater pitch sensitivity shall make you enjoy musical experiences you currently find boring.  This happened to me many times.  Bring a complex classical music disc to this room and check for yourself.  Image specificity might be a toss up, but something about the imaging seems more natural w/Duke's architecture.  One other item favoring the TS architecture is much higher sense of being enveloped in the musical experience, and more pleasurable involvement. 

In both cases there is simply more of the original recording venue (whether real or synthetic or parts of both), and less constant "thumbprint" of the playback sound room.  When changing discs, you are bound to notice a greater difference in the acoustic effect. 

 

Brian Walsh

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #22 on: 12 Apr 2016, 08:05 pm »
In addition to Duke's new speaker system, we're also debuting the new Resonessence Labs VERITAS DAC at AXPONA. This case of this little guy is milled out of a solid billet, so it could serve double duty as a weapon :lol: Yes, that's a volume control on the right.




James Romeyn

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Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #23 on: 12 Apr 2016, 08:30 pm »
Parasound's $4500 CD1 is well established as one of the best stand alone CD players.  In AB tests at home, my modified Sony CDP was different but comparable to the CD1. 

Just prior to tearing down at 2013 RMAF, I swapped from:
A: My CDP RCA > Preamp RCA output > Atma Sphere S30 OTL > AK Dream Maker LCS to
B: My CDP SPDIF high grade IC > Resonessence then-best $5k DAC (sorry, forgot the name) XLR > XLR Atma Sphere S30 OTL > AK Dream Maker LCS

"B" made "A" sound like "A" was broke, like the system was replaced, likely the biggest difference I ever heard in such AB test.

A reliable industry pro known to Brian and myself said that DAC was the best he'd heard.  He had it at home for long term, and he has sampled a lot of gear and DACs. 

One presumes this new tuxedo shod model has improved performance.  The one I heard was a plain tiny black box.   

Brian Walsh

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #24 on: 12 Apr 2016, 10:00 pm »
The Parasound Halo CD1 was discontinued a while ago.

The $5k Resonessence DAC referred to is the Invicta or more likely the Invicat Mirus. I'd put the Veritas up against it, and we have a Mirus on hand for the show which could be used, although it may not happen unless there are numerous requests.

For those who are less sensitive to price I have the Bricasti M1 DAC which was recently upgraded to the SE version and was the first to have the SyncWide/SyncFine feature which takes the performance up another notch. In approximate terms it's twice the performance of the original M1. Scary. But it's ten grand.

James Romeyn

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Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #25 on: 12 Apr 2016, 11:23 pm »
Brian,
Someone I know owns the Bricasti M1.  Would love to hear your opinion of any Resonessence DAC vs. the M1, especially direct to the power amp, no preamp, the way my friend uses the M1. 

Brian Walsh

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #26 on: 13 Apr 2016, 03:19 am »
Brian,
Someone I know owns the Bricasti M1.  Would love to hear your opinion of any Resonessence DAC vs. the M1, especially direct to the power amp, no preamp, the way my friend uses the M1.
Going balanced direct from the M1, it's hard to beat if the amp is true balanced differential. The SE upgrade is a no-brainer now that I've heard the difference. Maybe the best $1000 upgrade, ever. The improvement cold out of the box was shocking. Then when I found out how to go from SyncWide to SyncFine, "another Valin was lifted" :lol:

I haven't had a chance to compare the Veritas against the M1 and won't for another week or more. I am, however, sure that the Veritas will hold its own, and for $2850, what more could you want? It has great slam and weight, very fleshed out and organic sounding. It reveals natural detail very well -- just played some MA Recordings 24/96 tracks, and oh my. But bright stuff like a Deadmaus track I played is awful.

James Romeyn

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Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #27 on: 13 Apr 2016, 03:28 am »
Sorry if I missed the price earlier.  Are you saying that Resonessence Veritas DAC is only $2850?  I thought it was at least $8k, no kidding.  Oh, I looked at the image again.  I was wrong first glance.  I thought it was full width, but see now it's much smaller.   

When did Bricasti release the SE upgrade for the M1?  Not sure whether or not my friend/M1 owner knows about it.

Brian Walsh

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #28 on: 13 Apr 2016, 03:52 am »
The SE upgrade for the M1 has been out for several months. Mine was the first one with the new software with the Sync options.

Resonessence now has the Concero HD at $850, the Veritas at $2850, and the Invicta and Invicta Mirus at $4995.

Now back to our regularly scheduled (speaker) program...

Brian Walsh

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #29 on: 18 Apr 2016, 08:00 pm »
"Biker Duke" LeJeune posing on my 2WD off road Rokon Trailbreaker, just before heading home after a successful AXPONA showing. Unseasonably warm day here today.




ACHiPo

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #30 on: 18 Apr 2016, 08:17 pm »
Brian,
Is that a bike or a tractor? :lol:

AC

Brian Walsh

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #31 on: 18 Apr 2016, 08:24 pm »
Brian,
Is that a bike or a tractor? :lol:

AC

It's a mototractor. Google that word. It's not a joke. It's not about speed, it's about being able to go anywhere.

James Romeyn

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Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #32 on: 19 Apr 2016, 02:51 am »
NASA model for the first inter-planetary 2-wheel exploratory vehicle? 

Or zombie Apocalypse escape vehicle?

Can it wheelie in reverse gear? 

Remember to toss a chain saw in the luggage basket.

Very, very nice!

Did they offer optional rear wheel steering?     
« Last Edit: 23 Apr 2016, 07:18 pm by James Romeyn »

Brian Walsh

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #33 on: 19 Apr 2016, 05:50 am »
NASA model for the first inter-planetary 2-wheel exploratory vehicle? 

Or Armageddon escape vehicle?
They see duty in many areas. Forestry, search and rescue, farming, etc. Some survivalists are interested in them.

Quote
Can it wheelie in reverse gear?
No reverse. 3 speed manual, straight cut gears, no clutch (centrifugal belt clutch). A quirky imperfect beast. Put the front wheel up against a tree and give it the gas, and it will start to climb it and throw you off.

Quote
Remember to toss a chain saw in the luggage basket.
Or carry the carcass of the deer you just shot. Note the tow bar on the rear. It can tow up to 3000 lbs. Combination mule and mountain goat. Some amazing online videos are to be found.

15" ground clearance to climb over logs and rocks, ford up to 24" deep water, and if it gets too deep put it on its side and float it across, thanks to the air tight welded aluminum hubs which can optionally store water or extra fuel.

My bike is a '71, and those are the original Goodyear Sure Grip tires. Nowadays people tend to put ATV tires on them that provide a better ride and better traction.

andy_c

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #34 on: 19 Apr 2016, 06:35 pm »
My bike is a '71, and those are the original Goodyear Sure Grip tires. Nowadays people tend to put ATV tires on them that provide a better ride and better traction.

I've never seen one of those in person, but the first time I saw a picture of one was in a motorcycle book by Floyd Clymer that I had in the late '60s or early '70s.  The book also showed other odd bikes like the Tote Gote and the Allstate Twingle haha.  Here's a picture of Floyd.  He used to actually ride bikes backward like that apparently.


Brian Walsh

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #35 on: 20 Apr 2016, 10:48 pm »

James Romeyn

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Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #36 on: 23 Apr 2016, 07:29 pm »
Brian and Duke,
Congrats on great feedback for your hard work!

By merely swapping L/R positions, Bienville Suite allows "reverberant field" drivers to energize/fire toward either the front or side walls. 

Did you audition both choices?  Which was employed for the show?

Brian,
Re. the superb looking Resonessence Veritas DAC:
Is PS on-board or outboard?  If the latter, is it a wall wart, separate chassis, or brick ala laptop?  Approximate dimensions?  Does it accept coax and TOSLINK? 

Brian Walsh

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #37 on: 23 Apr 2016, 09:13 pm »
Brian and Duke,
Congrats on great feedback for your hard work!

By merely swapping L/R positions, Bienville Suite allows "reverberant field" drivers to energize/fire toward either the front or side walls. 

Did you audition both choices?  Which was employed for the show?
Standard configuration only.

Quote
Brian,
Re. the superb looking Resonessence Veritas DAC:
Is PS on-board or outboard?  If the latter, is it a wall wart, separate chassis, or brick ala laptop?  Approximate dimensions?  Does it accept coax and TOSLINK?
The power supply is built in. It's small, I'd estimate about 7 inches or so square. It's a hefty brick. People marveled at the massive, nonresonant empty case.
Digital inputs include USB, AES (XLR), two SPDIF coax (RCA), and optical (TOSLINK).
Outputs are single ended RCA and balanced XLR. It's truly balanced internally.
Volume control.

Duke

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #38 on: 26 Apr 2016, 03:31 am »
Do the rear drivers comprise a "Vertical Offset Bipolar" Array?  Duke assigned this name to his 2008 TAS Golden Ear Award Winning original Dream Maker.  In this case "Vertical Offset" refers to the disparity in the height of the front and rear mid bass drivers.   

I'd probably call it a "shaded bipole", emphasizing the fact that the rear-firing drivers are lower in level than the front-firing ones, and borrowing the term "shaded" in this context from the prosound world, wherein a "shaded line array" is one in which some of the elements are playing at a reduced SPL as a means of pattern control.

Or we could call it a "shaded offset twisted bipole", as all three would arguably apply. 

Duke's preferred "Two Streams" label is descriptive.  One highly directional on-axis line of sight array (front firing) + a discreet, totally separate, late-arriving, full range system (rear firing) for reverberant field. 

The following just occurred to me in the last week, and I'm surprised it took so long for the light to come on (or should I be not surprised?). 

Another long-held architecture exists for exactly the same "Two Streams" paradigm, and one in which I have hundreds of hours of listening experience: The Live End/Dead End acoustically treated sound room (LEDE).  The general design of such room is for the front third (speaker end) to be treated to be as acoustically "dead" as possible: all boundary surfaces are treated to be as anechoic as possible.  Conversely, all remaining two-thirds of boundary surface is untreated, for a "live" acoustically reflective effect.  The front third has thick carpet and pad, the rear two-thirds of the floor is hard and reflective.

The point of an LEDE sound room is to damp as much as possible all early reflections, followed by high level of properly delayed reverberant field w/spectral curve similar to on-axis output.  "Sound" familiar?  (No pun intended.)

Over about three decades, in VMPS' LEDE sound room, I heard the best and largest VMPS speaker models, from the VMPS True Ribbon (British Strathearn mid array), to the 5 foot BG ribbon, to the RM-60 Wing, and everything in between.  I modified a large living room into a quasi-LEDE sound room, the difference being the entire floor was carpeted.   

I prefer hearing Duke's speakers w/his "Two Streams" architecture (four models prior to Bienville Suite) in regular listening rooms more than any LEDE experience.  The stage is significantly deeper and wider, and I believe pitch sensitivity is greatly enhanced.  Greater pitch sensitivity shall make you enjoy musical experiences you currently find boring.  This happened to me many times.  Bring a complex classical music disc to this room and check for yourself.  Image specificity might be a toss up, but something about the imaging seems more natural w/Duke's architecture.  One other item favoring the TS architecture is much higher sense of being enveloped in the musical experience, and more pleasurable involvement. 

In both cases there is simply more of the original recording venue (whether real or synthetic or parts of both), and less constant "thumbprint" of the playback sound room.  When changing discs, you are bound to notice a greater difference in the acoustic effect.

Thanks for going into detail drawing on your experience with high-end LEDE rooms! 

Yup, the basic elements of the "Two-Stream Paradigm" date back at least to the LEDE rooms, which was my first encounter with the idea of creating a relatively reflection-free interval between the first arrival sound and the beneficial late-arrival reverberant energy.   I never heard a professionally done LEDE room, but my amateur attempt sounded lifeless to me.  This was back in the 80's, when I was a SpeakerBuilder Magazine junkie. 

When we did rooms at recent audio shows with your switch to toggle the LCS sections off and on, whenever I remembered to, I'd ask people whether they felt like they were hearing "more of the recording" or "more hotel room" with it on.   Everyone that I heard voice an opinion said "more of the recording".  So it's a bit counter-intuitive, but I think the ear/brain system can pick out the reverberant cues from the recording when they are presented in a more natural manner via the LCS sections rather than coming only from a pair of speakers.   The recent comment by Andy Quint from Axpona 2016 in another thread seems to support this. 

Brian Walsh

Re: Bienville Suite at AXPONA 2016
« Reply #39 on: 6 May 2016, 05:14 pm »
Our room was very well received by Dagogo reviewer Doug Schroeder in his show report:
Quote
Aurender N100 Music Server, Resonessence Labs Veritas DAC, Atmasphere UV-1 Tube Preamp, Atmasphere M60 MKIII Tube Amp, Audiokenesis Bienville Suite speakers and Clarity Cables.

I have many times heard the paring of the Classic Audio speakers with Atmasphere Amps. The Audiokenesis speakers reacted as well with these more affordable quality tube components. I might have fought Duke LeJune of Audiokinesis over the positioning of the speakers, but there was inherent beauty in the matching of Clarity Cables, Atmasphere and the Audiokinesis Bienville Suite speakers with Swarm Subwoofer System.

Doug's comments farther down the page on the Paragon Sight and Sound room caught my eye as well.

Words cannot express my gratitude to Duke for managing to get here on time for the show in the face of diversity (car breakdown in Oklahoma due to alternator failure, necessitating an overnight stay there) and being able to deftly pull this one out of the fire and put on a world class performance to the delight of all who visited our room.