Garott, Sota Sapphire, Open Baffle speakers all at Hif Exchange!

Ray has set up some very interesting open baffle speakers PureAudio, Project Trio 15 TB SE using a pair of Eminance Alpha 15″ drivers and a Tang Band full range. The are pretty good, driven by valve pre and valve or transistor power amps (Ming Da, Earle Weston or Sansui).

Open baffle Pureaudio

Open baffle Pureaudio

Star of the show for me will be the Sota Sapphire turntable recently fully serviced by Carl, and using a Garrott Brothers Optim cartridge.

Garrott Bros Optim

Garrott Bros Optim

I’ve always favoured the Sota, and I love the musical quality of the Garrott cartridges. I am really looking forward to playing some vinyl at the shop.

Tannoy 15″ Gold and Earle Weston 300B monoblocs

I have just got back from listening to a pair of fifteen inch Monitor Golds in superb boxes. The drivers have had the once-over by Atilla, serindipitously arriving at the same time as John’ own Weston 300B monoblocs. Midrange like honey, and the right box size for a clean tight bass. Saturday is the first chance to listen to this system. Bring a CD.

Open Baffle Lowther at Derek.

A chance to hear some open baffle Lowthers. Having just listened to Vivid V1.5s driven by Conrad Johnson this is a week of fast clean systems.

I was impressed to hear Derek’s open baffle Lowther PM6A system on Friday. I was expecting fast transients and accurate leading and trailing edges to the music, but was preparing myself for the usual peaks in the Lowther response. What a surprise! An open baffle Lowther that did NOT have shrieking strings, penetrating brass and all the usual Lowther attributes. But it did have amazing speed and transparency, showing off the quality of a Wadia CD player and a superb custom preamp and Weston 300B SE valve amp.

Single Ended Triode amps! (Melbourne Audio Club)

Next Melbourne Audio Club meeting (Wednesday 15 August) will be presented by Mark Houston who has been experimenting with several SET amps. Compare the results!

1: JAN 807 as heard at the club recently

2: 300B based amps

3: Russian 6C33C.

Please come as a guest if you are not yet a member, listen to the same 6 tracks played through each amp, and then nake your comments at the end.

As usual 8pm in the Willis Room at the Nunawading, civic centre.

NEW PRODUCTS! Melbourne Audio Club meeting 15 February

The meeting also was the first time I saw Hugh Dean’s newest AKSA amp, a 70 Watt amp designed with some (intentional) 2nd harmonic distortion, an interesting new design using only 5 transistors. Having heard several of his other amps I can believe this is going to be something special.

The Jaycar DAC was also a new product with potential. It handles all formats (except SACD), and up to 24bit 192kHz conversion. Great for audio stored on your computer, USB input and Toslink, headphone and RCA out. $149 retail. Used with Mark’s 300b amp and Fostex horn loaded speakers.

Our DIY guru, Mark Houston will present an evening that goes a step further than the Stephen Myles/Glen Baddeley evening a few months ago. Mark will be looking at computer based audio using a reasonable cost ($149) DAC from Jaycar. This DAC, unlike others, is a high performance DSP (Digital Signal Processor) which does all the conversions in software. It works asynchronously with the computer and uses a number of Xtals for low jitter and high performance. Mark will play only high resolution files including 24 bit, 192k.

Equipment will include a 300B amp. (the Silver Dragon) and Mark’s Fostex back horn loaded speakers. The preamp is a Pass BoZ, special edition.

Here is the future of audio. All indications are that CD’s are now past their use-by date and with this technology, soon blu-ray will be the only portable storage medium for high-def. audio.”

Tannoy Autographs by Shindo

A few of us had the opportunity to really listen to a pair of Shindo Autographs with Tannoy Reds yesterday. It really is as good as they say! The boxes are huge but perfectly made and finished (A full 12 months elapsed between ordering and paying and the delivery of the cabinets). Driven by  custom 300B push-pull monoblocs, and a Jadis preamp, and the source was a Victor turntable with two arms, we listened to a ZYX and a Shelter cartridge. More bass than I’ve ever heard from horn loaded Tannoys, and the inimitable midrange for which both Tannoy and 300B amps are renowned. (The amps used original Western Electric 300Bs)

The most memorable sound was from well recorded cello and string bass concertos, and some great jazz. We even listened to Hugh Masekela and Bert Kaemphert’s Swinging Safari! It sounded more lifelike than I’ve heard before, and more revealing and detailed. The highest frequencies where supplemented with a JBL biradial driver, possible a little too much. Three of us were already Tannoy owners, now thinking about the possibility of replicating the Autograph corner horns!

Thank you T and D for the most impressive afternoon, so much good sound.

Pictures will be added as soon as I can get copies from Peter.

Next Melbourne audio club meeting (Wed 20) will have the speakers Wally has been going on about for some time. These have a 15 inch driver in a big reflex box crossing over to an Altronics ribbon tweeter. The bass drivers is very impressive, Atilla has has rebuilt them and they work well with the tweeter. Very dynamic, and efficient. Wally demonstrates them with a 300B SE triode amp and they go pretty loud. We’ll see how they handle the infamous Willis room.

I see there is a pair on demo at John’s hifi exchange.