Friday, 18 August 2017

Owston - Saturday 9th June 2007

This was the second meet of the year, and a return to Owston. The thread associated with this meet is here. So on with the photos.

These were Steve S' third incarnation of open baffles I think, according tot he link above. Next to them are Scott's, hmm, not sure how you'd describe them, BIBs I think. They had a treated 4" (or was it 3") Fostex driver and the bass came out of the pipe at the top. I recall them being highly praised for their imaging. Looks like Steve's amp in the background.

A Goodmans 301 and Audiom 61 per side with his Lowther EX4s

Steve's amp - not sure what the valves are, think they might be DET25s...

This is apparently an Arcturus 180 rectifier. It was pretty rare 10 years ago, so even rarer now presumably.

Will's setup. Lenco GL75 I'd guess with one of his Schroeder-type arms, various DHT amps including 45s, and Jericho horns with a Fostex FF225F and Visaton supertweeter. 

A closer view

Nick's Quasars, still sans supertweeter, and 300B amp I think. Colin's electrostatic in the background, and possibly his turntable.

Nick's D3a phono amp with what looks like a 300B amp with an Aikido driver plus a pre stage in front. Note the large low ESR lytic cap bank. And what looks like my AE C core OPTs clipleaded.

Now then, I think these are Steve's old 300A valves. Quite something.

I should know what this is as most of it's mine. There's an old 70s JVC DD turntable on the floor which would have been used with PHONO II. At the front is C3g-2A3. At the back looks to be my WE91-style amps, and in front is Andrew I's 6080? Futterman OTL. Fostex 208Ez horns with T90A supertweeters. 

My C3g-2A3 amp with what looks like Sovtek 2A3s

I think this was Mick M's system. I'd guess Lenco GL75, PHONO II clone, 2A3 amp, and Fostex 206 drivers. 

Now, I think this might be Richard Cooper's stuff. The preamp had a small fortune's worth of Audio Note copper PIO caps.

And finally, a "close-up" of Andrew's OTL

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Witham 2 - Saturday 20th January 2007

Following on from the previous few photos I have of Eggfest 4, I have a handful from the second time we met at Witham, just off the A1, organised by Martin, RIP. Peter Comeau, the then proprietor of WAD, made an appearance too. The original thread about the meet is here.

I seem to recall a plan being hatched in the bar later over more than a few pints of a road trip to AE in the Netherlands. Or maybe that was the next time? Anyway, here are the photos. There's only a few of them, but they're quite busy.

So, starting from the left are Ed's VoFos I think (or are they Ariels?), Fostex, erm, 206s? Next to them is Nick's Quasar with Fostex, erm, 167? and Eminence Beta 15?, but before supertweeter. At the back are Steve S' Lowther EX4 horns, later named "Angel horns" by Peter Comeau. In front are my WE91-style amps (see photo below). On the right, at the very back might be Nick's D3a phono stage, then Nick's Technics SP10, then my Garrard 401 in a rather heavy birch ply plinth and oak unipivot arm that I seem to recall sounded dreadful here. Think we took it off less than half way through a track. And at the front I think is Andrew I's Ongaku clone?

A close-up of my WE91s with passive control amp, sat on a huge lump of slate Paul had brought with him. Steve S' amp behind to the right (DET something?). Not sure what the other amp is. Two further speakers in the back corner. I think one is Martin's TLs (IPL?), the other Andrew's Heil air motion transformer speaker.

Nick's SP10 and D3a phono

Nick's 2A3 driven by C3g

Paul's Quasars, with Fostex 108Ez, Nick's Quasars, Andrew's Heil, Martin's TL, Ed's VoFo/Ariel, Steve's EX4 horn

And that's your lot. It was after this that Peter Comeau went off and investigated open baffles for himself.

Eggfest 4 - Saturday 18th November 2006

Following the previous meet this was known as Eggfest 4 - the fourth time we'd met at Eggborough power station. I took very few photos so this one's short and sweet.

I think this first amp was Spacehopper's (Sean). Nick helped with the design, and it's 45 output, possibly driven by a choke loaded 26??? Or maybe a 76?

Don't know about this one, I have no recollection

This might have been Mark's C3m - KR300B?

This is one of Will's prototype Schroeder-type arms

And that's your lot. Short and sweet.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Eggfest 4th June 2005

I've quite a lot of photos from old meets which I've been meaning to post for quite a while. In the early days I only took a few snaps for my own interest, so for this first post there's only a few.

Eggfest was the start of the larger meets, when a large room was needed because we couldn't all fit in to someone's lounge. So we used the function room at Eggborough power station, which was a lot larger than anyone's lounge!

Originally conceived by Steve Shiels and Paul Barker IIRC, the theme was boat anchors - proper large, heavy, uncompromising valve amplifiers. I have a vague feeling that this might not have been the first Eggborough meet though.

So here are the photos. My memory is a little hazy on a lot of the details now though - but it was 12 years ago...

This first photo is of James D's Quasar open baffles and Paul Barker's Ariels.

Here's a closer view of Paul's crossover

And this is James' crossover

I'm not 100% sure about this one but I think it's the power supply for Nick G's phone stage in the centre and his 211 amp at the back, Paul Barker's 212 amp and driver stage on the floor, and possibly Paul's Systemdek record player? Perhaps it's not a phono stage PS but driver stage PS?

Here's Colin Topps' electrostatic panels, with bass helpers. Looks like a WAD PP amp - 5881???

Slightly larger view

Mark Jeffs' (IslandPink) amps. Struggling with this one - looks like a KR or Emissions Lab output valve. 300B??? James D's portable CD player.

A closer view

James D's Quasar speakers with AER and Supravox drivers, Mark's amps and I think his phono in the middle

And here is Mark with Tony B in the background, I think

Colin's speaker with Nick's 211 amp on the floor. Not sure who's amp it is on the table, nor the valves it's sporting.

A closer view of Nick's 211 amp. The 211 output stage is on the floor, and the pre and driver stages are on the table - shunt regged 76 to 45 IT coupled to the 211.

Paul's Ariels with 212 output stage amp next to it, and the pre and driver stage next the 212

The 212s heated...

Now then, in many people's view this was the star of the show, and is still talked about today in wistful tones. Jonathan Noble's 45 amp. Built to pack into a suitcase when he travelled. I hadn't seen anything like it - under the top plate was a mass of resistors that looked like a spider had created it.

Paul's 212 amp again

Don't know about this one, think it might be Paul's again?

Mark's amps with Paul's Ariels

Nick's 211 amp

And that's your lot for this meet.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Audio Meet - Owston 10th June 2017

Flaming June. Flaming June indeed! The rather soggy start to meteorological summer continued into Saturday morning, but at least the start of summer means it's Owston time again!

Every Owston meet I come away with renewed enthusiasm to get on with my own projects, and yet again another year slides by with very little actual progress. This next year will be the year!

Now this room presents some photographic challenges - the light is poor so the autofocus hunts and rarely locks on in focus. So I usually end up manually focussing, which is a bit of a pain in low light with a modern autofocus SLR as it doesn't have much help when you're off autopilot. Most of the photos are reasonably okay though. And I prefer not to use flash if I can as it bleaches out a lot of the detail. And things that glow :-). I've tried to make a note of what people brought but it gets trickier each year as we become an increasingly broad church.

Anyway, enough chuntering, let's get on with it.

As usual, after setting up and some catching up our organiser Steve S called us to order.

With the housekeeping done we kicked off with Ali. Ali had brought a table full of gear, a lot of it the 4 channel active system he uses with his OB speakers - amps and DSP.

Ali had to set me right with a fair bit of this (thanks Ali :-)). The turntable is one of Cressy's modified and replinthed Lenco GL75 with a Long Dog Audio power supply. Arm is a Mission 774, with a Benz Gullwing SLR. The phonostage is a Firebottle. The woofers are driven by an Artcoustic 500W class AB amp, 200Hz-800Hz is handled by the Visatons driven by a 3000W class D amp, 800Hz-5kHz are Crysler D500 compression drivers driven by a Transcendent Mini Beast OTL, and above 5kHz are SB Acoustics Sartori tweeters driven by a Monarchy Audio SRM 70 feedbackless class A amp. All brought together with an active crossover, a miniDSP 4x10HD. Phew! That's a lot of boxes.

Music played was:
St Germain - something from the Tourist album
Mighty Sam McClain - something from Give It Up To Love
Yello - The Race

Next up, going around the room was Philip, Pre65. Phil pointed out he didn't use any DSP!

His system was a Philips 1541 DAC (I think), an Audio Note copy preamp, and a pair of 50W MOSFET monoblocks amps based on a Nelson Pass design. Speakers are his OBs with 18" Fane bass helpers with Alpair 12P main driver, and a Mark Audio tweeter on top.

Music played was a Russian choral piece, Acker Bilk (to much amusement), and Pachelbel's Kanon.

Next was Mike with his system which he'd brought in his motorbike sidecar.

A laptop as source, I think there was a small DAC perhaps, then EL84 PP which is now boxed up and looking rather swish. Speakers are from an old Music Centre which Mike hotrodded with Altai? drivers, and a Coles tweeter. He has also has added cardboard tube port - adding that nothing had been designed!

Music played was The Three Ravens by John Harlech from the album Secret Story: Songs From A History Of Britain, Another Wierdo by Gerard Presencer from the album Groove Travels, and Chicken Pox by Booker T. & The M.G.s from the album Melting Pot.

Chris was next, and introduced his system by saying he'd actually brought 4!

There was an impressive amount of kit, which takes a lot of bringing and setting up. Amps were a PA rig, with various, um, control gubbins, with his own design and built speakers, plus the Behringers, plus Dave Dlugos Fostex FE126EN specials.

Music played was Frim Fram Sauce by Diana Krall with the PA system, Buena by Morphine through the Behringers, and then Back in Black by AC/DC with the small Fostex. And as a Brucey Bonus additional track before lunch a choral piece.

During lunch in one of the breakout zones our Dave The Bass showed his versatility with a ukelele (might be a rather large download - maybe 33MB).

Now fed and watered Alan went next. Apparently Alan is better known as Firebottle, though I suspect he's best known for his trousers.

Alan was also using a Lenco GL75, with a valve preamp of his own design, and also a power amp he designed with a valve driver and a MOSFET output stage. Speakers were rather bijou Neat jobs.

Music played was Rock Around The Clock, something from Delta Time by Hans Theessink and Terry Evans, and something by Yello from the Toy album.

On to Steve C who seemed to have managed to fit half his living room in his car.

Steve was also using a Lenco GL75, and another conversion by Ant. It had a Mayware Formula 4 arm which Greg gave to him as a "box of bits". An NVA 1 phono stage connected to one of Ant's passive switchers with phase splitting transformers to Steve's balanced EL84(?) monos. Love the port and starboard illumination! Speakers were his own Flatback Banned metronomes using Faital 6" main driver and SB Acoustics tweeter.

Music played was Graham Street Station(?) on vinyl, That's Amore by Ray Gelato on cd, and finally something by Level 42 on vinyl.

And then on to our "host" Steve S.

Amp was Steve's usual PX25 with 4 power supplies providing a heady 5W! His latest speakers use a Beyma air motion tweeter (without horn this time) and a Fane 12" driver below 1500Hz. The bottom end is reinforced with a Fane 18", and the top with a Fostex T900A supertweeter.

Music played was Black Dog from Rivers Johansson's Righteous Liar album (notable as it features Steve's daughter on lead vocals!), something by Bowie I think, and Marie Boine.

Next was Stojan using his speakers with Steve C's system.

The speakers are Bulgarian designed, 87dB, using Seas H1333 dual concentric drivers. They're made by laminations glued together to form the complex horn mouth. They were superbly finished it has to be said.

Music played was Me or Him from Roger Water's Radio K.A.O.S., Lee Harvey Oswald, and Diana Krall live I think.

Ray P was next using Steve S's source and speakers.

Ray had brought his Transcendent 300B SE OTL build with 8 300Bs. That's 8. For 1 of the sweetest watts of power you will ever hear!

Music played was some classical - Arcangelo Corelli performed by La Serenissima (tracks 4 and 5 of this), Elbow - This Blue World, and then Walk On The Wild Side.

Yeah, this is what the boxes for 8 300Bs looks like...

I had a crafty listen to Stojan's headphone amp whilst some other fettling was going on. The CD player looked fairly well modded with maybe a valve output stage(?), the amp uses a EZ81 rectifier, E88CC driver and 6H30i output valves. Headphones were Grado Reference.

Stojan had also brought a phono stage which we didn't get chance to listen to unfortunately, but he says he's coming again next year with a full system, so we'll be able to hear whatever he wants to bring.

Back to Steve S's rig for another Steve, vinylnvalves. (The more observant will have noticed the looming presence of The Tower Of Power :-).)

Steve was using Ncore amps and we had another blast of Walk On The Wild Side.

Then we had a blast on Steve's PX25 amp.

And then on Firebottle's 6080 OTL.

Now make way for the Tower Of Power - here's Thomas!

6SN7 DC (I think) to 6SN7 IT to 801A for a whole 2W of goodness. Also using vinylnvalves phono stage.

Then Steve made a switch to the power supply of the phono, a switch mode. It was inconclusive which was best - I thought the second but the amp had been turned up too which made it difficult to tell.

Then Stojan's CD player was hooked up to Ali's system.

At that point tea was taken for some recharging. Afterwards it was Doc Mods time. Chris set up Doc's own Doc Mods, and they certainly sounded better up against the wall where they were voiced to be rather than in space.

Then it was the turn of the Cubes on Steve C's system.

And then Dave The Bass' Doc Mods, which he really rather likes.

Finally, for me at least, Dave's old workshop speakers got an airing. I don't remember now which Fostex driver.

And that was my lot. Another super day out with old friends and new. And I really must get my finger out for next year...