Wednesday, February 8, 2012

November 2009

The meeting was held at Steve's place in Stirling, VA. Many thanks to Steve for hosting once again. The pattern was a bit different this time with there only being about six of us present until noon and not too much equipment. Fortunately, more people arrived in the afternoon with more stuff to listen to so it turned out fine.
There was some discussion about the 6V6 competition and we have chosen the weekend of April 10 / 11 however we haven't picked the Saturday or Sunday yet. We played a CD of a compilation of some tracks we could possibly use in the 6V6 competition. Since none of us has a 6V6 amp built yet, we used John's 45 amp and Steve's Econowave speakers to determine which tracks worked and which didn't. Most tracks were fine but some such as Susan Graham singing Reynaldo Hahn needed more power than what the 45 could provide. I will update the 6V6 page with tracks that did ok. Steve is also thinking of substituting a more efficient woofer for the JBL LE14A.
There was much interest in David's Art Arrays which really made a good impression with that wall of sound effect you get from line arrays. Since David only finished them a few days before, they needed to loosen up a little and I look forward to hearing them again. Since I believe John still has his Straight 8's, we might do a comparison at a future meet.
They were finished in a black vinyl from PE. Apparently, the total cost for both speakers was approximately $300.
For a while we were using Steve's 6SN7 linestage and David's chip amp. The chip amp really made the Art Arrays jump.
Steve brought out his Seas three ways and they always impress as being a very smooth speaker but the Art Arrays are more dynamic. One of the tracks we were listening to was the first from Rodrigo y Gabriela that starts off with a very loud wack and the Art Arrays really had the jump factor needed. By the end of the day however, it was so nice to sit back, relax and listen to the Seas speakers.
An so on to Steve's Econowaves.
First, Steve managed to get the cabinets off Ebay for $45 for the pair and he has certainly done a great job in getting them to look good. The sound of these speakers is quite different from the Art Arrays and for me the preference comes down to the music and instruments being played. Both are dynamic but the scale of the presentation is quite different with the arrays imaging better for me than the econowaves but the timbre of the econowaves suited some instruments better than the arrays and vice versa. It's a personal preference.
As mentioned earlier, we used John's 45 amp to see what tracks worked and those that didn't. John mentioned that he had installed some Silk grid chokes but that the difference in sound quality was slight.
Below is John's Akido breadboard but the gain was too high for it to be used effectively. I had the same problem when I built one a while ago which leads me to think that most builders should try a low mu input tube with this design.
John brought his Foreplay 3 along and this time it was working. He mentioned the excellent service he got from Bottlehead in dealing with the transformer problem. It really produced good sound particularly with the chip amp and later a digital amp that unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of..
I had hoped to have a picture of my SV811-10 amp but something got bumped on the way down and so it didn't work. There is always next time.
Some of the gang. As you can see, the discussions are sometimes more important than the music and that is a good thing. We had a number of new attendees and we are so pleased to have them come along.

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