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Old 14th October 2010, 03:45 PM   #1
pjanda1 is offline pjanda1  United States
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Any of you fullrange folks attending the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver this weekend? Last year a few of us participated in thread discussing the speakers that had been exhibited, but it could be fun to get together at the actual show. I'll get into town sometime Friday night. I should be around all day Saturday (I might sneak off in the afternoon to watch the all-important Nebraska-Texas game), and maybe Sunday morning. My cell is three O eight, six 7 two, five 8 three 6. Feel free to PM me today or tomorrow, or just text me at the show.

Paul
Wild Burro Audio Labs - DIY Full Range Speakers
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Old 18th October 2010, 04:07 AM   #2
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Hi Paul, oh man, I didn't see this post until now. I was there on Saturday for 5 hours and I'm sorry I missed you.

Here are a few pictures for anyone interested.

Lowthers were well-represented. Lowther America had a room and you can see they've added a tweeter to their OB. (There were also two rooms showing Rethm Prisms with the tiny ~5" Lowther drivers which sounded great to me.)

Fostex was represented in the Vaughn Loudspeakers room. They have a very sophisticated floorstander with the FE208E Sigma, a ribbon tweeter, and then (I think) a 12" woofer and 12" passive radiator. They also have a bookshelf with FE168E Sigma and a ribbon tweeter.

One major surprise of the show (for me) was the Rithm speaker (see pic). It's a curvy, gently folded tapered TL and it packs a serious punch. Drums are just incredible. As you can see, it's a coax. They are very tiny in real life and I remain mystified as to how they could sound so powerful.

I had fun listening to the JBL Everest system but only with one-minute-ish excerpts of songs and so it wasn't a real listening experience. Bass was muffled in that room (der) but everything up top was sparkly clear.

Duke Lejeune's AudioKinesis room (waveguide + woofer bipoles) sounded excellent but it was a bit too much ambient sound for my personal tastes. His offset bipole configuration really did work in that room though (I did not hear the room modes booming).

One of the best rooms for me was High Water Sound with the Aspara two-way horns. Ahhhh, tone. The people running this room were serious music lovers as opposed to industry people. Vinyl seemed dominant this year, and there were lots of reel-to-reel setups as well.

Rants: why oh why do people play "no name" music at an audio show? Like over-the-top percussion tracks? Or new age-y stuff? Or stuff that is obviously "demo music"?

The majority of rooms just did not sound very musical. Volume too loud, screechy, harsh, painful. Some rooms paired really high-end source / electronics with un-distinguished speakers so it was hard to care.

One mystery to me: people don't want big speakers, but they end up running huge amps to power smaller, less efficient speakers. I don't get that, especially where the higher-efficiency speakers tend to sound better to my ears (though the lower-efficiency stuff might arguably be flatter).

Paul, what did you like / love at the show?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg lowther_ob.JPG (201.5 KB, 617 views)
File Type: jpg vaughn_fe208esigma.JPG (198.8 KB, 610 views)
File Type: jpg vaughn_168esigma.JPG (245.3 KB, 600 views)
File Type: jpg rithm.JPG (253.9 KB, 593 views)
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Old 18th October 2010, 02:45 PM   #3
Vix is offline Vix  Yugoslavia
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Hi,

Can anyone provide more info about the rest of Lowther Open Baffle? The pic of the rear side, the woofer used, amplifiers, crossover points/slopes...
Sorry If am asking too much, just want to know if it was an improvement from the previous years Lowther open baffles...

Thanks
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Old 18th October 2010, 03:51 PM   #4
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Hi Vix, maybe Jon ver Halen can chime in. His room was very busy and I didn't get to chat with him (really friendly guy, obviously a true music lover).

It looks like a very different woofer to me (I believe I've seen this or similar Lowther OB with Altec and Tone Tubby if memory serves). The field coil in back seemed to be the same size and shape, but cosmetically different (it looked like brushed aluminum vs. bronze patina).

The speaker is a real chameleon to me. It's very snappy. Someone told me the tweeter comes in at 10k or higher but it was evidently subtle to my ears (it didn't jump out). I would have tolerated a bit more bass and would love to hear those First Watt amps work harder
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Old 18th October 2010, 05:44 PM   #5
sts9fan is offline sts9fan  United States
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I think I read somewhere it was a rythmik servo sub.
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Old 19th October 2010, 01:10 AM   #6
pjanda1 is offline pjanda1  United States
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I wasn't there terribly long. I was there from morning to early afternoon on Saturday, but I needed to catch up and talk shop with a few folks, so I only got to a few rooms. I headed back late Saturday night for the "tonearm shootout" in the Galibier room.

Fullrangers were represented at the show, as were other "fringe" and "alternative" things to which I am drawn. While the show is still a "must-see" for those that can, it seems a little more mainstream than it was even last year. But I do enjoy hearing some traditional high end from time to time.

This year, I think I'll avoid commenting specifically on any thing I heard. I will say that I am always surprised by how different each room sounds. Folks don't just disagree about subjective details of the listening experience. From room to room, even the basic tonal balance often seems as different as night and day! I understand that show conditions are never ideal, but clearly there is very little agreement about how a stereo should sound!

Finally, I've been thinking for a few weeks that I should sell my vinyl setup. The show put those thoughts to rest. At least for awhile. I'm enjoying an old Ella pressing as I write.

Paul
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Old 19th October 2010, 01:41 AM   #7
mp9 is offline mp9  United States
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...so you weren't won over by the server-based music and DACs or was it the strain gauge cartridge?
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Old 19th October 2010, 01:46 AM   #8
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Tell us about the tonearm shoot out.
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Old 19th October 2010, 02:30 AM   #9
pjanda1 is offline pjanda1  United States
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mp9, I am pretty won over by servers and DACs. I'm waiting for the right moment to get a dedicated PC of some sort for the system. Then I'll exchange the spif receiver in my Twisted Pear DAC for USB and be done with it. I don't know that wireless is for me. That being said, there were even more wireless solutions that I suspect will be the best choice for many non-perfectionist types.

I tend to avoid my vinyl rig out of laziness. I often have one or more projects that I am pouring labor into, so I generally lack the time and will to clean and play records. My friends who enjoy vinyl seem to derive great pleasure from the "ritual", but when I'm on the couch, I like music to come easily. RMAF reminded me of how good vinyl can sound. I also greatly enjoy seeing machines, which is one of the reasons I prefer tubes to IC's. It is fun to watch turntables work. As I grew up with CDs, I think watching a record spin and hearing the music come out seems more magical.

bigfishe, the "tonearm shootout" was basically a listening session. It was in the big Galibier room. IIRC, Daedalus speakers (3 way WMTTMW, high efficiency, great sound), Atma-Sphere amps, and a phono preamp that friends of mine designed. The tonearms were by Durand and Schroeder. The men themselves operated them. The problems were many. They used cartridges they already had set up, which is to say, they were different cartridges! The gain was different, and the stepped attenuators didn't allow great gain matching from arm to arm.

I arrived later than many, so I started well of the the side (it was packed for the first hour or so). By the time I sat in the center, I had enjoyed a bit of Dave Slagle's beer and tequila. While I think it was possible to hear repeatable differences between the arms, I am not experienced enough to know what was due to arms and what to the cartridges. Good times were had by most. (Some audience members attempted to take it a little more seriously than was warranted). The music and sound were great regardless of what was playing!

Paul
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Old 19th October 2010, 03:27 PM   #10
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>>> But I do enjoy hearing some traditional high end from time to time.

Me too. But i prefer to tinker, build and enjoy music the past several years. Perhaps someday i will settle back into a 'traditional' setup... if my hearing's not gone by then.


>>> Finally, I've been thinking for a few weeks that I should sell my vinyl setup.

To this day i regret selling my AR turntable! I still have all my records but nothing to play them on.

I have been thinking about those little netbooks lately (for around $250 - $350) to serve up my music. Cheap enough and can be connected to a DAC in the future.
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