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My 2017 Lone Star Audio Fest
My 2017 Lone Star Audio Fest
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Old 28th May 2017, 09:26 PM   #1
Bob Brines is offline Bob Brines  United States
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Default My 2017 Lone Star Audio Fest

Just returned from another Lone Star Audio Fest in Dallas. (well, now three weeks ago, but life happens.) I have been going to LSAF since it first started in Tulsa. The show is morphing away from its DIY roots and becoming just another you-can’t-afford-it audiophile show. Almost no DIY this year, all midrange audiophile stuff. My rig was definitely the low end of spectrum. Lots of snake oil cables and what not.

Most of the rooms have the same big, lush sound one is accustomed to from too big speakers in a too small hotel room. And some of the rooms had a lot of absorbers and other treatment lying around. My room did not. I EQ’d out the room boom and you’d be surprised how effective a U-Haul blanket draped over a chair is as a bass absorber. My sound is clean and honest. Doesn’t grab you, but you can listen to it all day.

Interesting response from the visitors. Often, they would look in the door and see that I didn’t have a bunch of big tube amps laying around, or 6’ tall speakers with a half dozen driver a side, or high gloss finish on exotic wood baffles, decide that there couldn’t be anything worth hearing here and moved on. But I did have quite a few visitors that kept coming back for another listen. There is something captivating about listening to the music, not the speakers. A review of my room is HERE -- about half way down.

My speakers look like 3-way, but they are not. The woofer is the Audax HM210C0-8 and the mid-tweet is the ScanSpeak 10F-8424G0. The way I have it EQ’d, the upper F3 is 18.5kHz and the 30* off-axis is ~ 7kHz. I wanted to fill in the off-axis so I got a pair of Dayton ND16FD-6 tweeters based on the published specs. 88dB my XXX! Maybe 78dB – downhill – in a windstorm. So they aren’t even hooked up. But I don’t have much invested in them. The 24mm forstner bit I needed for the press fit hole cost more than the tweeters. I’ll look for something else.
My speakers are very good, thank you, but for those who were paying attention, the electronics was the real show. The media server is an Azulle Quantum mini-desktop ($225), The DSP is the miniDSP 2x4HD (Hasch XO @ 500Hz, notch at 40Hz, a bit of BBC dip and 3dB of high shelf at 7kHz) ($205), 2xSMSL 98e amps ($105 each). And the overall sound is better that those 5-figure tube monoblocks.

I need to get on with a total redo of my web site. Add some “life’s work” articles. Delete those projects that aren’t relevant any more. Highlight the few speakers that are a bit better than average.
The real value of this forum is educating the neophytes. I don’t post much anymore because there is a bunch of new kids taking up the slack. I’ve done my part. Now I’ll watch others to the job. I’ll chime in every once and a while when I think I have something to add.

Happy ears,
Bob

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. My rig in an Embassy Suites room – including “bass trap” on the right
2. The cross-over
3. Impulse response
4. Distortion
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Dsc_0066.jpg (601.6 KB, 362 views)
File Type: jpg Harsch 500Hz RTA.jpg (107.9 KB, 348 views)
File Type: jpg Harsch 500Hz Impulse.jpg (69.9 KB, 336 views)
File Type: jpg Harsch 500Hz Distortion.jpg (144.1 KB, 332 views)

Last edited by Bob Brines; 28th May 2017 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 28th May 2017, 10:28 PM   #2
zman01 is online now zman01  Bangladesh
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My 2017 Lone Star Audio Fest
Hi Bob,

Thanks for sharing your experience from LSAF 2017. Your speakers look well made, and use high quality drivers. And nice work with the electronics, making them do the heavy lifting in your combo.

p.s. The bass trap in the picture might be effective but not much WAF!
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Old 28th May 2017, 11:44 PM   #3
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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My 2017 Lone Star Audio Fest
I enjoyed meeting you in person and listening to your system. Nice to be able to put a face to the name.
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Old 29th May 2017, 01:50 AM   #4
perceval is offline perceval  Taiwan
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Thanks Bob.

You kinda nailed it... In this day and age where Facebook "likes" are more important than anything, yes, the looks are taking over the sounds. It doesn't matter if it's the wrong speaker for the room, it just has to look the part. And warm the house in winter with those big tubes.

The "Ferrari" crowd will always have some followers.

Enjoy the music!
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Old 29th May 2017, 02:00 PM   #5
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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My 2017 Lone Star Audio Fest
Putting a positive spin on things I was at Lone Star, heard a lot of really good tube stuff, and some not so good. Bob's room was great too, and showed what can be accomplished on a different tack.
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Old 29th May 2017, 05:23 PM   #6
hudelson2 is offline hudelson2  United States
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Bob,

I visited your room twice. I like to listen to solo instruments and small ensembles, and found your setup the most capable of producing music authentically with such music.
I was the individual who asked about using a 10 inch woofer instead of the 8 inch woofer.
Hope to see you at LSAF next year.

John
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Old 2nd June 2017, 02:19 PM   #7
barryso is offline barryso  United States
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You're right about the show morphing away from DIY. Part of the fun years back was wandering from room to room just to see what somebody had put together. Some of those rooms were pretty awful and some were absolutely wonderful. It was a crap shoot but it was hugely entertaining. Entertaining enough that I'd fly in just for the show.

The show introduced me to single drivers speakers, open baffle speakers, line array speakers, SET amps, multiple sub configurations and computer driven front ends. Some of this stuff was a home run and other stuff wasn't but I'd never heard most of this stuff if not for the show. It was an education and then some.

Now it's far more predictable. You'll walk into a room and there will be a nice mix of stuff and a lot of it is simply off the shelf gear. And still some of the rooms are awful and some are wonderful.

It's still a very useful weekend as there aren't many brick and mortar stores left around where I live and the few that are left seem to be selling stuff for the mega wealthy. Auditioning any audio gear that is affordable (or even just moderately expensive) is a tough thing to do anymore. So the show still an opportunity to hear things that would be unavailable elsewhere.

The handouts listing the rooms and vendors is a great idea. It should be expanded to include a sentence (or two) from the vendor giving folks a idea of what they can expect in the room. Something like "Bob Brines systems sound wonderful and are truly affordable. Our featured system is under $4,000.00 for the entire system". You won't get the folks who insist on spending 50 or 100k on a system but they aren't your target audience. You might attract a few more people who don't know your stuff is affordable and just walk into a few high priced rooms and leave the show because they aren't going to drop tens of thousands of dollars on a stereo.

My 2 cents.
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