First of all just want to say many thanks to everyone who attended and made this a great time with absolutely no issues or problems, in particular Ali and Alan who calmly and expertly dealt with any technical problems and threw themselves enthusiastically in to the event, and to everyone else who set up their kit with no fuss, I really didn't have to do anything except book the room and be 'mein host' . (Although as to the latter, whilst being an angry loner has its advantages it isn't the best training for doing this sort of thing. Starting drinking at midday didn't help..I'm not in very good shape this morning ).
Anyway I was please we could follow the example set by NEBO of effectively having a big, happy party with some awesome sounds from so many different set ups, all of which offered something different an with a sound quality that you rarely get to hear at a dealership or a commercial show.
I only took a couple of pictures but here they are:
Alan's (Firebottle) QUAD ESL speakers. Heard ESL before, never heard them used as a disco PA though, but it worked. Ever seen a 600W pro amp clipping into ESL 57s? None of us had until Friday night, we are still waiting on the technical report for that one Also shown here are Alan's modded Goodman's Mezzo 3, these sounded better than you would think on Friday, but on Saturday, powred by a Luxman and with Sharif's (Audioflyer) modded Thorens record deck I and a lot of people were absolutely amazed at the capabilities of these speakers. They actually stood toe to toe with the superb JBLs in the same system.
Y'all know I'm a digital/solid state man who likes Power! So wasn't sure what to expect from this 12 watt Leben valve integrated that Steve (Bourney) brought along, although even sat in its box on a table it was drawing some worship from those who know. This was set up with Sharif's Thorens as a source and some JBL 4410 studio monitors to create the standing waves in air. And what standing waves they were! Okay not cheap system even if you bought it all used but my God it really did sound like the voice of angels, and with great bass quality and dynamics. Hugely impressive bit of kit and wonderful build quality and styling too.
Don't seem to have a picture of Sharif's modded Thorens but have to mention it anyway. He is using a Philips ceramic pick up, new old stock from 1968. Frankly, it was hard to believe the quality of the sound. Anyone who tells you that pickup cartridge technology has come a long way since 1968 simply hasn't heard this cartridge and badly needs to. Sharif has more plans to improve the deck, lord knows what that will be like as right now it is certainly one of the best record players I have ever heard.
And speaking of outstanding record decks this was another:
Barrington's heavily modded Rega (no idea what model Rega it started out as) which took him ages of meticulous set up. Jaw-dropping sound quality, faultless in fact. He has the bearing so smooth that it is impossible to see the platter spinning unless you are looking at it from six inches away, when you can just about detect it. Absolutely flawless sound.
JBL 4410 Studio Monitors, the rare appearance (for Stoke) of some sunlight spoils it a bit. I have always been a slavering JBL fanboy so not hard to please with JBLs but I thought these were exceptional, although they did have some superb partnering amps with the Luxman and later the Leben, and a fantastic vinyl source. Rare in the UK and not a cheap used buy, they put a lot of silly-money modern speakers to shame, not just for clarity but because they are fun to listen to as well.
Last but deffo not least, Ali's active open baffle system. He played some Hugh Maskala - truly a wtf? moment. People often say 'no hi-fi can reproduce music with the dynamics that you get live' and maybe that is true but seriously how close did this system come? Just staggering levels, and very clean, anyone who thinks their KEF LS0 (or whatever) 'have good dynamics' really should hear this system. For that matter I suspect even the biggest Tannoy DC could not compete. 'Shock and Awe' encapsulated in an hi-fi system. Should also mention the Garrard 401 that was fronting it. Ali has built this into slate plinths, it is enormous and must weigh 50 kilos (I helped him carry it in so believe me that isn't a guess). A deck that majors on speed and slam fronting a speaker/amp combo that majors on, well, speed and slam. Crazy but fantastically good. Thanks, Ali for going to the massive effort of bringing this huge system all that way.
Indeed, thanks to everyone who came along and made it a great event, everyone seemed to be having a good time all the time and that was the most important thing for me. Hope to see you all again next time.
EDIT will post a bit more later as there is a lot I haven't mentioned including Barry's yummy Mark Levinson pre and Quad amplifiers. Need more cups of tea first.
Last edited by Macca; 06-11-2016 at 10:42.
Current Lash Up:
Technics SL1200 with Sumiko h/s & Nagaoka MP50 * Firebottle valve MM phono stage * Parasound CDPi1000 * NVA P90SA passive pre / Krell KSA50S Power amp * JM Lab Electra 926 loudspeakers *
"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." - Hunter S Thompson