Newport Beach show May 31 - June 2

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audioengr

Newport Beach show May 31 - June 2
« on: 30 Mar 2013, 12:21 am »
Empirical Audio will exhibit an interesting system at Newport Beach show this year.  It will be in room 206 at the Atrium:

http://theshownewport.com/visitors/index.htm

We are partnering with Vapor Audio to assemble a tubed system using a new high-efficiency floor-standing 3-way from Vapor.  When Ryan has photos, he will post them here.  His speakers are simply the best I have heard.  Only the best drivers and crossover components, including Jensen air-core ribbon inductors and V-Cap CUTFs etc..  These puppies will evidently have 15 inch woofers. :o

The front-end will be one of my Mac Minis running Amarra 4318/19 driving an Off-Ramp 5 with OTL mod and then my BNC-BNC cable to a fully optioned Overdrive SE DAC.  The OR5 will be powered by a Hynes supply as well as the Mac Mini.  Balanced cables will run from the Overdrive SE to my Final Drive transformer buffer and SE cables to Arte Forma tube monoblocks at 40WPC each.   These will evidently be updated with better components to get the most performance out of them.

I hope to take my calibrated mic and do some Amarra EQ in the room as well.  I have found it is essential both at home and at shows.

Hope to see you all there.  Its going to be a great show.

Steve N.
« Last Edit: 8 May 2014, 01:51 am by audioengr »

rogerdn

Re: Newport Beach show May 31 - June 2
« Reply #1 on: 31 Mar 2013, 05:48 pm »
'The front-end will be one of my Mac Minis running Amarra 4318/19 driving an Off-Ramp 5 with OTL mod and then my BNC-BNC cable to a fully optioned Overdrive SE DAC.'

Steve,

if I understand correctly you think the addition of the OR5 is an improvement over USB/SB direct ? Or are you just exhibiting the OR5 for those wo/ USB ?

So adding an OR5 into my PSA PWD would improve performance ?

As you suggested I am trying an Audioquest Diamond with my SB, is really an improvement in slam and sound stage.

audioengr

Re: Newport Beach show May 31 - June 2
« Reply #2 on: 31 Mar 2013, 07:00 pm »
'The front-end will be one of my Mac Minis running Amarra 4318/19 driving an Off-Ramp 5 with OTL mod and then my BNC-BNC cable to a fully optioned Overdrive SE DAC.'

Steve,

if I understand correctly you think the addition of the OR5 is an improvement over USB/SB direct ? Or are you just exhibiting the OR5 for those wo/ USB ?

A little of both.  With the new OTL mod, my BNC-BNC cable and the Hynes supply, I think it is better than the USB input on the DAC.

Quote
So adding an OR5 into my PSA PWD would improve performance ?

Yes, particularly if you use my cable and the Hynes supply this will beat the SM (assuming you use the right computer and playback software).  It's more complicated once you do USB, but it pays off in dividends.

Quote
As you suggested I am trying an Audioquest Diamond with my SB, is really an improvement in slam and sound stage.

Excellent.  I am always looking for the giant-killer to recommend.

Steve N.

sharpsuxx

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Re: Newport Beach show May 31 - June 2
« Reply #3 on: 1 Apr 2013, 08:22 pm »
Wish I could make it out there, I heard I believe it was the Overdrive SE in one of the Vapor Audio rooms at RMAF.  That DAC was world class great neutral and dead quiet background and really amazing design as well.  It is now on the list as the DAC for my dream system, great work Steve someday when I have the spare cash you will be getting a call from me.  I sprang for my dream speakers last year and now my wallet is recovering, but no regrets on my purchase of the Cirrus Black from Vapor, you guys should work together more often.

audioengr

Re: Newport Beach show May 31 - June 2
« Reply #4 on: 26 May 2013, 05:33 pm »
Check out these awesome Vapor Audio speakers that we will have in the room:

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=115968.msg1227021#msg1227021

Audioexcels

Re: Newport Beach show May 31 - June 2
« Reply #5 on: 29 May 2013, 07:11 am »
Looks like AE Acoustics (aka Lambda) on the bass drivers.  They should be incredibly fast and clean sounding.

Steve.  How much eq do you typically use both at home and at shows and how drastic can the difference in sound be?  I.E. Lets say you did not eq those Tad Evolution Ones in the last Newport Show, how bad would the room have sounded or how bad did it sound prior to getting that eq on them?  I'm always curious just what type of "sound" eq imparts on the signal and also how much it does or does not rob the amplifier's power output.  Say you have these 40 watts for this year's Newport Show, but you need a lot of eq in the room, do you lose a lot of power as a consequence?

Sorry if this is off-topic, but it amazes me that you are able to run such a simple Mac setup and run an eq program that sounds transparently excellent, much like your wonderful devices like the latest Overdrive and the OR5.

Cheers and I have a friend going to the show so I'll have him head to your room!

audioengr

Re: Newport Beach show May 31 - June 2
« Reply #6 on: 29 May 2013, 06:12 pm »
Looks like AE Acoustics (aka Lambda) on the bass drivers.  They should be incredibly fast and clean sounding.

Steve.  How much eq do you typically use both at home and at shows and how drastic can the difference in sound be?  I.E. Lets say you did not eq those Tad Evolution Ones in the last Newport Show, how bad would the room have sounded or how bad did it sound prior to getting that eq on them? 

It was definitely more live with the EQ.  I used 4 corrections, one for the rom and three for the speaker.

Quote
I'm always curious just what type of "sound" eq imparts on the signal and also how much it does or does not rob the amplifier's power output.  Say you have these 40 watts for this year's Newport Show, but you need a lot of eq in the room, do you lose a lot of power as a consequence?

No power lost.

Quote
Sorry if this is off-topic, but it amazes me that you are able to run such a simple Mac setup and run an eq program that sounds transparently excellent, much like your wonderful devices like the latest Overdrive and the OR5.

Cheers and I have a friend going to the show so I'll have him head to your room!

I hope to meet him there. It will be fun this year.

Steve N.

Cheeseboy

Re: Newport Beach show May 31 - June 2
« Reply #7 on: 29 May 2013, 07:15 pm »
Looking forward to hearing the Vapor floor standers.   This is quite a change from the TAD/John Curl system you had in the room last year.   The suspense is killing me. 

Audioexcels

Re: Newport Beach show May 31 - June 2
« Reply #8 on: 29 May 2013, 10:22 pm »
Very impressive that the EQ can be used with no power loss and excellent sound quality.  I will email you about this as I don't want to take up space here.

It's going to be a ton of fun running the tubes at this show after having run some beefy amps in past shows.

Talk soon and looking forward to a report about the show.  Bummed I cannot get down there and enjoy it!!!

audioengr

Re: Newport Beach show May 31 - June 2
« Reply #9 on: 3 Jun 2013, 11:01 pm »
This was without a doubt the most musical system we have had at any show.  It could do things that no other at the show could IMO, including:

1) even, accurate reproduction of any music at any scale, from solos to large scale
2) focused, acoustical wavefronts at low frequencies that took your breath away
3) limitless and effortless dynamic range
4) Ultra-low bass distortion

#2 I have never experienced with ANY system, even my own.

The room was corrected using full Amarra.

Many told us it was the best of the show, but I did not get out much to see other rooms.

Show reports and photos:

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/the_show_newport_2013/saturday

Other impressive sounds were:

Wells Audio SS amp.  Amazing sweetness and dynamics for a SS amp.  If he told me it was tubes, I would not have suspected any different.

Ayre A/D converter.  They mastered a "Take 5" track from vinyl that equalled or exceeded my own mastred from reel-to-reel.  This is what I rcommend for anyone doing vinyl to digital mastering.



Vapor Audio

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Re: Newport Beach show May 31 - June 2
« Reply #10 on: 4 Jun 2013, 01:14 am »
we are still driving through Arizona right now. It is hard to type much on my phone, but just wanted to say thank you Steve for all your hard work. I'll post more of my thoughts when we get home, but in the meantime would love to your other peoples impressions

audioengr

Re: Newport Beach show May 31 - June 2
« Reply #11 on: 4 Jun 2013, 08:48 pm »
we are still driving through Arizona right now. It is hard to type much on my phone, but just wanted to say thank you Steve for all your hard work. I'll post more of my thoughts when we get home, but in the meantime would love to your other peoples impressions

You guys did all of the heavy lifting.  All I did was monopolize the music list :duh:

Thanks for a great show.

Steve N.

audioengr

Re: Newport Beach show May 31 - June 2
« Reply #12 on: 11 Jun 2013, 05:56 pm »
More reviews:

From JA:
http://www.stereophile.com/content/empirical-audio-vapor-audio

He's a smart guy and he definitely got it. :thumb:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/another-opening-another-show

" I particularly enjoyed the music in the Red Wine/Bricasti/Harbeth, Empirical Audio/Vapor Audio, Musical Surroundings, MSB, Dynaudio, Audio Element/Ayre/Sonus Faber, and Magico/Constellation rooms."

-JA

Nice job Vinnie.  We prove to them over and over again that even the little companies can deliver top performance.

Sweet!
Steve N.
« Last Edit: 12 Jun 2013, 06:11 pm by audioengr »

BobMajor

Re: Newport Beach show May 31 - June 2
« Reply #13 on: 16 Jun 2013, 01:26 pm »
Here's a report from HP Soundings by B. Jan Montana from the San Diego Music and Audio Guild which listed the Vapor room as fantastic but unfortunately didn't even mention the source was by Empirical Audio.
"Strings, choirs and operatic female vocals were sweet and unstrained. The midrange was clean and open"
http://www.hpsoundings.com/2013/06/3697/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=3697

audioengr

Re: Newport Beach show May 31 - June 2
« Reply #14 on: 16 Jun 2013, 05:58 pm »
Here's a report from HP Soundings by B. Jan Montana from the San Diego Music and Audio Guild which listed the Vapor room as fantastic but unfortunately didn't even mention the source was by Empirical Audio.
"Strings, choirs and operatic female vocals were sweet and unstrained. The midrange was clean and open"
http://www.hpsoundings.com/2013/06/3697/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=3697

He evidently convinced that the electronics don't make any difference. :duh:

Steve N.

audioengr

Re: Newport Beach show May 31 - June 2
« Reply #15 on: 25 Jun 2013, 06:28 pm »
« Last Edit: 8 Nov 2013, 08:09 pm by audioengr »

Pete Schumacher

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Re: Newport Beach show May 31 - June 2
« Reply #16 on: 27 Jun 2013, 03:54 pm »
He evidently convinced that the electronics don't make any difference. :duh:

Steve N.

Of course it was the SYSTEM producing the beautiful music that wowed him.  He admitted he doesn't think his ears could distinguish between sources.  Truth is, with these speakers, sources would likely be easily distinguished.  And because you provide the best source, we were getting the best sound, not just because of the speakers.