Author Topic: Quad-Fest!! G2G Rich's May 17th  (Read 21979 times)

Offline richidoo

  • Out Of My Speaker Cabinet
  • ******
  • Posts: 11136
Re: Quad-Fest!! G2G Rich's May 17th
« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2008, 06:01:21 AM »
... and me too....   My first amp was Cary, and I loved it very much. If it had 200wpc I would still own it.  Wow, the Cary will be great to hear, and knowing Brandon it will be the bomb version....  Very exciting!

I don't know yet about coming early. We have 2 baseball games, a ballet recital, a pro ballet concert, baseball team photographs, babysitting a neighbor's kid, etc.etc... It is that proverbial "Day from Hell" except that it is full of incredibly great things. :)  I think  may be late to my own party!  I'll scope it out and let you know later today. I would like to do it if I can work it out.

I wanted to keep it simple this time, but as you rightfully noted, another dizzying array of gear is upon us. I guess we will have to suffer through it. It will be tough.....    :D

I decided to keep the room oriented as it is now, because it just sounds better, and I don;t have time to move the room and tweak the speakers again. Seating arrangements will be more difficult, but I think we can manage. Quads don't have to be EIGHT feet from the wall, maybe only 6.... haha  I gotta stretch them out good today for a good warm up.

Have a nice day everybody!
Rich

Offline Inscrutable

  • Certifiable
  • ***
  • Posts: 147
Re: Quad-Fest!! G2G Rich's May 17th
« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2008, 05:11:25 PM »
I am crushed. Shirl informs me we have friends coming in from out of town and staying over, so I am housebound after about 4 or 5 tomorrow until Sunday morning.  I would still be glad to drop off the Plinius if we can find a time you are home Rich, and maybe if the Quads are still present I can hear them when I pick it up. If not, I will rely on the golden ears report  :)

I love these guys, but their timing really sucks  :(

Offline stereofool

  • Obsessively Audiophilic
  • ****
  • Posts: 453
Re: Quad-Fest!! G2G Rich's May 17th
« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2008, 05:50:24 PM »
SHOOT! We will miss you, Tim!!!
Steve
Have you ever noticed.... Anyone going slower than you is an idiot...and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?

Offline richidoo

  • Out Of My Speaker Cabinet
  • ******
  • Posts: 11136
Re: Quad-Fest!! G2G Rich's May 17th
« Reply #33 on: May 16, 2008, 07:59:13 PM »
Damn, that's too bad... We'll miss you Tim!

I own the Quads, so they will be staying for a while. Come over whenever you can, listen in peace and quiet. I'm here most of the time, so just drop me a line when you have a spare couple hours for a proper audition!  I only have from 8-10:30 tomorrow morning to meet you so it will be tough to do a handoff, but I'm game if you are- I'll be in the garage trying to finish these speakers..... I really look forward to hearing it with Quads too, so lets plan to get together soon.
Rich

Offline Carlman

  • Audio Neurotic
  • *****
  • Posts: 3037
Re: Quad-Fest!! G2G Rich's May 17th
« Reply #34 on: May 17, 2008, 06:38:49 AM »
Today seems to be the busiest day of the year for some reason.  It's as if everyone I know is doing about 5-10 things today.  I plan to co-host the first part of this event.  I'll get there a little early and help setup and such.  I have to leave a bit early because I have evening-plans.  Looking forward to comparing my preamp to Brandon's... especially on the Quads.. .should be fun. 
See you all later!
-Carl
I really enjoy listening to music.

lonewolfny42

  • Guest
Re: Quad-Fest!! G2G Rich's May 17th
« Reply #35 on: May 17, 2008, 08:36:47 PM »
Hey....You Stereo Nut Boys... :rofl:  :rofl:  :rofl:
Don't forget the photo's.....hope it was a fun meeting...

Offline stereofool

  • Obsessively Audiophilic
  • ****
  • Posts: 453
Re: Quad-Fest!! G2G Rich's May 17th
« Reply #36 on: May 17, 2008, 10:02:11 PM »
Rich,

Once again...of the many times...thank you for your wonderful hospitality!!!

My eyelids are about to slam shut...I'll try to get a few pics up later today, as well as some thoughts.
Steve
Have you ever noticed.... Anyone going slower than you is an idiot...and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?

Offline Carlman

  • Audio Neurotic
  • *****
  • Posts: 3037
Re: Quad-Fest!! G2G Rich's May 17th
« Reply #37 on: May 18, 2008, 06:19:31 AM »
I was only there a short time and was very absorbed in comparing the Cary SLP-05? to my Mac C220.  The Cary is incredible... It amazed me how lifelike the vocals were without sacrificing any of the goodies I hear with the Mac.  If I had unlimited money, this would be the pre to get.  I'd also need Bill's EE phono pre to go with it....  Unless the Cary has a phono pre and I missed it..  So, the total cost to upgrade is prohibitive at this time.. but man I want it!
I thoroughly enjoyed listening on the Quads. I can get so sucked into that sound....

Thank you so much for bringing it, Brandon.. and thanks to Rich as always for doing such a great job hosting.  The boigahs were deeevine!  I tried to help but I had to leave a bit early.  It was a treat to see and talk to Rich, Nick, Steve, Chris, Mike, Sol, Brandon, and Shane.  (did I miss anyone?)
I'm counting on Steve for photos..

Can't wait to hear how things went after I left.. :)

-Carl
I really enjoy listening to music.

Offline mdconnelly

  • Audio Neurotic
  • *****
  • Posts: 1366
  • new ways to dream...
Re: Quad-Fest!! G2G Rich's May 17th
« Reply #38 on: May 18, 2008, 06:20:28 AM »
Thanks, Rich!   Great time, great sounds!    Those Quads sounded great, but I was amazed at how different they sounded when driven by your Snappers vs Carl's Mac 402.  

Offline Carlman

  • Audio Neurotic
  • *****
  • Posts: 3037
Re: Quad-Fest!! G2G Rich's May 17th
« Reply #39 on: May 18, 2008, 06:32:50 AM »
Thanks, Rich!   Great time, great sounds!    Those Quads sounded great, but I was amazed at how different they sounded when driven by your Snappers vs Carl's Mac 402.  
Really?  Did the Snapper liven them up?  I didn't get to hear... :(
It's OK, I can take it. ;)
I really enjoy listening to music.

Offline mdconnelly

  • Audio Neurotic
  • *****
  • Posts: 1366
  • new ways to dream...
Re: Quad-Fest!! G2G Rich's May 17th
« Reply #40 on: May 18, 2008, 07:24:56 AM »
Thanks, Rich!   Great time, great sounds!    Those Quads sounded great, but I was amazed at how different they sounded when driven by your Snappers vs Carl's Mac 402.  
Really?  Did the Snapper liven them up?  I didn't get to hear... :(
It's OK, I can take it. ;)
I left shortly after the Snappers were put into play, so I'll let others elaborate in more detail, but I can see why Rich likes the Quads with his Snappers in the near field.   For me, the Mac & Quads were a bit too bright/edgy up close.   The Snappers, while perhaps more rounded, were more musical and engaging.     Since I left while these were still warming up, I'd like to hear what others think as well.

Offline richidoo

  • Out Of My Speaker Cabinet
  • ******
  • Posts: 11136
Re: Quad-Fest!! G2G Rich's May 17th
« Reply #41 on: May 18, 2008, 08:39:34 AM »
Thanks to everybody who came. It is nice to have so many new friends because of this hobby. Thanks for the donations for the chow.

Brandon (Hantra), Sol, and I survived to the end, which went to almost 11! A nice long party, great for me since I don't have to drive home! Thanks for staying late guys, it was fun. The ending system was the Quads with Snappers, Cary SLP-05 (SLP=Sweet Little Preamp, sweet yes, little no), SB3>Altmann DAC with RCA brand digicable, GroverS graphite ICs from DAC to pre, pro audio, balanced, quad shield mic cables from pre to Snappers, JPS SC3 speaker cable, Black Sands power cables, all stock tubes. Equitech provided balanced power sourced from a shared 15A circuit via Black Sands STatement PC, with Silver Ref 5's branching out to the hungry appliances. The Mac C220 used GroverS graphites in and out. The MC402 didn't seem to care whether SE or balanced inputs, but the preamps did, the Cary like Balanced out and the Mac liked SE.

I felt that the Snappers provided more detail in the spatial area. But Shane thought the Mac was tonaly more detailed. It is more in control, more assured, "quieter" peaceful and confident even on raucous music and if you listen for any detail, it is always there. So he may be right. The Snappers seem to breath more life in the the music, are not as "quiet", they are definitely there, but we couldn't identify any specific audiophile characteristic by which they are offending. Brandon suggested the sibilants are a little too "SS'y" sometimes. Those same frequencies are the same by which the Snapper shocks and awes on the high notes of organ music. I wanna understand what you guys mean by "rounded."

I thought the Snappers sounded "louder," and had more bass than the Mac on first comparison, but we didn't switch back to double check. People mentioned to me that they liked the Snappers after we swapped them in after the Mac. I don't think they are the ultimate, but they do tubey things, are pretty powerful and their problems are small considering the price. For the kind of music I like, blue note hard bop, classical choral, organ, symphonic, chamber and solo they give the tonal and spatial details that satisfy me, without too much "excitement" factor to distract. But there is a little bit of excitement factor that is not present in higher caliber amps like AR. I will  have a chance to here another EL34 100W tube amp on the Quads soon, Music Reference RM-9, recently restored and tubed by Roger Mojeski. That should be fun to see if it is as present, but tamer. The RM-200 is around the same price as Snappers but KT88s tubes are more my cup of tea.

We listened to the Korato on the Quads, with the Mac C220 preamp which sounds better than Cary on SE output, still with RCA tubes, groverS graphite ICs, balanced Equitech power, with Black Sands Silver Ref 5. It was improved since last time, a little more body, and quieter, darker background. Playing on the quads with 79dB sensitivity the tone still gets a little shrill on dynamic peaks which demand more power. Playing it on my far easier load and more veiled Legacys I thought  it sounded OK, the improvement was obvious to me and Sol who have been working on it and noting the gradual improvements in before and after comparisons, but still not what we had hoped. I'm sending it back to Bryan so he can see about further investigation by someone intimately familiar with the DNA. It never reached the smooth satisfying powerful sound that I heard it make at RMAF with ACI Sapphire XL, so I can only think that there is still an errant part in there or something. I really look forward to hearing it again in good health at BSP Audio's next show exhibit. Thanks for the loaner Bryan! Sorry it was such a weird ordeal. But you got our honesty and best effort!
EDIT: We finally figured out why it sounded harsh at both meets, goto this post:
http://www.audionervosa.com/index.php?topic=950.msg9457#msg9457

The Cary was fun. It allowed more detail to come through beyond what I am used to with the minimax. It was more delicate, more dynamic, had deeper bass, although the bass was not as tight and controlled. The overall tone was noticably richer than minimax with my current tube selection which is pretty balanced and clear. We did not do an AB comparison on the minimax and the Cary. Actually we only listened to the minimax at the beginning of the meet before the Cary took over for direct comparison to Carls C220.  Later in the evening Brandon played some really great recordings from his USB drive, pugged into the back of the the ReadyNAS. One, and organ recording, on Dorian record label, was very well recorded, with minimal distortion from huge marble walls typical of organ music. The tonal detail was stunning, the dynamics and power of the low end were intoxicating. With the Cary preamp, the bass region really came alive to allow full appreciation of this recording. It also made me realize, once again, that when you upgrade one part to state of the art quality, you will not get maximum potential until all the other supporting components come up to that level also. That was really obvious with the Ushers, which demanded the best. The Quads are a little more forgiving in some ways, they don't need as much power, but are just as sensitive to EQ and noise isues coming from upstream. The Cary also reminded me of how great the Snappers play in balanced mode. They are a fully balanced tube amp, so the single ended input is conjured. I need to go balanced upstream. The last time the system sounded this good was when Stereofool brought his AR Ref 1, with Grover white balanced ICs, and playing miklorsmith's Altmann DAC. That meet inspired me to upgrade SCs, ICs, PCs and source, which are now done, along with a good preamp. But this little reminder about how great the snappers are in balanced is a great inspiration to kick it up a notch.

Some midrange nasties were noticeable in the room, but the bass was well behaved, for the most part, with no room treatment at all. It would probably be a lot better with.... next time - after I decide where the Quads will go. I am trying them upstairs in a smaller room next.

Sol Samet bought 2 of his amps. The I-30 has been a favorite at the meets. This time a recent cap upgrade was a step backward. His I-60 had new output devices and associated circuit tweeks to allow them. I thought it was a big improvement. It was swapped in right after a blissfully inspiring extended listen to Cary>Snapper and it was not hard to switch at all. Sol had designed an experiment that he tried on Brandon and I. We listened to it for a couple minutes, then Sol snipped a couple of grounding wires in some part of the circuit and we compared. It was a nice improvement. This result confirmed an idea Sol has about something about inductance on the emitter blablablaijustnodpretendingnottofeeldumb. His original prototype of this amp circuit is a blob ratsnext of parts soldered together in midair, with output transistors screwed down to a huge heatsink. Strictly for testing on the bench and crude listening. For the finished I-60, some compromises for layout were needed, one of which lengthened a lead 5 times longer than on the blob prototype. Sol now plans to redo the boards in the amp to shorten this ground wire and make the improvement even better than after the 'snip'  Reading about how important circuit layout is to an amp's sound is academic until you here what it can really do. Thanks Sol!

Thanks to everyone who came and especially to those who lugged over gear.
Rich
« Last Edit: May 19, 2008, 07:03:18 PM by richidoo »

Offline mdconnelly

  • Audio Neurotic
  • *****
  • Posts: 1366
  • new ways to dream...
Re: Quad-Fest!! G2G Rich's May 17th
« Reply #42 on: May 18, 2008, 09:02:56 AM »
Rich, Great writeup!

I agree with your assessment of the Snappers vs the Mac with the Quads.   'Rounded' may not be the right word, but IMO, the detailed and occasional edginess with the Mac was replaced by a more musically engaging presence with the Snappers... maybe that's what you mean by 'breath more life in the music'.    I wish I could have stayed longer to listen to it further.


Hantra

  • Guest
Re: Quad-Fest!! G2G Rich's May 17th
« Reply #43 on: May 18, 2008, 11:11:10 AM »
Yay!  I finally had a chance to get to another meet at Rich's.  As always Rich is a gracious host, and the food was excellent once again. 

The Quads are nice.  Quad 989's were in one of the top 5 systems I have ever heard, so I was looking forward to hearing the replacement.  I can't say I enjoyed these as much as the other ones, but the other ones were being pushed by $200,000 (late nineties dollars) worth of gear, so it's anyone's guess.

These did do the ultra luxurious midrange thing, which was nice.  To my ears they were slightly compressed at the top.  This comes off as a slight edge, but after living with some speakers that will play 60kHz, I have to think it's a compression thing.  The speakers are getting the info up there, but they aren't able to play it, and it's a bit of a nasty thing.  It didn't offend, but it didn't sound natural either. 

I really like those little Snapper monos, but after seeing the meters on the McIntosh dancing between 40 and 400 constantly, I was scared for the little boogers.   :rofl:  I confess.  I am a power whore.  While there was more tube goodness, and a more forward soundstage with the Manley, they also had a bit of a nasally (stealing Sol's word) presentation.     

This was the first time I have listened to the Cary SLP-05 in the 6 months I've owned it.  It just sits in its box with all my other gear, crying out from neglect.  For the past year, I've been listening to a Sony AV-S500-ES, a Squeezebox, and a pair of Aliante Pininfarina Stile monitors in the living room.  It was great to hear a real system again, and it may even inspire me to threaten my electrician to get my freaking new room wired.   :drool:

I will say I missed the Eighth Nerve treatments, even though I liked the new layout of Rich's listening room.  Overall the Quads were quite an improvement over the Legacy speakers I heard last time at Rich's.  I think he's getting closer to what he's looking for with speakers, but not quite there yet with these things. 

Once again thanks Rich.  It was nice seeing everyone, and maybe one day when I finish my room, we can do it here.   :(

Offline stereofool

  • Obsessively Audiophilic
  • ****
  • Posts: 453
Re: Quad-Fest!! G2G Rich's May 17th
« Reply #44 on: May 18, 2008, 11:32:27 AM »
Here are some pics...

Rich...our illustrious host  :)!


Carl...doing his micro-setup


Mike, Chris, Nick & Rich


Nick, Rich & Brandon


Mike & Sol


The main reason we were there...

The electronics package...or at least some of it


Brandon's Cary SLP-05




One of the Quads
« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 11:39:03 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?