Author Topic: G2G @ Rich's - 8/30  (Read 23422 times)

mgalusha

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Re: G2G @ Rich's - 8/30
« Reply #30 on: August 30, 2008, 07:11:02 AM »
Sounds like a good time, too bad I'm a few thousand miles away.  :lmc:

Offline Inscrutable

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Re: G2G @ Rich's - 8/30
« Reply #31 on: August 30, 2008, 07:29:51 PM »
Both Shirl and I have been sick with the plague today. So spaced I didn't even remember the meet until now. Thought I'd post my apologies. Hope y'all had a great time. I am seriously bummed not hearing the modwright.  Back to bed .....

Offline Carlman

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Re: G2G @ Rich's - 8/30
« Reply #32 on: August 30, 2008, 07:56:42 PM »
As you should be, Tim.. ;)  The Modwright is a great sounding piece.  Customizeable with tubes in a truly high-end piece of gear.  I quite liked it... and didn't expect to. (BTW, hope the plague leaves your family soon)

We got to hear Ken's Modwright TP, compared with Steve's Raysonic cdp, and Rich's Altmann. I still have a personal preference for the Altmann, only because it's a non oversampler and has that non-OS sound.  The Raysonic surprised me with its detail and sense of space.  The Modwright had tube character so, I can't definitively say the Modwright has a sound.  The character I heard was the type of tube being used.  The Altmann lacked 'air' and upper extension but if I had to live with it long term, that's the sound I prefer.

BIG THANKS again to Rich for hosting, cooking, organizing, and spending so much time working on the room.  I think Shane helped dial in the room also and I greatly appreciated the room acoustics.

As always, it was nice seeing everyone.  It was a pleasure meeting Den and his friend Kevin.  Hope to see you both again.

-Carl

I really enjoy listening to music.

Bigfish8

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Re: G2G @ Rich's - 8/30
« Reply #33 on: August 30, 2008, 07:59:50 PM »
Rich:

Thank you again for the wonderful hospitality tonight!

Wow, there was some incredible gear we had the opportunity to hear!

Raysonic CD168 cd player
Sonos feeding the Altmann DAC
ModWright Transporter
Audio Research Ref 1 Preamp
Manley AMPs
Usher BE 20 Speakers
JPS Digital Balanced ICs
Black Sands PCS and maybe others
Equitech Power Conditioner
An extremely well treated room!

I personally thought all of three of the sources were excellent.  I am certain the group had their preferences but I think one would need to live with all three for some time to determine the best source for their system.  Even though I own the ModWright Transporter I could live with sound quality of any of three of these sources.

Thanks to Stereofool for bringing the Raysonic and the Ref 1.  They are both amazing pieces of gear!

Unfortunately, pretty severe storms passed through the area delaying some of the planned gear swaps.  I had to leave before we had the opportunity to hear the other amps or Benchmark DAC.   If the guys were able to make these changes I will be interested to read their comments!

I failed to mention it above but the Usher BE-20s are extremely detailed and absolutely wonderful.  Rich, you are a lucky guy!

It was a really fun evening and I want to thank Rich again for hosting!

Ken
« Last Edit: August 30, 2008, 08:02:25 PM by Bigfish8 »

Offline stereofool

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Re: G2G @ Rich's - 8/30
« Reply #34 on: August 31, 2008, 06:09:40 AM »
YAWN!!!...after getting home 'early' this morning  :?.

Rich...what can I say...you're the greatest...and contiued thanks to Julie for allowing us to come over and play!

It was a great day/evening/night... the room is sounding better all of the time...certainly the acoustics as well as with the Ushers  :drool:.

It was interesting to hear the different digital sources...the Altman, the Modwright Transporter, and the Raysonic CD168...compared to each other. All sounded very good, and I think that I could live with any of them. There were only subtle differences between the three, with each one sounding occasionally better than the others...depending on the music being played. All were very clean, detailed, open, able to convey the acoustic space...and most importantly...let you just sit back and enjoy the music!

I'd have to say that I prefered the Raysonic...but the differences were indeed minor (plus...I'm a bit biased  :lol:).

After most of the gang departed...not wanting to wait out Mother Nature's light show, and it being rather late...we finally hooked up Sol's self designed and built 30W integrated amp, with the Raysonic as its source. Sol has been gradually tweaking his design...and I must say 'well done'. I could hear no sins from this little box...just beautiful pure music. It's kind of amazing to think how well this little 30W SS integrated could drive the Usher BE20 behemoths  8).

Again, thanks to Rich for his wonderful hospitality. Also, it was great to see old friends (Rich, Carl, Shane, Ken and Sol) and partners in audio-crime...as well as getting to meet new friends...Den and Kevin.

I got a few pics and will try to post them later...when I fully recover from a long...but aurally satisfying day  :D!
« Last Edit: August 31, 2008, 08:12:27 AM by stereofool »
Steve
Have you ever noticed.... Anyone going slower than you is an idiot...and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?

bacobits

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Re: G2G @ Rich's - 8/30
« Reply #35 on: August 31, 2008, 08:37:53 AM »
Yea, a long drive home last night. No storms or traffic though made it easy.
Great time guys! A big thanks again to rich and his wife.

What a system! I guess my listening habits and priorities are different, so is my music, a bit.
I preferred the Raysonic and Modwright to the Altmann in the short term. The Altmann may be a little bit too laid back for me. These were subtle differences I was hearing in airyness mostly in the high end.  I would have been curious what the Benchmark sounded like on the system since I like it so much on my setup. You really have to live with this stuff in your own system for awhile.
I really like my single driver setup and I think its killer for the cost. I suppose I'm more detailed oriented than I thought too. The mighty Ushers do recreate classical music very well.

Ahh, missed the 30W integrated we had to leave by then getting late for a 2 hour ride home.

It was a blast and we can always revisit the Benchmark DAC at a later date. If I still have it. LOL!

It was pleasure meeting everyone and Rich thanks for the hospitality!!!!!!!!!!
I'm not so sure my wife would put up with it so often. Thank you Julie!.

Den

Kevin enjoyed it very much.   

Offline stereofool

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Re: G2G @ Rich's - 8/30
« Reply #36 on: August 31, 2008, 12:04:47 PM »
Rich's room before all the 'toys' we added and the ensuing ravages  :rofl:!


Looks like Rich, Ken and Shane were playing with the Modwright...before I arrived.


One of the awesome Usher BE-20's


Now I know why Rich looked 'cross-eyed'...after drilling all of those holes...by hand  :shock:!
This definitely helped with the acoustics!!!


After adding in some of the 'foreign' toys...


Some of the inmates...Rich, Carl & Den


Carl...what mischevious thought is running through your head...cracking up Ken


Kevin...a rookie...who we MUST corrupt :twisted:...Rich checking out his picture...and Den ashamed to be seen with us  :lol:.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2008, 12:10:40 PM by stereofool »
Steve
Have you ever noticed.... Anyone going slower than you is an idiot...and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?

Offline richidoo

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Re: G2G @ Rich's - 8/30
« Reply #37 on: August 31, 2008, 12:46:41 PM »
Thanks to all who came, we had a blast. Sorry to hear you are under the weather Tim, feel better!

Thanks to Ken for bringing the Modwright Transporter and ancilliary support gear like HD and laptop server. Ken also brought snacks, he is such a gracious guest. Thanks also to Vera if she made the spinach dip? I am so sexist, but after the brownies how could I not assume she is the chef?

Thanks to Steve for bringing the AR preamp, the Raysonic CDP, HD full of music, cables, and his typically cheerful countenance.

Thanks to Carl for bringing the bag of 'warrs,' including the infamous "big yeller" 2M Analysis Plus digital IC (in yellow,) a staple at our G2Gs because of its special magic powers.

Thanks to Den and Kevin for driving in from Winston-Salem, it was great to meet you both. Den is originally from MA so we had that in common, and Kevin is a classical nut, so we enjoyed making the others squirm by playing Bach, Beethoven, Prokofiev.  I warned him that it would scare everyone away if we played Bach at his request, and within 5 minutes we were the only people left in the house! Literally!!  :rofl:   Fuck em we had a blast listening to Brandenburg 6 on original instruments, then Stravinsky Concerto for Chamber Orchestra (Dunbarton), Beethoven 6th, and finally Prokofiev Symphony 5. Finally we showed mercy on the infidels and signalled all clear with some rock. hahaha 

Den brought his Benchmark DAC, but somehow we did not have the presence of mind to play it. Sorry Den. I kept thinking about it and we talked about playing it at least 3 times, but it is too easy for me to get distracted as host. I hope you will bring it again and just break it out and hook it up. Then we can do a direct Altmann / Benchmark comparo which we are both eager to hear. Den brought some great music, especially a great swinging CD by Jane Monheit. I only heard her crooning previously, didn't know she can actually sing jazz. Very rare in these days of female "jazz stylists." Jane actually sounded like she was having fun and meant what she was singing. Which album is it Den?

I enjoyed hearing the combination of AR Ref 1 preamp with Manley Snappers with Grover's balanced cables again. It has been a year since I heard that combo, and it is still my favorite ever (in my house) for classical music, especially perfect for accurate tone, great dynamics, intense presence. This time with the Ushers and some acoustic treatment even more glory was available from this combo. If I had bought a Ref 1 a year ago instead of assorted hifi accessories adding up to the same, I would be way ahead of the game. But at the time, the idea of a $3000 preamp (used) was unthinkable. Now it seems like a bargain considering the listening enjoyment it brings.  Once Steve (internet deal hawk) finds a used Ref 3 then I might have a chance. ;)  The AR made comparing the sources easy and allowed each to strut its stuff without any impedance or gain problems so it wins my MVP award. "Component of the night."

I was amazed at how well the Altmann held up to these two world class digital sources. I was pleasantly surprised on a few occasions when I found out that the input I preferred was the Altmann. I guess I was biased by the beautiful casework and glorious tubes and abundance of internet acclaim that they have received, expecting Altmann and its opamp output to be trounced by the glowing triodes. It wasn't, but it wasn't perfect either. I enjoyed hearing the contrast to other great digital. The Raysonic was the most refined and tonally accurate, IMO. Best bass - detailed, controlled, well balanced, just right. It was also the most beautiful, like a sculpture. At night it is even more impressive with a light show that no other CDP can match!  The Modwright's sound was bolder in the bass thru midrange, more literal compared to the romantic suave of the Raysonic, it sounded more confident and ready to please from the first note. The improvement over the stock TP is incredible, and yet some of the sonic traits do remain, soundstaging is improved, but reminiscent of how I remember the TP I heard last year which was treated with BSC's stealth "cryo and more" treatment. Of course the TP has the advantage of being a one box network player with MANY features that straight CDP or DAC lacks, making it the overall winner from consumer perspective, and as the priciest of the three it should be the winner! The Altmann had slightly more opaque tone than Raysonic, hotter output signal than either tuber, and better spatial presentation than the big boys, but not black anodized case or blue light show. Now I wanna put some super output coupling caps on it to see if it can start to approach the high bar of the others, like the tonal refinement of Raysonic and the punchy confidence of Modwright. Congrats to you guys for making such great picks and thanks for sharing.

We listened to the LNPAs for a little while after most of the gang left (after the 9pm storm cleared.)  Compared to the Snapper we had been listening to all night the bass was more pronounced but also less resolved. The highs were not as subtle as the tube amps, but stronger, seeming more detailed. The new room treatments enhanced the treble energy in the room, so the LNPA was a little forward, but without the treatments is close to perfect, I spent plenty of nights listneing up close for hours. I thought that the Snappers werre a little much in the treble also. Acoustics are not a one day job. It will need a lot of tuning and changing to get right. The midrange is this amp's strongest attribute, and the one for which it has garnered some great reviews, like from Lynn Olsen. It gets the midrange right in a very impressive way, with bass and treble well balanced to support an overall very musical and satisfying sound. I love this amp. At home in regular day to day use I prefer it over the Snappers with the Minimax preamp. But with the AR preamp the Snappers were hard to beat last night. I have wanted to hear these amps for 2 years and finally got the chance. Thanks to Mike Galusha for lending them. Mike bought the very last pair. Had they been in production 3 months later I would have bought them too.

Sol's I30 has reached a high level of refinement and transparency. It was very satisfying listening. The imaging of this amp is incredible. It really gets the timing right, tempo, Prat, dancy feeling are very strong. Tone is sufficiently detailed for me to listen intently to string quartet, but I do tend to get carried away by the music with I30, which is what Sol wants to happen. I like to be on the fine edge of swept away OR study the details - my choice. So I-30 is a bit too involving and hypnotic.. hehe, just kidding... The music really does wash over you though, not the sound, the music. Very cool for a piece designed to a price! I awoke with a vision for a beautiful casework for I30. I-30 is getting closer to finished, which will be a great day for budget audiophiles. I would like to hear the formula 1, boutique audiophile parts version myself, but whenever we tried that on my projects against Sols advice, it is mostly a waste of money. Sol's parts selection is painstaking and experienced.

I made some diy acoustic treatments for this meet. They were simple wooden 1x4 frames glued and stapled together.  4x8 feet in size they were stuffed with 5" cotton bat from Sensible Sound Solutions. I chose to use kraft paper over them to prevent sucking out too much air, but that was too bright, so I will try plastic pallet wrap again, but it is so ugly I will have to cover with acoustic fabric. A couple comforters dulled the side panels for last night. Panels were placed front rear and both sides. All panels were up on extension legs to center them on the tweeter/mid since midrange reverb is my biggest problem. It worked good, the space was noticably more cozy and less ringy, but Den still heard some, and so did I. I tried to tell him how crazy it was before, but I don't think he believed me. hehe  The front panel had a homemade binary amplitude diffusion mask. It was drilled by hand with about 5000 holes over a 4 day period. That will never happen again. But the result was awesome. Image specificity, tonal detail, midrange ringing, even some bass control were added with it. It has 5" of cotton behind it, with a 8" airspace behind that, and centered between the front speakers. Best part, Julie thinks it looks cool, so I can add more. Oh my aching back from all that drilling!!  I think she only said more because she knew I would never do it again... I had a couple boxes of cotton bat left over after building these 4 panels so I stuck those into the front corners kitty corner, still in their cardboard shipping boxes. Awesome! The best bass traps I have ever heard! Enormous difference in bass clarity and power. Even bettering the GIK tritraps, Carl's 6" thick FG panels. They are 2 x 4 feet wide, and 20" thick!! My son thought it was too much bass, I told him "you will get used to it." With more panels added sides and rear it smoothed out and was well balanced and low distortion crystal clear through all bands. I still think it is a bit hot in the mid/treble due to the hyper clarity of the b.a.d. panel, but Steve convinced me that it sounds correct and said "you will get used to it." haha  Thanks to Bryan at Sensible Sound Solutions for advice and inspiration on the acoustics.  He sells the cotton too, which is a great abosorber. I will try OC703 FG for further treatments because it is easier than building wooden frames for the cotton, even though FG is not quite as good absorber and more expensive.

Next G2G I hope to have finished the acoustic treatments, which will be more numerous, better integrated and better sounding than this first diy try. Also I'm hoping to feature a demo of the H-Cat pre and power amps from H-Cat dealer Dennis Jeffers of Jeffers Electronics in King's Mountain, NC. Since Dennis is also the area Feastrex dealer I'll play my Feastrex single driver speakers with yet another new new box, based on planet10's Maiko design. Maybe we can have some world-class amps on hand from the society's personal collection to compare to H-Cat. Butler? Plinius? AR? Mac? Samet?

Nice pics steve, I will upload mine shortly.
Rich

Offline richidoo

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Re: G2G @ Rich's - 8/30
« Reply #38 on: August 31, 2008, 01:25:23 PM »
A super-system: Ready to satisfy and delight


Carlman's shot, one try, manual settings, with MY camera, no processing   Why don't my shots look like that? Coooool...... 8)


Carl puttin the voodoo on the slim networking driver, see him phasing in and out? Heavy stuff. The room smelled like violets afterward. Steve is ready to grab him in case the wormhole forms again.


DJ Bigfish Bustin a move and laying down the groove! See the modwright tubes?


I-30 integrated amp and Raysonic CDP - synergy!

« Last Edit: August 31, 2008, 01:27:20 PM by richidoo »

Offline richidoo

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Re: G2G @ Rich's - 8/30
« Reply #39 on: August 31, 2008, 02:23:10 PM »
Lost and found: a USB cable (standard > mini plug) near DJ Ken's setup, and Nextel Blackberry phone 625-5751. No voicemail activated so I don't know who's it is.

Bigfish8

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Re: G2G @ Rich's - 8/30
« Reply #40 on: August 31, 2008, 03:42:25 PM »
Lost and found: a USB cable (standard > mini plug) near DJ Ken's setup, and Nextel Blackberry phone 625-5751. No voicemail activated so I don't know who's it is.

Rich:

USB Standard Cable with Mini Plug is mine!

I will make arrangements to pick it up from you sometime soon!

Thanks,

Ken

Offline richidoo

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Re: G2G @ Rich's - 8/30
« Reply #41 on: August 31, 2008, 07:19:46 PM »
I'll mail it to you. Crackberry is found too. Happy ending!  :D

bacobits

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Re: G2G @ Rich's - 8/30
« Reply #42 on: August 31, 2008, 08:58:42 PM »
Holy sheet all I can say is, Rich you drilled all those holes by hand?
Whowee! You only need 4 more like it to match. It is actually pretty nice looking. My wife would never let me do that to our living room.

I'm not so sure on the synergy of the Ushers and the Snappers. There I said it. I wish I had more time to listen to the LNPAs which I though sounded pretty nice. Not long enough again.Would love to hearr Sol's 34 too. We were out of time. I have not listened to solid state in years. I have a friend at home that loves his Logans but won't spend what he needs to do for amplification. He's probably pissed at me but I don't like his big Logans. I bust his balls all the time. They just don't boogie. To be constructive and by no means to offend (please!) I thought the system lacked PRAT.
Am I nuts? I'm used to a much different sound here. I was playing here today and I couldn't sit still.
Maybe it was the Classical music which the system does very well but not so much on the stuff I mainly listen to.
Again, I don't mean to offend in any way. Maybe the Altmann is too smooth with the combo of the Ushers and the Manleys.
The system may be too sophisticated for me? I know what I like and we are ALL different. Oh, and, I am old and like the hands on silver discs and stinky vinyl too. I have not succumbed yet to server/ HD digital thingys.

If I was fortunate enough to be living with the system I would be messing with the amps. I don't think it was the room.
My philosophy is simple, and keep it simple as possible. It has been, if you like the speakers pursue the best synergistic match with the amps. If it is the amps that are dear pursue the speakers to match.
Of course you have to throw the Pre in there too. Maybe the Pre and Amps by the same manufacturer? Oh, the thrill of the hunt. Ahh, the $$ involved.

BTW the Monheit album is, "Taking a Chance on Love" good stuff.

Rich it was a blast and great to meet the people behind the handles.
Please don't take any comments personally in any way. What the hell do I know anyway? I like Benchmark.  :duh


D
« Last Edit: August 31, 2008, 09:07:16 PM by bacobits »

Offline Carlman

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Re: G2G @ Rich's - 8/30
« Reply #43 on: September 01, 2008, 06:34:19 AM »
...Just a quick note about what AN is really all about...
Den,
Just wanted to say thanks for posting what you really think.  That's really what this forum is about.  I'm not saying let's all go flame something but we all have opinions and I think we should be honest about them... I wouldn't take any offense if you said the same thing about my system... In fact, if I open up the flaws to discussion, I expect to hear some feedback... good or bad.
Now, back to the topic.....
I really enjoy listening to music.

Offline richidoo

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Re: G2G @ Rich's - 8/30
« Reply #44 on: September 01, 2008, 08:49:10 AM »
 :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:   OK, I'm fine now..

Thanks for your honest criticism, Den, same as what you said to me at the meet, with which I agreed. I attributed it to the acoustics which were the biggest change for me, but it is also the preamp.

The Snappers have personality but mostly they are very transparent and all tube preamps have a sound, (except SAS ;) )  A ss amp would have even more bass precision, but the Snappers have other advantages over most SS. The Snappers have been blamed over and over by me and everyone for almost every sin, but in the end it always ends up being something else, or old tubes, or noisy power, or whatever. I have learned to trust them to a degree, at least until I can rule out other causes. I have wanted to dump them many times, but no good reason to do it yet. They are redeemed at the last minute, like a cat with 9 lives.  Until something comes along that equals the lucid midrange and accurate tone and dynamics at the Snapper's price then I will stick with them. I know their foibles well now, so I can steer around it.

Last night I put my new Transcendent Sound Grounded Grid preamp in and it prats like crazy with Snapper. We were all dancing to the blues radio show.  I didn't use it in the meet because it stills sounds a little edgy to me. It has "adequate" parts which I will be upgrading before the next G2G. It has loads of prat and I think tone will improve with some parts mods.

The AR is a detailed but very smooth pre, maybe smooth on the bass attack too. Steve has no worries about bass attack, he has Butler amps and ACI subs and bass on his system is awesome. On my Legacy speakers the AR / Snapper combo worked well, but maybe it is not ideal for the Ushers. We'll do a pre comparo again sometime.
Rich