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A Suggestion for Next Year's MWAF

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  • A Suggestion for Next Year's MWAF

    The first year I attended the MWAF (2010) the organizers played tracks on a reference speaker before the contest began to give everyone a baseline to judge from. Whatever happened to this? I thought it was a great way to start the event. I know opinions vary greatly on what can be called a "reference", but what about playing a universally-lauded commercial speaker like the KEF LS50 before each category to give us, and the judges, something to go off of? I mention the LS50 because it's extremely well liked and the cheapest speaker I know of that has been awarded Stereophile Class A. Just a thought.
    Eric L.

  • #2
    That was done at DIY-NY and was a huge help.
    Kenny

    http://www.diy-ny.com/
    DIY NY/NJ 2014 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGwA...ature=youtu.be
    Man does not live by measurements alone, a little music helps.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by kenny_k View Post
      That was done at DIY-NY and was a huge help.
      Which speaker did they use as a reference?
      Eric L.

      Comment


      • #4
        The primary reason for having a competition like MWAF is simply to compare builders' speakers and decide which ones sound best. Rather than simply using a commercial speaker as a reference, which would not likely be acceptable to everyone as a good reference, why not rent out a large venue, like the theater used at DIY Iowa, and begin the competition by listening to a live symphony orchestra first?
        Paul

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        • #5
          Here are a few other ideas....
          MC Scott should wear his glasses,
          Keep the party moving by sharing the schedule or announcing who's up next,
          Time limit on speeches with a polite countdown e.g. "1 min Bill" etc..
          Use a SPL meter. RTA or remote did not seem to be working. Take the time to adjust.
          Better coordination on what audio input output format is required for open unlimited, e.g. all the spdif go first...

          I liked the idea of a reference speaker, but did get to listen to the tracks at home because they were published.
          John H

          Synergy Horn, SLS-85, BMR-3L, Mini-TL, BR-2, Titan OB, B452, Udique, Vultus, Latus1, Seriatim, Aperivox,Pencil Tower

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          • #6
            If time allowed it would be good to have someone take measurements of each entry, or at least the winners.

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            • #7
              FTR, I watched Brian setting the SPL every time. Whatever happened was in the source, not in the OmniMic IMO. It happened right after number 2 in the under $200 category. I think they had 2 different sources, one for white noise and one for demo tracks, and I think the demo source's volume was turned up.
              "The ability of any system to produce exceptional sound will be limited mainly by the capability of the speakers" Jim Salk
              "Audio is surely a journey full of revelations as you go" JasonP

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              • #8
                Originally posted by jhollander View Post
                Here are a few other ideas....
                MC Scott should wear his glasses,
                Keep the party moving by sharing the schedule or announcing who's up next,
                Time limit on speeches with a polite countdown e.g. "1 min Bill" etc..
                Use a SPL meter. RTA or remote did not seem to be working. Take the time to adjust.
                Better coordination on what audio input output format is required for open unlimited, e.g. all the spdif go first...

                I liked the idea of a reference speaker, but did get to listen to the tracks at home because they were published.
                All of this^ 100%
                "The ability of any system to produce exceptional sound will be limited mainly by the capability of the speakers" Jim Salk
                "Audio is surely a journey full of revelations as you go" JasonP

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jhollander
                  Here are a few other ideas.... MC Scott should wear his glasses, Keep the party moving by sharing the schedule or announcing who's up next, Time limit on speeches with a polite countdown e.g. "1 min Bill" etc.. Use a SPL meter. RTA or remote did not seem to be working. Take the time to adjust. Better coordination on what audio input output format is required for open unlimited, e.g. all the spdif go first... I liked the idea of a reference speaker, but did get to listen to the tracks at home because they were published.
                  Agreed on all the above. I had an amazing time but there are some great opportunities for improvement. It would be nice if there was a running list on the wall of who had gone, their name, speaker name and number, not having this info handy made doing a listener ballot much more difficult. One particular builder speech went on forever and got a little ridiculous, it was entertaining but the situation did seem a little out of hand. Source material should be very closely controlled and verified, clipping audio to demo speakers is just insane. If the source material is bad then there is absolutely money to judge any reference standard. I'd love an opportunity to actually hear many of the speakers too, not sure how that can be improved other than doing it in a hotel like other events. Thanks, Javad
                  --
                  Javad Shadzi
                  Bay Area, CA

                  2-Channel Stereo system in the works with Adcom components and 4-way towers

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Paul K. View Post
                    The primary reason for having a competition like MWAF is simply to compare builders' speakers and decide which ones sound best. Rather than simply using a commercial speaker as a reference, which would not likely be acceptable to everyone as a good reference, why not rent out a large venue, like the theater used at DIY Iowa, and begin the competition by listening to a live symphony orchestra first?
                    Paul
                    The speaker was a 2-way design by Roman (r-carpenter) and it was used to introduce the material to the attendees, not to be used as a standard for comparison.
                    Kenny

                    http://www.diy-ny.com/
                    DIY NY/NJ 2014 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGwA...ature=youtu.be
                    Man does not live by measurements alone, a little music helps.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      At MWAF, it was a set of Dr. K's, designed by Darren Kuzma, but they stopped that process.

                      Personally, I think the reference before is now the first pair that is presented, as all else are judged from that one as a baseline.

                      My suggestions-

                      Read off the winners 3-2-1, not 1-2-3.
                      -Speech time limit should be enforced. I agree with that.
                      -All speakers should be held to the same setup locations.
                      -All designs should be stand-alone and not somehow incorporate the room or it's structures.
                      -All Unlimited classes should be held to a certain set of criteria to shorten time between entries. IE- use Neutrik Speakons for fast hookup, and have all source format styles compete in a string as suggested earlier. If this is to keep growing as a class, the time frames need to be shortened. Most of the contestants in past years have made an effort to shorten the time due to pre-assembled crates or rigs. We didn't really have that this year.
                      -Enforce banana-plug usage for all other pairs and designs.

                      Later,
                      Wolf
                      "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
                      "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
                      "He is a true ambassador for this forum and speaker DIY in general." -Ed Froste
                      "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

                      *InDIYana event website*

                      Photobucket pages:
                      http://photobucket.com/Wolf-Speakers_and_more

                      My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:
                      http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=4102

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                      • #12
                        If all are judged using the first pair as a baseline, it makes sense that the first pair are not included in the judging, does it not? I find it intriguing that they do not set the baseline with a non-competing design. Perhaps they could ask last years winners to use their design as the current years baseline. It would also help to periodically refresh the judges by re-playing the reference design.

                        Has anyone ever plotted a speakers finish in the competition with their time slot? That would be interesting data to possess.

                        It is my $0.03 that if MWAF gets any bigger, concurrent events would probably best suit things. Hire another hall to do the unlimited, for example.
                        Don't listen to me - I have not sold any $150,000 speakers.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          What happened to the streaming video of the event? i watched parts of the 2014 over and over again... Some people just can't make it there in person every year...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The first speaker never gets credit because it is the gauge to rate all others. So, it maybe fair to use a non-competing speaker. A better idea is to use a terrible speaker. The rest will sound so much better. 👍
                            Kenny

                            http://www.diy-ny.com/
                            DIY NY/NJ 2014 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGwA...ature=youtu.be
                            Man does not live by measurements alone, a little music helps.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by johnnyrichards View Post
                              If all are judged using the first pair as a baseline, it makes sense that the first pair are not included in the judging, does it not? I find it intriguing that they do not set the baseline with a non-competing design. Perhaps they could ask last years winners to use their design as the current years baseline. It would also help to periodically refresh the judges by re-playing the reference design.

                              Has anyone ever plotted a speakers finish in the competition with their time slot? That would be interesting data to possess.

                              It is my $0.03 that if MWAF gets any bigger, concurrent events would probably best suit things. Hire another hall to do the unlimited, for example.
                              I can agree with that somewhat JR. The year I attended, 2014, I went last in the Dayton class and then first in the over $200, back to back. I do wonder if that may have created a bit of a bias. Two very different speakers, too very different voicings. I did not place in the top 3 for the Dayton class, though I did take 3rd in the over $200. Strangely to me I was scored the same on both for originality even though one was a simple black box and the other, a 10" pvc enclosure....
                              https://www.facebook.com/Mosaic-Audi...7373763888294/

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