Back again. Spent the day at a local ski hill yesterday with my son. He wore me out and I could not post last night as I'd hoped to!
Thanks guys for the feedback from the gathering. I will be better prepared next time. Saturday morning when I realized I did not have enough glasses for everyone I had to run out for paper cups and I really should have had name tags for folks! Sorry about that and we'll get them for the next get together. When we used to do these meetings a few years ago we'd get 6 or 8 guys tops and so the name tags never came up!
Anyway it was a lot of fun. The highlight of the day was meeting so many new people and talking audio but I wanted to say a bit about the gear since that's what brought us all together. I'm not likely the best one to comment on the sound as I had only a few quick moments to check stuff out. Most of the time I was yak'n.
We had 2 listening rooms setup. One is my lab/listening room and the other is a multipurpose room that has a theater setup as well.
In the lab we had a sony 7700 as a transport to a perpetual tech combo. The pre-amp was a brand new pre-built TX102 kit (and I mean brand new - the solder was still flowing at about 11:30 that day!). It has all the goodies like silver TX102's and also is the first pre-built with remote control. It was made for a fellow in Seattle and it was great because he actually was able to come up to the meeting and take it home with him.
After the new pre-amp we had the ASL hurracanes and a variety of speakers that Bob (from creativesound.ca) and AL from RAW acoustics had brought along. The Criterion was one of these and as well as a bunch of others most of which used Tagband drivers. I had not heard any of these before and only heard a few on Saturday. The Criterions sounded good and I'd love to have them back for a propper listen sometime. Also AL had a little pair of speakers using a couple of Tagbands per side that sounded way better then it should have! I think I recall it was about $250.00 CDN per pair as a finished speaker (less than $200 US). Pretty cool option on a budget.
Later in the day we had the oportunity put a Berning OTL amp into the system. The fellow who had made the trip from Seattle to pick up his pre-amp was kind enough to bring it along (thanks!). I have always had great respect for Berning as he is one of those original thinkers. The only experience I had with his stuff was a car amp I had a few years back that was based on a design of his (Milbert Amp). The amp was very good and on some of the speakers the adjustable feedback switch had a dramatic affect on the sound - which was fun to play with. Late in the day we put the Berning amp on the RM40's and for a 70 watt amp it did really well with them - much better than I would have guessed as the RM's like a bit of juice (actually they like a lot of juice).
So the lab was where the gear swapping was taking place! This was my idea as the gear in the theater/listening room is hard to get at. It's in a built in rack and recently I blocked the access to the rear of the rack by installing a Redpoint table in the access coridor. It's a bit tight for the table in there but it isolates it from the room and especially from my 8 year old son and his friends!
In that room we had the redpoint table to Kevin Carters (K&K Audio) phono preamp kit to a TAP system with MK II (but not the latest) TX102's. BTW - Ravi - Thanks for the kind comments on the looks of the TAP. It actually pre-dates the TX102 kits by several years and used to be the resistor based until the transformers came along. After the TAP we had a pair of ASL 845 PP monoblocks and then the GR Alpha's. Cables are home brew silver based on Chrisvh's design and speaker cable is a home brew silver flat ribbon cable. Same cables are used in the lab.
Most of the day we spun Vinyl in that room but did pop a few cd's that Bob had brought over in later in the day. Some one mentioned on Saturday that there was a guy who was saying the alpha's don't go below 55hz. I'd have to pull out MLSSA and measure them again but I think they go a bit lower than that
. The listenning we did on Saturday was with the 845's on them. When I had the ASL Huricanes on them a while back the low end was absolutlely massive and a lot of fun but we did not try that on Saturday.
The table and phono preamp are very new but I am already enjoying them a lot. I have a long way to go to get it setup well and the cart only has about 25 hours or so on it. Still it was sounding quite good - mostly due to the efforts of a local felow who came by last friday and helped me get it setup properly! Thanks!!
This post is getting too long so I'd better stop now! I'll post answers to some specific questions above in the next post....