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  • #46
    Re: AXPONA 2013 in Chicago - who's going?

    Originally posted by mattsk8 View Post

    It was cool to finally meet a couple of you guys too, and I did actually have that beer w/ Bryan :D. Now I can't wait for InDIYana! It was also cool to meet Jim Salk, hear some of his speakers and see his veneer work.


    I think the highlight for my son and I was the MBL room. No idea how those work, and they look fantastic and sound incredible! If I ever win the lotto I think a MBL system would be right up my alley ($270k for the one at the show).

    Like I said, tons of fun and it was cool to finally meet Bryan and Joe; plus good to meet up w/ the Meniscus guys and Marvin (sorry for ditching you btw Marvin, had to go find my son). I was a little disappointed that the music selection contained way too much jazz; if I heard one more mellow jazz tune I think was going to freak :eek:.
    No problem Matt, it was fun to wander with you while we could. I do wonder how you like Salk's SS8's?
    Joe? Did you mean Paul (Carmody)?

    I spoke with one of the women in the MBL room--her description of the drivers: One end of the sphere is anchored, the other is attached to the voice coil which forces the sphere to expand / contract like a balloon when signal is passed through it. Clever, but don't think it can justify the price. You must be able to charge something for artistic value

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    • #47
      Re: AXPONA 2013 in Chicago - who's going?

      Originally posted by bkeane1259 View Post
      All SB Acoustics drivers there, SB29/SB17 and SB18/SB26 combos.


      These sounded pretty good, but I have no clue who makes them. Rear-firing tweet, OB mid and I believe the rear of the cabinet was loaded with PRs.
      EDIT: Just realized these are the Wilson Audio Sashas -- $26k !!
      To me- those look like Genesis models. Wilson doesn't use that ribbon/planar.



      Jim Salk: SalkSound
      That veneer job is one of the best I've ever seen, and Jim said it's over 40 pieces of veneer per cabinet. I'd take those home in a heartbeat!
      Wavecore/Accuton/RAAL.

      That looks more like an original Jordan driver than a Mark Audio, which are the old roots of MA in a nutshell.

      Soundfield Audio - I believe all these drivers were sourced from PE.

      That planar used as a mid is a CSS horn loaded model that you just saw Paul O'Neal and Petey whip together with an Eminence woofer.

      Cool looking speakers, but can't remember anything about them.

      Those are advertised in mags all over the place and made by ELAC. I'd like to hear them...

      Joseph Audio:
      Filled in some gaps for ya...
      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

      Comment


      • #48
        Re: AXPONA 2013 in Chicago - who's going?

        Originally posted by marvin View Post
        No problem Matt, it was fun to wander with you while we could. I do wonder how you like Salk's SS8's?
        Joe? Did you mean Paul (Carmody)?

        I spoke with one of the women in the MBL room--her description of the drivers: One end of the sphere is anchored, the other is attached to the voice coil which forces the sphere to expand / contract like a balloon when signal is passed through it. Clever, but don't think it can justify the price. You must be able to charge something for artistic value
        I did mean Paul :p, sorry Paul. I kinda feel like a weeny :o

        As far as Salk's SS8's, I thought the mids and highs were great, not too bright like we were talking about earlier; but they were a little lacking in the low end IMO. I didn't get to spend much time listening though; I was more caught up in talking w/ Jim Salk, listening to how he got started and his stories of how he went down to the store asking about how to do veneer work and what not compared to where he is now. He's a pretty cool guy, not condescending and real down to earth. I thought all 3 of the speakers he brought sounded great (the SS8s, the Super Charged Song Towers, and the bookshelf ones). The guy was all over the place that was running which pair were playing and I had to listen a bit to know what one was playing. Obviously the bookshelf speaker lacked the bass of the biggest one of the 3 (the SS8), but I was surprised at how well it heald it's own in comparison. I wish it wasn't so crowded, I really wanted to sit and listen and play in Salk's room the most. I didn't get much chance to listen to his super charged song towers either because of the crowd, but it was still cool to get a chance to talk so much w/ Jim.

        To answer the question asked earlier about the CBT arrays, I did end up sitting in there a while (thanks to my son's bathroom break). I heard both the cheaper, taller version; and the shorter more expensive version (I think those come assembled and finished and run around $8k?). The shorter ones did have more bass than the taller ones and a little bigger soundstage. The taller red ones had a great soundstage as well, just not as big as the shorter pair; but I was disappointed in the bass (they definitely need a sub). Part of my lack of enthusiasm might be related to wondering where in the world my son went for over a half hour which meant I couldn't leave the room till he got back (so take this w/ a grain of salt), but he played one song on those that made me want to scream and jump out of my skin. I don't remember the artist, maybe Adele? But it was super slow, jazzy and she was singing something about midnight. I almost got up and ran out of the room.

        Once again, nice write up Bryan! You pretty much nailed my thoughts on all of it. I will say I was very suprised at how good those little Joseph Audio speakers sounded for their size. I thought they had a sub running w/ them but it was just them playing. I tried to ask the guy in the room about the speakers, but he told me the display was about the DAC, not the speakers. Maybe the speakers were garbage and they only sounded good because of the DAC :rolleyes:.

        BTW Bryan (or Paul or Marvin), did any of you get a chance to listen to the Linn Audio speakers? What did you think? Maybe it was the room, but IMO they were way too bright. I will say the Linn demo guy did let me listen to DSOM and I chose Money, so at least it wasn't another slow jazz tune :eek:!

        One thing this did for me is gave me a bigger appreciation for this and other DIY speaker building sites. None of the DIY speakers would've been possible for me if it weren't for you guys helping me get started, and for that I would like to say a HUGE thanks!!!! The past few or more years have been a riot. As soon as I got home I threw Fleetwood Mac in the player and listened to Gold Dust Woman. I was a little nervous right before it played because I just got done listening to the best of the best, but after listening to some $500k systems, I love my ER18s even more :D. I'm not saying they sound better than everything, but they still sound amazing to me; even after that!
        "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


        • #49
          Re: AXPONA 2013 in Chicago - who's going?

          Originally posted by bkeane1259 View Post
          I'd like to meet TAD someday as well, even though we won't do biz either.

          Here's an amplifier with a toroid the size of an ATV tire. The manufacturer escapes me, but Ryan (Vapor Audio) also had one of these in his room. In addition to the massive power supply, this amp does not have huge caps, rather it has many rows of smaller caps. Interesting design and superb craftsmanship. I actually was expecting them to cost more than $8k.

          That would be BMC. Read the stereophile review, it'll explain the topology and it is not the usual method of amplification.

          Could also be that all of the midbasses are 15W Revelators....
          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

          Comment


          • #50
            Re: AXPONA 2013 in Chicago - who's going?

            How did AJ's latest creations fare? It is a pity that he can't use the KEF concentric driver any more. The Soundfield Audio Monitor Ones were very good little speakers.

            Originally posted by mikejennens View Post
            WOW!!! A quarter of a million dollars for a speaker system!!!???
            I kind of understand the prices of speakers like the TADs, because basically everything down to the driver diaphragms is bespoke and one can't deny that the engineering behind them is elite. Ditto the mbls, even though every time I've heard them (going back to ca. 1999, when they had a setup on display at KaDeWe in Berlin, and most recently at AXPONA a couple years ago) they've reminded me of nothing so much as uglier Bose 901s.

            Such devices are the speaker equivalent of the new Master Ultra Thin Perpetual that JLC recently invited current owners to buy, or those beautiful Cartier rimless eyeglasses with blued buffalo horn temples. Clearly luxury and carrying a price premium because of that, but there's also something there.

            But the typical plop-OEM-drivers-in-a-nicely-finished-box for the same or even more money? I wonder if any of them (aside from the brands with truly superior marketing, such as Wilson) actually sell any speakers. Especially since someone like Salk is doing the same basic thing and pricing the speakers very fairly. True, Salk's drive-unit pairings would be much improved with even rudimentary attention to maintaining consistent midrange directivity, but it's hard to deny the aesthetic appeal of a finish like that beautiful veneer above, or this "smokey silver guitar finish":


            Man I wish I had seen this pic like 5 weeks earlier, so I could have shown it to my cabinet-maker.


            Originally posted by bkeane1259 View Post


            Volti Audio Alura

            These were a pleasant surprise. Definitely NOT honky and NOT sounding like a horn system. The high end was actually silky and the bass was nice and deep but not boomy. Not sure if the corner-loading had anything to do with the perceived FR, but it was nice to my ears. No WAF here though.
            Hmm, I wonder if that tweeter waveguide is an OEM part. It looks awfully similar to the one Procella uses.

            --
            "Based on my library and laboratory research, I have concluded, as have others, that the best measures of speaker quality are frequency response and dispersion pattern. I have not found any credible research showing that most of the differences we hear among loudspeakers cannot be explained by examining these two variables." -Alvin Foster, 22 BAS Speaker 2 (May, 1999)

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            • #51
              Re: AXPONA 2013 in Chicago - who's going?

              It was a very cool show! I was truly blown away that there are this many audiophiles in the Chicagoland area. I had no idea.

              It was quite a treat to get to hear so many 4, 5, and 6-figure speaker systems in one place. However, as the other guys may have alluded to, once you really understand speaker design, the whole thing is kinda demystified. There's not really much going on there that DIYers can't do (or aren't already doing). With that said, I did find lots of inspiration while wandering between the rooms, looking at the various designs and implementations.

              A few of the surprises for me during the show:

              +Monitor Audio... there was I think the Silver series TMWW playing. They sounded very, very good; and I found it kind of ironic because they were small and unassuming, and MA isn't exactly the Creme de la Creme of the Audiophile world.
              +Also surprisingly good was a pair of bookshelf speakers from Peachtree (D5, I think). After doing additional investigation, however, I wonder if they purposely set up the room to maximize room modes.
              +I dropped in AJinFLA's room, and hung out for a while (he says to tell you guys, "Hi, from prison."). His little 3-ways sounded great; he had some clever stuff going on there, with a super-tweeter in front, and a rear-firing tweeter, but the fact was that it just plain sounded good. Imaging was tight, and the soundstage was solid.
              +Sonic Hemisphere, a brand-new upstart from Palatine, IL... literally in my backyard, for that matter, my front yard. I only got to hear his 2-ways using the Seas woven Poly cone + 27TBFC, but they sounded great. I wish the guy best of luck.
              +Seaton Sound. Holy crap, Mark may have had the loudest room there! Good stuff, though. Even though he's got enough headroom for a large dance hall in there, the system still sounded balanced, and could actually portray some nuance and detail in the music.
              +I only hung out in Selah's room for a few minutes, but I got to listen to Rick's bookshelf 3-ways. As usual, Rick nailed them. I asked Rick to play some pop music through them, and for the first and only time of the day, someone played pop music. Top-40 tunes with squashed dynamic range and all. And to my pleasant surprise, his speakers played them well, without wearing my ears out.
              +I did not get to hang out in Salk's room, because it was so crowded. But that's a good thing for Jim! Besides, I've heard these things before, let the people with real money get to hear it.
              +My last stop of the day was Ryan + Pete's Vapor audio. The Cirrus were playing, and they were solid (in many ways). Great integration between mid and tweeter, and the RAAL captured every nuance. Hope these guys can come to InDIYana.

              The rest of my general thoughts:
              I've heard my lifetime quota of female jazz vocalists with upright bass.
              Probably only 1/3 of the rooms were playing songs with drums. I found this especially difficult to evaluate a set of speakers--which was probably exactly why they were doing it.

              Thanks, Bryan, for all the photos and thoughts. I felt myself nodding in agreement to most of what you said. Funny, I took a lot of the same pictures with my phone (fire hose speaker cable makes me laugh every time). And that massive chrome turntable is imposing in a way that a photograph just can't capture.
              Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

              Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
              Twitter: @undefinition1

              Comment


              • #52
                Re: AXPONA 2013 in Chicago - who's going?

                These are made by MAD (my audio design) out england, said they make their own drivers, use a cloth surround on woofer and tweeter
                Click image for larger version

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                Tweeter looked like SBA to me though
                David

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                • #53
                  Re: AXPONA 2013 in Chicago - who's going?

                  I've seen those tweeter waveguides/horns before somewhere...will have to search them out.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Re: AXPONA 2013 in Chicago - who's going?

                    Originally posted by Pallas View Post
                    But the typical plop-OEM-drivers-in-a-nicely-finished-box for the same or even more money? I wonder if any of them (aside from the brands with truly superior marketing, such as Wilson) actually sell any speakers.
                    As much as I hate to defend Wilson, but their drivers are made specifically for them or modified at Wilson...I've seen this first hand.
                    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

                    http://www.diy-ny.com/

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      Re: AXPONA 2013 in Chicago - who's going?

                      Originally posted by winslow View Post
                      I've seen those tweeter waveguides/horns before somewhere...will have to search them out.
                      http://www.usspeaker.com/horns1.htm#Faital%20Pro
                      "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

                      http://www.diy-ny.com/

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        Re: AXPONA 2013 in Chicago - who's going?

                        did anyone go the the seminar:
                        Discussions on What Attracted Us and How To Attract A
                        Younger Audience For The Future

                        Missed it, but was wondering what the thinking was?
                        Don't know about anyone else, though it's nice to see the megabuck systems, the one that was the most enticing was the small bookshelf KEF's, sounded really good for their size, they were affordable and they had a person that had the knowledge and was a really good sales person, seamed a lot of people were interested in purchasing them as opposed to just the bling WOW factor. they use the trickle down theory from the Blades to good effect.
                        David

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                        • #57
                          Re: AXPONA 2013 in Chicago - who's going?

                          That was the first thing that popped into my head when I saw them.

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Re: AXPONA 2013 in Chicago - who's going?

                            Originally posted by bkeane1259 View Post
                            If Pete or Ryan sees this post, would you mind elaborating on the SET monoblocks you have in this picture?
                            Craig

                            The lowest possible F3 box alignment is not always the best alignment.

                            Designing and building speaker projects are like playing with adult Lego Blocks for me.

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                            • #59
                              Re: AXPONA 2013 in Chicago - who's going?

                              Yeah Paul. That stuff can be nice from time to time but if I can listen to my music on a set of speakers I guess I'll just change or EQ the speakers till I'm happy since regardless of how bad they murder it in mastering I buy/build speakers to listen to my music, not buy music to give my speakers something to do.

                              Originally posted by Paul Carmody View Post
                              The rest of my general thoughts:
                              I've heard my lifetime quota of female jazz vocalists with upright bass.

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Re: AXPONA 2013 in Chicago - who's going?

                                Originally posted by Paul Carmody View Post

                                +Also surprisingly good was a pair of bookshelf speakers from Peachtree (D5, I think). After doing additional investigation, however, I wonder if they purposely set up the room to maximize room modes.
                                Yes, the Peachtree D5.

                                I heard those as well, but for only a couple minutes because the exhibitor was switching over to a prototype product. I’d like to mention a little about that “prototype” thingy. I don’t think I’m breaking any rules but here goes. They will be selling an ipod dock/boombox desktop device in June/July 2013. It does not have a “dock” for an ipod, but it has IIRC, an analog and SPDIF input as well as Bluetooth connectivity. They had 320k MP3s streaming via Bluetooth to the device and it was an absolute knockout!! They then switched over to some lossless stuff and it was even better. Considering its very small footprint, I was shocked how good it sounded. It has an all active sub plus two MTs all built into a curved desktop device. If you sit in front of it in the near field, there’s actually stereo separation. They mentioned a possible $400 price point. If this comes to fruition as shown in the prototype, it’s going to be impossible to beat, IMO. I’d even go so far as to say that you could not DIY this thing at that price. This will be very interesting if/when it hits the market.

                                Thanks, Bryan, for all the photos and thoughts. I felt myself nodding in agreement to most of what you said. Funny, I took a lot of the same pictures with my phone (fire hose speaker cable makes me laugh every time). And that massive chrome turntable is imposing in a way that a photograph just can't capture.
                                Np....Wow: "nodding in agreement to most of what you said" --Thanks for that. You have no idea how that makes me feel. I'm always questioning what my ears try to tell me. That is a great confidence booster, right there.
                                Bryan K.

                                Midwest Audio Club

                                Speedster | Sub Attachť | The Wildeman | Sean's NLA Towers | CO‹GAR, COUGAR II and CO‹GAR JR | Triton | Lithium | J-Boom | Trym MLTL | Docere MLTL

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