Sunday, 30 September 2012

California Audio Show 2011 CD

Read about the 2012 CD here.

Sound quality - 9/10

California Audio Show 2012 CD

I seldom download music legally, but this is actually 100% legal. I have subscribed to newletter from Downloads Now! (I think that's the name) and they had some free downloads available, two CD's from California Audio Show 2011/2012 and this will be about the 2012 CD.

The tracks are nothing special, Keith Greeninger is good as usual. But what's so special with this track is the recording, it's recorded live at the CAS captured live without headphones or overdubs direct to 2 channel DSD using the Sonoma System at 2.8MHz. On some quiet passages you can hear stuff going on in the room and you can hear other music being playing through speakers in other rooms (very faintly though).

Sound quality - 9/10

Friday, 21 September 2012

Visit in Kungsbacka

It all started with this thread:
Some guy had linked that thread to me on some other forum and I got very interested by the speakers we was building. The QW-1 seemed like a nice speaker, and with the Beyma Liberty8 woofer it would fit nice in my budget.

I started an e-mail conversation with Ingvar and he let me come visit him during the Gothenburg Hifi Show since I was already in Gothenburg and he lived 25 minutes away. So, on sunday morning I took the commuter train to Kungsbacka. He was waiting for me at the station and then we started walking to his place. I had expected him to live in a standalone house, thinking of his huge speakers, but he actually lived in an apartment. He didn't have any QW-1 home for the weekend, nor the ROG so the only option was the OY using two 6" Morel CAW 638 in an aperiodic box and a Morel tweeter of unknown model.

So we started the listening with some rock music, AC/DC, Metallica, Thin Lizzy and that kind of stuff. Not very impressive and it sounded just decent. Then we put on the track Fuhre Mich with Rammstein while the volume was turned up pretty loud. Now it suddenly became interesting. Even at such high levels the sound was clean and the bass incredibly powerful and clear. I almost started looking for some hidden subwoofers!

We continued the listening session with some more rock music before we went on to some electronic and modern "pop" music. Then we finished with some typical audiophile stuff and even here they were playing it really well even at high levels.

At ~10500SEK for a complete kit including everything but the finish (assemble them yourself) I think it's a very good deal and I'll most likely order a pair on sunday. I haven't decided for the finish yet though.

Gothenburg Hifi Show 2012

So, here are the pictures from that weekend that I promised. I visited the Gothenburg Hifi Show with my dad on september 15-16.
Click for bigger pictures!

Interesting Duevel Planets speakers...

I really wonder what makes this speaker so very expensive.

I guess this was the most expensive setup of the Arken show. Wilson Watt Puppy. Never acutally listened to them though, way too crowded and the room was way to bad to give them a fair judgement.

Very fancy thing, a relic from "before my time". Sounded much better than expected.

Triple-tweeters in an Aurelia waveguide.

Probably the cheapest speaker of the show

This was, in my opinion, the setup that was funniest to listen to. Good dynamics!

Impressive and nice bass from these speakers. Scanspeak Revelator woofers?

Never actually listened to these either, but I heard from other people visiting the show that these were one of the best speakers of the show.

The JBL speakers had the best dynamics of the show, no wonder! The black Revels in between won my "most bang for the buck" award, at "only" 50.000SEK the sounded very good.

This picture (and following pictures) are from the Park Avenue show in central Gothenburg. A bit more high-end stuff but also more boring music.

Some XTZ speaker, they were running some 5.1 setup with active DSP. Sounded very good.

MBL, best sound at the Park Avenue show. I've heard these (and the MBL 101 Extreme) before and they have never disappointed me yet.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

O2 headphone amplifier + ODAC update #6 (against Asus Xonar Essence STX)

I haven't gotten to trying my O2+Odac against the Asus Xonar Essence STX until now. I've been so happy with the Objective product that I've been stuck with it :D

Today I lent it to one of my friends so he could try it with his AKG K271 MKII. So now I only have my Asus Xonar Essence STX and I must say the difference was bigger than I had thought it would be. The sounds isn't as dynamic as with the Objective, and the bass is a bit weaker and "muddier", probably because Xonar STX has a ~10ohm output impedance while Objective has ~0.5ohm.

The Xonar STX is cheaper than the O2+Odac, it supports 192kHz which the Odac doesnt (like that would make any noticable difference?). But still, Objective is the winner. It has superb audio quality for a relatively low cost. I don't think there's any way a commercial product at the same price of the Objective would stand any chance against it. I would even dare say that the Objective combo is the best you can get for <5000SEK (€590) or maybe even more.