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Quadophile

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Lone Star Audio Festival is held in Dallas, Texas every year in the month of May. I was fortunate enough to attend the show in 2011 but missed out on it in 2012. This year I am all geared up and will be a participant in the show. Me and my partner are participating under the banner of "The Black Hole Audio Video" as consultants.

Some very interesting equipment is on display in different rooms every year and I am sure this year too some very exotic equipment will be on display again. You can check out the website and list of participants, photos from past events, link to news and info.

I plan on taking pictures while attending and will post some here during/after the event.


http://lonestaraudiofest.com/
 

floppybootstomp

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Good luck Quad :) It would appear from your link Valves are very much back in vogue again (did they ever go away?).

I'm currently building a phono RIAA stage, MM/MC, using 4 x 12AX7 valves, it probably costs a lot less than a lot of commercially available equivalents.

So, question - does more money = better sound? :)

I look forward to your report/reviews from the show, always interested.
 

Quadophile

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Good luck Quad :) It would appear from your link Valves are very much back in vogue again (did they ever go away?).

I'm currently building a phono RIAA stage, MM/MC, using 4 x 12AX7 valves, it probably costs a lot less than a lot of commercially available equivalents.

So, question - does more money = better sound? :)

I look forward to your report/reviews from the show, always interested.

I think I still have the module of the phono amp belonging to the quad 34 I used to own, I no longer am using it, I doubt it was ever used, it is the MC stage and if you can have use of it, I can send it off to you, my compliments of course :)

No it is not necessary that more money means better sound. It is the synergy of the system that counts and it should be the ultimate goal in getting one there, that is what I believe in. I have in the past owned a lot of different components and at times I was in awe of the sound quality coming from humble budget components. I have heard many expensive systems which did not sound good because there was no synergy between the components.

I will do my best to cover the show with pics and supporting info.:cheers:
 

Quadophile

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Sorry I forgot to address the valve comment. Yes they never went away and they always sound good. I currently have a lovely little valve amp in my sys tem and it is extremely enjoyable to listen to. It is a 12 watt Dared push-pull and sounds more like a 25 watter. I even drove the Dynaudio floorstanders (MSRP $9000) with this amp and most people who heard it could not believe it was a 12 watter. :nod:

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/dared2/vp16.html

In my personal opinion Cayin integrateds are some of the best bang for the buck amps out there. I recently advised my partner to get it when he was looking for a second amplifier. He put it in his system and continued using it for three months non stop trying to rediscover his entire music collection. :lol:

http://www.avguide.com/review/cayin-50t-all-tube-integrated-amplifier
 

Quadophile

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The festival is just two weeks away and counting.........:D
 

floppybootstomp

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That Dared amp for $790 is a bargain :eek:

My own monoblocks are push-pull, 10 wpc and each use a pair of EL84's on the output stage, so, similar I suppose.

I notice you included the price of the Dynaudio speakers, does more $$$$$ make loudspeakers harder to drive then? ;) I always remember the big B & W speakers being notoriously difficult to drive.

I was looking at this power amplifier online the other day, £700, 45 wpc, it's a hybrid, valve input stage and mosfets for the output. The purist in me says 'no' but I'd be curious to give it a listen Croft Series 7
 

Quadophile

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Flops,

Yes the Dared is a steal at the price!

You may or may not know this but in the past beeb was officially using the LS3/5a' (I know you know this) but since the passing away of the founder and designer of Kef beeb shifted to Dyanaudio for all their monitoring needs. Beeb is unquestionably the finest broadcasting service in the world in my humble opinion. The sound quality you get when you turn the station to beeb is like no other.

I have heard many Dynaudio speakers, the tiny stand mounts as well as large floorstanders and besides the B&W they are my favourite speakers. It is not just about money, take for instance their humble offering in terms of stand mounters and they really sound superb in comparision to any speaker in the same price category.

Actually, the $9000 speakers from Dyanaudio are an extremely easy drive for any amplifier. The main reason being the voltage swing, the narrower the band the more easy load on the amp. The Dyanaudio in question do not go higher than 7.5 Ohms at any frequency, that attribute makes then a fairly easy load even for a valve amp. Some folks think that the the only criteria for easy load is the efficiency, which is not true, there are many factors to consider.

Just had a look at the Croft, I think for what it is I feel it is on the expensive side. The look is very boring. I cannot say for the sound but I used high power power mosfet amps in the past, referring to my Perraux 3150 which was a 300 watter with mosfets. it used to really get hot (mosfets do) and it was more like a tube amp than a Solid state in terms of sound quality.
 

Quadophile

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I leave for the LSAF early Friday morning! :D

Will keep you updated with lots of photos and news about the event. :user:

Stay tuned.;)
 

Quadophile

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Had an extremely busy weekend and had more fun at the festival than I expected!:thumb:

I am posting just a few pics now and will post some more later, will also do a write-up tomorrow as I am off and will have time to do so.

Meanwhile here are the pictures from the show that I took myself of the room we were in where we setup our equipment.

This was taken on day one when we had the Cayin integrated amp connected to the system.

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share

https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/share?s=gOSquCS7QW8l8mYmPwk7VA


On Saturday morning we switched to the preamp designed by Blair and the Parasound power amplifier.


https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/share?s=p7-ZRt_0S14qh52sirbgWA

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Finally we had the Parasound disconnected to acommodate the newly built mono blocks by Blair. They looked great and matched the front fascia of the preamp. They drove the speaker with the grip on the woofers like I have never seen before, superb damping and control of the low frequencies. The woofer hardly moving even at fairly loud volumes.This is something you would expect from an expensive amp not something under 2 grand. Mind you, these mono blocks are rated at 50-60 watts per channel.

https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/share?s=OT3l2eDrSZYuA0WSJsOnO8


https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/share?s=tZ0VVlzPT6MuSUZnyJQ9nY


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In the following photo Blair, the designer of the tube preamp and the monoblock power amp answers questions from the visitors to the room.


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In the following picture you see from left to right Anthony, my partner in crime, Paul a visitor to the room Uriah the designer of LDR pre-amps, Robert a visitor showings thumbs up to the sound in the room and finally yours truly proudly wearing the The Black Hole Audio Video T-shirt.






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Here are some pictures of the hotel surroundings that I took in between the breaks I could manage.


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In the following pictures you see Uriah with his two gorgeous daughters and friend.with her son.



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Anthony, Blair and self


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Folks from Home Theater Shack visit the room for coverage.




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Here you see my favorite visitor to the room (the chap with the beard and long hair) talking to Blair about his amp designs. He came back to the room 5 times during the whole proceedings starting Friday and following Saturday. He thought ours was one of the best sounding rooms in the show. Later my partner Anthony said to me that this chap at times got so engrossed with the music we were playing that he shifted forward almost to the edge of the seat swaying from side to side.

https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/share?s=urWi9QfoTLUkI6nHxPvMXc
P1020768.JPG





In the following picture you see Albert Porter from Positive Feedback (seated far right) visiting our room.

https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/share?s=ar11Te9NTQ0qGiwcc1Guiw



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In the following picture, Paul, another visitor who not only kept coming back to our room during the day but practically spent half the night on Saturday with us in the room listening to the music and discussing anything and everything related to audio (I nicknamed him "the truth seeker"). He remembered the tune I was playing the previous night and was confirming with me if it was the same one.He really liked this one from Jessica Williams album Live at Yoshi Vol I entitled "Heather"

https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/share?s=vqNfOchYRhIm-Lq8e2a5SI


vlcsnap-2013-05-07-00h32m06s196.png
 

Taffycat

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Wow Quad! That equipment looks amazing! What a great idea - to be able demonstrate it in a room, rather than in a corner of a large, busy exhibition centre. Much better I would think.

Super photos, it looks like everyone thoroughly enjoyed the music and enjoyed a great weekend. :thumb:
 

floppybootstomp

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Wot? No turntable? Pfffft! ;)

Great pix Quad :thumb:

I look forward to reading your views on the equipment.
 

Quadophile

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OK here is the list of equipment that we used in our room:

Yulong Reference DAC with ESS Sabre 18 chipset
Teac Reference HD600 Transport
Cayin T-50A integrated tube amp
Blair G preamp
Blair Monoblock power amps
Audes 12.1 T 3 way speakers
Tara Lab biwire speaker cables
Van den hul Integration Hybrid interconnect cables
Audio Research digital cable
Grant Fidelity Power conditioner

I have personally tested and heard most of the above components except for the the Blair mono amps which arrived on Saturday.

In my opinion the DAC is probably the best in its class for the sound quality, we are talking a price of $600 here. The Cayin integrated is the best amp that I have had the pleasure of hearing under $2000. It delivers 16 watts in Single ended triode mode and 33 watts in ultra linear mode, I would never switch to ultra linear mode as what I get in Single ended mode is pure bliss.

The Van Den Hul Integration Hybrid interconnect in my opinion is the best cable for the sound stage it presents, no interconnect can come near it in this aspect. there are other attributes to this cable that it makes it one of the top cables to buy.

The Audes speakers are Russian made and are true bang for the buck kind of speakers, with proper electronics in the chain it is the poor audiophiles Dynaudio. They sport the tweeter from Seas and the midrange and woofer being proprietary.

I will next post the list of music that we used as a personal compilation disk to play continuously during the entire proceedings of the festival.
 

Quadophile

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Wow Quad! That equipment looks amazing! What a great idea - to be able demonstrate it in a room, rather than in a corner of a large, busy exhibition centre. Much better I would think.

Super photos, it looks like everyone thoroughly enjoyed the music and enjoyed a great weekend. :thumb:

.
TC, thank you for that post, yes it was a great getaway for me and you are absolutely right when you say it is a great way of exhibiting. In this kind of environment the visitor can feel the intimacy with the equipment he or she is listening to as it is a homely environment unlike those big exhibitions where it is all commercial and detatched so to say. Ultimately the hifi is something one would listen to in their homes and this is as close to as possibly they can get.
 

Quadophile

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I just posted a new thread on the official coverage of the show.

Link

There will be some more by different online and in print publications, I will post them as and when they become available
 
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:bow::thumb:I was absolutely fascinated Quad by the equipment and the set up. I dont think I would have the patience to research and set that equipment up nor the ears to fully appreciate the sound quality now as I am becoming a bit mutt and jeff.
 

Quadophile

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bootneck02,

I have been indulging in this hobby for good 4 decades and many aspects of this hobby have become second nature. In the beginning it was very hard work as I was training my ears and trying to understand the equipment and how each component worked in the chain. If it was not for my father who taught me how to handle the radiogram back in the 60's I would not be in this hobby where I am today. Now it is a lot of fun, despite a bit of hard work but all in all it is very rewarding. :nod:

It is always a great feeling when the music touches ones soul, and that can only happen when the system has the synergy.:D

My ultimate goal is to achieve the synergy when I am putting together a system, music has played a very important part in my life, I will continue as long as I can.
 
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:DAs Shakespeare one wrote"If music be the food of love play on play on". I love music but unfortunately my ears are not what they once were. My wife is always complaining that I do not wear my hearing aids, trouble the sound they produce is not like natural sound and when I listen to music I have it loud but it sounds OK to me, so she shuts all the doors.
 

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