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Author Topic: California Audio Show July 15-17  (Read 9544 times)

Offline xcortes

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Re: California Audio Show July 15-17
« Reply #15 on: July 17, 2011, 10:24:46 AM »
I agree with Steve. Series Three will be phenomenal.

And it was a real treat meeting Piper.
And it was nice having a good chat with Doc and Steve as well as meeting one of our Steve Williams.

Not to mention that I had the chance to sit next to Keith Johnson at dinner. Too bad I was really tired by then.

One interesting thing to notice is that there was hardly any lp or cd playing. It was tape or computer servers. Is that a sign of where audio media is going?

And last but not least, though I heard some really nice systems I didn't like most of the rest. It's still Bottlehead to me!
Xavier Cortes

Offline steveidosound

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Re: California Audio Show July 15-17
« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2011, 10:45:53 AM »
Good running into many people including the other Steve Williams (well, I guess I am technically the "other" Steve Williams) and getting a chance to speak with them as well as Doc, Luke Manley and especially Keith Johnson (one of my audio heroes) for just a bit after listening to his recordings (analog masters via HRX files) on probably one of the best systems I will ever hear in Tim's room. Did not get to hear any analog sources directly in that room however.

Despite my love for analog and glowing bottles, I heard wonderful high res. digital through solid state devices in some places. But it still feels as if something is missing in the visual involvement even with great sound. Part of the "magic" if you will, for me is that early to mid 20th century technology can be tweaked and perfected to more than keep up with the latest stuff. Horns and tubes and scratching a mechanical replication of sound into a groove are approaching or exceeding 100 years on the scene!

I heard a lot of wonderful sound there from many different sources and not so wonderful from some of the same type of sources. I think that the effects are synergistic when all the best stuff comes together but a "weak link" in the chain can sometimes be partially compensated for by some other really great piece in the system. One Australian company had great sound from SET amps even with normal cd as the source for example. I did walk into a lot of rooms while they were spinning vinyl. Tape almost universally sounded good. I still want to hear Doc's amps at a show, though the VTL / Focal rig sounded great with TP 1/2" dubs.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2011, 11:03:41 AM by steveidosound »
Steve Williams

you don't want to know what equipment I listen to...

Offline ironbut

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Re: California Audio Show July 15-17
« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2011, 10:57:00 PM »
I did end up going to CAS on Sunday and I'm really glad I did.
As Doc told me quite a while ago (but as usual, I had to find out myself), the sound in several of the rooms was much better at the end of the show.
Even so, I spent most of my time in Bob Hodas' room listening to 1/2" Tape Project selections in hopes of "getting a solid handle" on the differences in 1/4 and 1/2 inch tapes.
I just hope that I didn't outwear my welcome! Many thanks to Doc, Piper, Luke and Bob for putting together a wonderful room and being gracious hosts.

It's always special to see other tape lovin' forum members too.
Although I didn't see Steve Williams #1, I did see steveidosound.
And it was fantastic to spend some time with my pal Xavier who flew all the way from Mexico City for the day. Let's not make it quite so long before the next meet up!
I hadn't seen Arian Jansen and Phillip O'Hanolin in a couple of years either (I think it was the LA CanJam). Arian certainly has a lot to be proud of with his "total" redesign of the PR99. It was sounding very nice and looked great to boot!
Although Larry Toy was missing due to family business, I did see Witt who is a regular at Larry's get-togethers.

So,.. if it sounds like I enjoyed myself, I guess I did! Now I suppose I have to get back to that pesky thing some folks like to refer to as reality.


steve koto
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Offline docb

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Re: California Audio Show July 15-17
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2011, 09:30:11 AM »
Wow, what a nice show! It was without a doubt the busiest show I ever had in terms of spending time with customers, (hopefully) future customers and industry folks. It was great to have breakfast with Xavier, hang with so many Tape Project and Bottlehead customers like all of the Steves, getting to spend a very fruitful hour tor two with John Swenson talking about our upcoming DAC.

Didn't get to spend much time in any rooms besides the two I had equipment in, so I can't give a blow by blow of what I heard that I liked besides those great sounding rooms. But I did think that the Magico/Spectral/MIT room with the Q1s playing was a really smart choice for the little rooms at the hotel, it sounded very good. The hottest news of the show seemed to be the new Widea server. Really cool server/software combo with a totally trick interface that seems to have been developed by some clever folks who looked at all the other ones out there and worked hard to fill in the things that have been missing in terms of user friendliness up to now. I can't comment on the sound beyond the fact that I would be interested in hearing its Linux based sound engine vs. that of PC based Pyramix and Mac based Amarra, as both of those still float to the top for me sonically. BTW Pyramix introduced an end user friendly server interface for their DAW software at the show as well, and Jon Reichbach tells me there are new things coming soon at Amarra too.

This may sound a bit of self aggrandizement, but the best sound I heard at the show wasn't at the show. Stephen Mejias of Stereophile seemed to enjoy Bob's room at the show with the little Diablo Utopias and Luke's lovely tetrode/triode switchable monoblocks, with 1/2" tape. So we asked him if he would like to hear that concept notched up a bit. Philip O'Hanlon brought Stephen up to the studio on Saturday night, where we rolled 1" masters on the Grand Utopias and the big VTLs in a pro room tuned by Bob. Been a while since I had been in the Camellia room rolling 1". Talk about motivation to finish my own 1" machine...

I hope attendees appreciated how much effort both Bob and Tim put into making their rooms into acoustically good listening rooms. Those guys spent a lot of time and effort getting all of that treatment in there. Having been in the rooms before they started  I can say the transformation was dramatic, particularly in that dinky Hodas Acoustical Analysis room.

Another high point for me was hanging with the Hodas room crew this weekend. Bob is a good friend who I don't get to see as often as I like and it was fun to hang, catch up on life, talk about espresso, and generally shoot the s**t. Not only was it great talking shop with a tube audio soul brother, Luke Manley is a true gentleman and just a helluva lot of fun. I have a very high level of respect for his design skills and his musical taste. And last but not least the Tape Project's duping engineer Piper Payne did the most awesome, professional job of presenting the room and system and charming all of those balding paunchy old audiophools, me included. This was my first opportunity to meet Piper and it was neat to find out what an impressive resume she has been developing in the recording and mastering industry. Keep an eye on this woman, she is going places.

Thanks again to everyone who came by and said hi!
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 04:33:05 PM by docb »
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
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Offline astrotoy

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Re: California Audio Show July 15-17
« Reply #19 on: July 21, 2011, 08:00:52 PM »
Wow, sounds like I missed a great show - a real step up from the first Dagogo show last year. I'm in my third week in Philly visiting our first grand child - Mina, who is approaching four weeks of age. Unfortunately Philly has been in 90-100 degree weather - with humidity. Global warming with a vengeance. NorCal would be a much better place - hopefully we can convince daughter and son-in-law to move close to us. I sent my second system out to Philly and am waiting for Dan to send my pair of BH Paraglows which he is checking out to really make the system sing. No tape, but a little Mac Mini as a server using pure music. I brought out about a TB of my 192/24 rips of mostly Barclay-Crocker tapes and some declicked vinyl rips. I haven't decided on a separate DAC yet - so we are just listening to Pure Music which downconverts the 192/24 to 44/16. It seems to work fine, using iTunes as the operating shell, but bypassing the iTunes playback software.

I'll be back in sunny but not too hot California in about a week. 

Not sure whether Tim M got to play any of my 192/24 rips at the show. He took three of them from me. He was using the same set up as mine (Pyramix 7 on XP with a Model Two.) Or should I say, I have the same set up as he does.

Regards from Hotphilly, Larry
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Offline ironbut

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Re: California Audio Show July 15-17
« Reply #20 on: July 21, 2011, 09:02:29 PM »
Hey Larry,

Having been in Philly in August before, I can't say I envy you!
I'm not sure if Tim got a chance to play any of the results of your personal archiving effort but he was getting a lovely sound from those Magicos.
I looked over Xavier's shoulder as the fellow from Merging Technologies briefed him on the new interface. It looked very nice and easy to use too.
I can't recall his name, but he certainly was a friendly fellow and I was happy to see him several other times during the show.
steve koto
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Offline ironbut

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Re: California Audio Show July 15-17
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2011, 08:23:39 PM »
Just a heads up.
Clarke Robinson has some very nice things to say about the sound of tapes in his report for Enjoy the Music.
Check it out.

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/cas_2011/page4.htm
steve koto
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Offline ironbut

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Re: California Audio Show July 15-17
« Reply #22 on: July 30, 2011, 02:10:06 AM »
Some nice photos from the show from the Clarks (Dave and Carol).
The pictures from the Bob Hodas room are on the last page.
Who's that fellow lurking behind O'Hanlon next to Doc?

I did have a nice chat with Dave Clark on Sunday. Did we talk about tape,.. audio shows? Heck no! We shared thoughts about the Punk scene which we were both involved in way back when.

http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue56/cas1.htm
steve koto
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Offline docb

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Re: California Audio Show July 15-17
« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2011, 10:58:53 AM »
Speaking of punk, have you guys heard of The Bronx, aka Mariachi El Bronx?

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112966664
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
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Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline ironbut

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Re: California Audio Show July 15-17
« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2011, 11:25:45 AM »
Nice lyrics Doc!
Not "take home ta meet the folks" nice but more like "brain worm" nice.
Thanks for sharing.
steve koto
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