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Old 30th October 2013, 12:54 AM   #481
DUG is offline DUG  Canada
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Just found out today I have been volunteered to help a friend fix his friend's gate on Sunday.

Unless it rains.
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Old 2nd November 2013, 03:26 AM   #482
wlowes is offline wlowes  Canada
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Default My whirlwind tour

Well I finally experienced a high end audio show. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Well worth the effort. Ran into Lo_Tse. Nice to see you again Alan.

Like most audio enthusiasts I read a lot of stuff on the web. Equipment reviews et al. But outside of my own efforts and the DIY meets I have never really experienced a broad selection of audio ear candy.

Let's face it. I went with a little trepidation. Last thing I wanted to find is that there is a world of great audio if only I plunked down funds that would buy a high end Porshe.

Much as I really enjoyed the experience, happy to say that my DIY stuff beats 90% of the stuff at the show. Whew! Actually I am not sure I would trade with any room I heard. That is a complement to this site and all the collaboration we have in this community.

A few rooms did catch my ear.
Muraudio.com This is a must see and hear. I ran into it late when was already pressed to leave. Great concept and based on brief listen well worth exploring.

Burmester. I think maybe one of the best in show. And (shudder) solid state amp. Great hand crafted German engineering.

DeVore Fidelity Oranutan speakers driven by nice little hand crafted 10w tube amp. They use retro rebuilt of Dynaudio Alnico drivers with silk dome tweeters. I liked it. But then again I use 2 x 10" full range Dynaudio drivers with 1" Seas dome tweeters.. so maybe I was just feeling at home but it worked for me. And at 6.5k its a relative bargoon.

I thought the Audio Notes Kits room was doing well. Go DIY! Stark contrast to the actual audio note room which I thought was worst in class. 300B amp with AN pre and DAC. Should have been great but somehow the corner loading speakers had NO imaging and zero air or dynamics. Worst of congested bad transformer output sound. I think it must be the speakers, but really cast a Bad Note on Audio Note. Given the DIY room sounded great on unfinished kit speakers and KT88 push pull and a cheap CD player I don't think its systemic to AN, but likely some very bad set up by the guy who manned the AN room. And I had to listen to him talk about how bad everything else was in the show before he demonstrated his substandard system.

Coherent Speakers worth a listen. Did not have time to do it justice and the room was packed with people talking and standing in front of the speakers.

I caught one room pitching speakers that were driven with Atomsphera OTLs. Big disappointment. Based on my love of my own OTLs I always wanted to hear their stuff. Again, I suspect it was the speaker or an unforetuneate set up. Too bad.

I was fairly impressed by Focus Audio. I prefer my own stuff, but this was a contender. Proudly Canadian.

The TubeMagic room was another great example of local engineering value. They were playing some middle of the road 3A speakers with their Kt88 integrated amp. Nice sound and nicely built. Passive stepped resistor attenuator. Top was open and it smelled new like it was powered up for the first time today. Even without burn in it sounded good. And at $2.5k it was a show bargain. What made it even more noteworthy is I JUST came from the 3A room where they were playing their top of line speakers driven by Copland electronics. Not bad but kind of congested. They played the same high res WAV of Shchedrin that I played at our first audio meet. So I know it well. It was not bad but really tight and congested. Kind of muddled. So it must have been the Copland electronics that TubeMagic wiped the floor with. The Shchedrin was the first cut I put on when I got home. Very Smug grin when it came to life on me DIY rig.

The other not so good surprise was some Focal speakers at $40 g's. Driven by about $100g of really great monoblocks (MOON?) and power conditioners etc. Mid range and top end was very good but low end was just plain muddled. Wow! Money does not buy performance.

One of the noteworthy rooms was the Home of the Audiophile. They were running some giant Pass Labs monoblocks and some Gershman Acoustics speakers. I think the speakers were worth a good audition. Sadly I was at the end of my time and had little time to really settle into it and they had it LOUD. But great to hear that combo.

Another surprising disappointment was a Tricell room with really top end vinyl and some top end horns(Acapella Violon MK VI). Just not my cup of tea. Not bad, but not a lot of air around the sound sources. I did not ask how much these things cost but they look like about a $100 grand but not that great.

So, if you get the chance, its a great show and well served again with the King Edward hotel as the venue.
Walter

Last edited by wlowes; 2nd November 2013 at 03:49 AM.
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Old 2nd November 2013, 10:56 AM   #483
DUG is offline DUG  Canada
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Thank you for the review Walter.

I can't make it this year but after reading your post I will try to make it next year.
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Old 2nd November 2013, 09:44 PM   #484
Lo_Tse is offline Lo_Tse  Canada
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Default TAVES 2013

As ususal, I got there before the show opened and lined up for the ticket. It was great ran into Walter. We kept each other company while waiting. Also ran into Audionut later on at the corridor.

Like previous years, the exhibition is spread over three floors. There are a few big rooms on the Main floor that tend to allow for better set up. Bryston took up one of them and was demoing their Model T speakers in passive mode (which was debut in TAVES 2012) using their 28SST2 amps. James Tanner and Brian Russell were around to greet people that walked into the room. The sound was generally good but there were just too many people in the room when I was there, I did not stay long.

Also on the same floor occupying the bigger rooms were Monitor Audio (playing their top of the line PL series speakers), and a pair of the big Revel was playing in another room occupied by Erikson Distribution (?). The third room on the same floor that I visited was hosted by Worldwide Distributing (I think). The speaker that was playing then was by Casta (must confess that I do not know this brand) and it sounded nice.

Audio Note Kits (from Ottawa) has a room this year instead of just a table in the 2nd floor foyer. I spent quite sometime there chatting with Brian. Listening to some Al Dimeola LPs from bygone years. The quality of the AN kits seemed very high - the red PCB/s, the power tranformers, the C core output trafos etc. are all high quality. I agree with Walter, I like the sound from this room better than that in the AN (UK) room.

Ran into Walter again in the Focal room. The main focus in the room was the new 900 series speakers (quite affordable by the audiophile standard) that were equipped with their new fibre cones for the mid and low end. The speakers were driven by a Devialet integrated amp. I like the sound - the base was fast and tight and the high was smooth.

I was quite impressed by the little Dynaudio bookshelf speakers from their new Excite series. It sounded big and dynamic. It reminded me of the similar sized Totems. Totem had a large display last year but is absent this year(?). Checked out the new floor standing Ultra speakers by SVS (the subwoofer people). The speakers were set up in a 5.1 environment. I requested to play them in stereo mode. Sound quite nice. The low end is deep and I do not think one needs a sub to augment them for regular listening to music. By the way, some of the SVS subs were huge and literally can shake the room with little effort.

Finally saw the Legacy Aeris. I expect them to be big (base on the pirctures I saw in magazines), but they were bigger than I expected in real life. The finishing is really nice. Cannot comment on the sound since my listening period was too short. In the Focus Audio room, the top model (not counting the Master series) was playing and it sounded fine. However, the entry model of the Master series which I auditioned before sounded even better - as it should be for speakers that listed for 25,000$. By the way, Focus is a Canadian company and it is actually located in Markham.

I agree with Walter, Muraudio is a must see and hear. Thier only exhibit is a pair of speaker. This speaker's shape reminded me of teh MBL ones. The high frequency was delivered by a curve ESL mono-pole, sitting on top of the base module which consists of 3 aluminum woofer arranged in a symmetrical fashion. The dispersion was cliamed to be close to 360 degree. When I was in the room, the speaker was playing a piece of blues music - it feels like the singer was right in front of you. The speakers, top to bottom, is made out of aliminum and is black in colour. I thought they are a US company but actually Muraudio is based in Ottawa. Price of a pair - 48,000 cdn$ only . Made to order of course.

Saw those "humongus" PASS amps in the Toronto Home of the Audiophile. Almost as huge as the amp in the Positive Feedback Room last year (about 2 feet long). THA has been around for many many years. They must be doing something right. Like last year Angie (American Sound) has quite a few rooms showing expensive gears. Both Tricell and Plurison took up two big zones to showcase their product lines. I missed the exaAudio, which is showing off their multichannel DSD DAC.

Chatted briefly with Steve of Audio Sensibility and Todd (Amcan, who hosted one of our meet last summer) who is showing his nice footers. I was thinking of picking up a pair of inter-connect (made of OCC) which is on sale from Steve but then I do not have enough cash.

As usual, picked up a few CD from the Liberty trading room before I headed out. It was a tiring five and a half hours walk, but thoroughly enjoyable.
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Old 5th November 2013, 10:47 PM   #485
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At the Audiyo table, I saw some interesting DIY audio boards.

The red board is a EL84 based class A integrated amplifier with 11W/ch output. The board can be split apart so the power section can be enclosed separately from the rest of the circuit. This board is a new design which was "released" about 2 weeks ago.

The large green board is an EL34 based class AB amplifier with about 30W/ch output. The smaller board is a preamp. I may consider getting two large green boards for a mono block system.

The Audiyo guy told me the green board system is available to audition but not the red board system yet.

I'll verify the information above the next time I see Simon at Audiyo.
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Old 19th November 2013, 02:59 PM   #486
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Hi Lo_Tse,

When is our next meeting? Are we getting together before the year end?
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Old 20th November 2013, 12:11 AM   #487
Lo_Tse is offline Lo_Tse  Canada
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Hi there,

I was thinking about the same thing. I suspect that most people will be busy before X'mas - all the holiday shoping and preparations. A get together after X'mas and before New Year might be more convenient? I know a lot of companies closed for holiday during that time. And we can take a break from all the holiday festivities !

Let see what other people think. Everyone........

Regards,
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Old 17th December 2013, 12:54 AM   #488
Lo_Tse is offline Lo_Tse  Canada
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Would like to take this opportunity to wish my fellow DIYers

A Happy Holiday Season and a Prosperous New Year!

Hopefully, we will be getting together soemtime in the very near future!

Happy soldering!!

Best Regards,
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Old 17th December 2013, 04:23 PM   #489
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Have a safe holiday everyone! Looking forward to our next meeting.
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Old 31st March 2014, 03:59 PM   #490
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Hi guys,

The last time we had a meeting was June 23rd. Anyone feel like getting together to show off our DIY projects?
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