Sonist Loudspeakers & Dehavilland Tube Amps The Real Thing Subjectively Speaking!!!@@ - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 05-28-2009, 06:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Info on the meeting that was held:

Kara Chaffee of Dehavilland Electric, Randy Bankert of Sonist Loudspeakers, and Chip Winston of Cable Research Lab, with demos of their latest products!
Many felt that their CES suite had some of the best sound.

Tuesday nite, 5-26-09, 7 PM!

_________________________________________________________

The following is lifted from the latest Arizona Audio Video Club newsletter:

"May Meeting
by Steve Sanders

This month's meeting will be hosted by Bill Coomes, founder and owner of Sweet Spot Home Theaters in Goodyear, AZ. Bill is an electronics engineer and lifelong audiophile who is ISF/HAA certified to perform professional audio/video setups, alignments, and calibrations. Sweet Spot Home Theaters offers consultations, repairs, design of home theater and audiophile rooms, and a complete line of high-end audio and video products (most of which are available nowhere else in the Valley). Please review the Sweet Spot electronic flyer attached to this month's newsletter for a complete listing of product lines available, and visit www.sweetspothometheaters.com for more information.

Bill has arranged for the club to audition an exceptional two-channel system which includes the Dehavilland Electric Model 50A vacuum tube monoblock amplifiers, the Sonist Concerto 3 loudspeakers, and a variety of Cable Research Lab (CRL) interconnects and loudspeaker cables. But to make this audition even more interesting, also attending our meeting will be the three individuals who actually designed the equipment that we'll be listening to: Kara Chaffee of Dehavilland Electric, Randy Bankert of Sonist Loudspeakers, and Chip Winston of CRL. Club members will have the opportunity to ask questions about the design of these components in particular, or about audio equipment design in general.

You can preview the audio system we'll be listening to by perusing the manufacturer's websites: www.deHavillandhifi.com , www.sonist.com and www.cableresearchlab.com Also, the Sonist Concerto 3 loudspeakers were reviewed in the April, 2009 issue of Stereophile magazine.

The meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 26th at 7 P.M. at the Estrella Professional Center, 15655 W. Roosevelt Street in Goodyear. Driving Directions: Take Interstate 10 west to exit 126 (Estrella Parkway/Pebble Creek Parkway). Turn left (South) off the Interstate, and go through the first traffic light (which is W. Roosevelt Street) to the very next right turn, perhaps 200 feet past the traffic light. Turn right here and drive past the Comfort Inn on the left. The next building on the left is the Estrella Professional Center. Ample parking is available on three sides of the building. Upon entering the building, take the elevator to the 2nd floor. The Conference Room (our meeting site) is next to the elevator.

Please bring your favorite CDs and invite your friends as well as other interested parties to the meeting - they may become your friends after this meeting! Refreshments will be served and door prizes will be given away.

Many thanks to Bill Coomes and Sweet Spot Home Theaters for sponsoring what promises to be an interesting and fun-filled evening."
_________________________________________________________


A note from Dean Love of our Club re the upcoming meeting:

"Our May club meeting is unique in that we will have the Designers and Principals of 3 noteworthy high-end companies presenting their wares. These same three companies shared a suite at CES this past January, and numerous attendees that we spoke with felt that deHavilland, Sonist, CRL suite was producing some of the best sound at CES, so I'm hopeful that everyone of you will attend on that basis alone. However, there are other compelling reasons to attend.

All three companies are effectively one-man/woman operations, and each of them is coming to Phoenix from remote states at their own expense. The greatest way I know of for us to show our appreciation for their efforts and commitment to us is for us to attend. Better yet, attend and bring a friend. This month's meeting facility is capable, I'm told, of accommodating upwards of 50 attendees, so sufficient room shouldn't be an issue. Additionally, there are other benefits that accrue to the club when we have a strong turnout for out-of-town guestsit makes us look good.

Believe it or not, manufacturers and distributors of high-end audio/video equipment do talk to one another, and our ability to attract industry leaders to come to Phoenix is often affected by the experiences of our guests. Imagine the difference in the impression that might accrue to a meeting with 50 people vs. 15 people in attendance? A poorly attended meeting where there are 3 manufacturers represented will lead to 3 manufacturers who would likely feel that coming to Phoenix was a waste of their time and an unwarranted expense, and sooner or later that sentiment would likely be expressed to others in the industry. Of course, the opposite is also truea strong attendance will have the effect of making them feel as though they are highly welcomed and valued, and they would likely tell others it was a valuable experience.

I realize that the location of this meeting is somewhat out-of-the-way for any number of our members, but if you value your club and the efforts of those who put major events like this one together, please take the initiative and expend the effort to go a little out of your waycarpool, and bring a friend. I think you'll be glad you did!

See you all there!!

Dean"
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Old 05-28-2009, 06:45 AM - Thread Starter
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I attended this meeting out of deference to Bill Coombs, former Sony TV repairman, who has now high end audio and video in Goodyear, way on the other side of town. Bill had the owners/designers of the companies coming to attend and speak.

I didn't expect much. Few club audio demos really excite me. Even the ultra expensive airplane aluminum YG Acoustics didn't write me home about.

The Sonist speakers demod the Sonost Concerto 3 retail $3,500 per pair, floorstanding, a ribbon tweeter and 8" woofer. Nice lookin'.

http://www.sonist.com/SONIST_PRODUCTS.html#ProdC3

THe Sonist owner/designer is an elderly gentleman with years of experience distributing speakers. He didn't mention any objective engineering expertise and my impression is that his speaker designing is much more listening than anything else. He uses a local custom cabinet shop to do the speaker enclosures.

The Dehavilland Tube Amps are Model 50A, Interstage Triode Driven Triode Monoblock Amplifier, 40 watts rms, KT88 output tubes wth dual tube rectification. Based on the Model 50A by Fisher introduced back in 1954. Retail $7250 per pair.

Kara Chaffee engineered the amps and explained how the amps evolved from the original Fisher amps and why she luvs them so much.

http://www.dehavillandhifi.com/Products%20Page.htm


The proprietor of Cable Research Lab, providing the thick cables and power cords used, also spoke. I admit, I laughed this one off. He didn't go into any
scientific stuff at all. He bought the cable company a few years back from the owner of FIM cables, they had been inactive with no new products in some years, and he restarted the line. He has lines of copper, silver and gold cables, each more expensive. Even I was laughing but not out loud out of respect.


http://www.cableresearchlab.com/

I am going to ask a favor. Do not worry about objective considerations of DBT, level matching, etc. This was a club demo. The question is how much does the demo move ya? Objectively the reviews and stats can be tops, but if it doesn't move ya, it doesn't move ya. What good is a top objective system if you don't particularly care for the sound?

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Old 05-28-2009, 06:47 AM - Thread Starter
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The other month I started a long thread here about YG Acoustics speakers, another club demo. Super expensive. Super rigid airplane aluminum. Objective engineering and stats. WOOPEE! I never told you if I like how they sounded. Because the demo did little for me, just another demo.

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Old 05-28-2009, 06:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Last Tuesday nite's demo started out - ok. But after a few minutes, I moved from siting at the front side to the rear standing. And I also walked around some. Once the system was on more than a few minutes, I was simply drawn in. Played a lot of jazz with both male and female vocals. And some Neil Young acoustic. I really started to feel like I there and just sensewise really enjoyed this demo. I imagined being in the front few rows of Neil Young back in his 1980 tour (I was there). Really nice.

I should add, the speaker owner/designer had this interesting CD player that he used for the demo, manufactured I think by Blue Note???? Retail 6 grand.
The player has four aluminum? legs, and the player is sandwiched hanging down from the legs. I guess vibration control. He advised that his CD player allows him to hear nuances that other CD players don't. All I can tell you is that I "felt" I was hearing a lotta nuances, real life like.

The demo room is an industrial park office building conference room. No room treatment. Nothing special. Yet the sound was awesome. Two channel but room filling "surround sound". HA!

The speakers obviously don't play superloud like Nin74 likes!!!@@@
But I found them to have plenty of loudness for the music played.
The highs were awesome. Bass was fine, though not perhaps quite as
plumpy as if one added a musical sub. Most important, the music drew me in.

I could happily live with this system in a music only stereo setup anyday.

In this case subjective triumphs over objective science any day.

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Old 05-28-2009, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

In this case subjective triumphs over objective science any day.


I'm not saying against you but I see that many that buy a speakers, or a tube amp, that give them "something special" are in many cases selling and buying new stuff later on. The "coloration" is maybe fun for a little while, but in the long run the added "sound" and the lesser differencies make music less fun to listen to.
Just my observation, not a fact

Sound and video is not magic, it is pure physics. Physics that can be magical
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NIN74 View Post

I'm not saying against you but I see that many that buy a speakers, or a tube amp, that give them "something special" are in many cases selling and buying new stuff later on. The "coloration" is maybe fun for a little while, but in the long run the added "sound" and the lesser differencies make music less fun to listen to.
Just my observation, not a fact

This occurs with "audiophiles" whether solid state or tubes. But a much higher percentage of folks with tubes are "audiophiles". Looking for that sonic nirvana. Changing gear all too frequently, like changing digital projectors frequently that some AVSers do.

You make a legit point. Though I've heard a lotta systems over the years and I must say I heard something very, very special, at a very nice price point, here. I do not worry about "coloration". I worry about how does it sound.
This was one of the nicest demos I've heard in years.

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Old 05-28-2009, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NIN74 View Post

The "coloration" is maybe fun for a little while, but in the long run the added "sound" and the lesser differencies make music less fun to listen to.

Some coloration for me (e.g some tube gear on certain speakers) make music MORE fun to listen to.

An audio dealer from many years ago once told me that to a certain point, since not a single audio system at any price and with any technology gets even remotely close to the real thing --- only an approximation --- (just go the the Symphony and run home and put on our best recording) then it seems perfectly legitimate to find a pleasing approximation and enjoy the experience.

I believe there is some wisdom in that approach. While I am all about accurate, I have heard "accurate" systems that leave me incredibly cold and un-moved. I, like Steve, prefer involvement!!

New Theater

Romans 10:9-10;17


Obsessed is just a word the ill-informed use to describe the dedicated
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I still will review objective information and consider this seriously. But in the end, its what moves me!!@@ The best objective stereo in the world for all the $$$$ and if it doesn't move me what's the good???

You mean you don't remember me? Back 1999 - 2003, I started and moderated the AVS Tweaks forum and also the AVS Special Guests forum.

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Old 05-28-2009, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NIN74 View Post

I'm not saying against you but I see that many that buy a speakers, or a tube amp, that give them "something special" are in many cases selling and buying new stuff later on. The "coloration" is maybe fun for a little while, but in the long run the added "sound" and the lesser differencies make music less fun to listen to.
Just my observation, not a fact

NIN, have you listened to any tube amps that you subjectively liked? What's the efficiency of your speakers - have you tried any tube amps? Or do you like to play SO LOUD that this rules out tubes, you need solid state for what you want?

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Old 05-28-2009, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

NIN, have you listened to any tube amps that you subjectively liked? What's the efficiency of your speakers - have you tried any tube amps? Or do you like to play SO LOUD that this rules out tubes, you need solid state for what you want?



I had a 13K$ tube amp for 9 years and I will not go back
My speaker have 92 dB and I like to play loud so I need a lot of power. And I also want as uncolored sound as possible, so I don't think I will go back to the tube thing again.

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Old 05-28-2009, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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I had a 13K$ tube amp for 9 years and I will not go back
My speaker have 92 dB and I like to play loud so I need a lot of power. And I also want as uncolored sound as possible, so I don't think I will go back to the tube thing again.

I can appreciate. Its clear from that other thread that you like to play LOUD!
Actually, my Theta Enterprise Amps and Aerial speakers also can play loud in my dedicated room - whatever level I want - and I like that.

What tube amp did you have?

As we are discussing, subjective is important.How it sounds, how loud it plays for your taste, etc.

Still, this Sonos loudspeaker, tube amp demo was nonetheless sensational and one could easily live without getting as LOUD as you apparently like it. HA!

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Old 05-28-2009, 05:41 PM
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Well, most of the tims I only play at 80-95 dB at listningposition, or even lower. But I want to have the headroom if I want to play it loud.
I had a Tube technology Synergy amp.

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Old 05-28-2009, 05:50 PM
 
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I wonder how long this thread will survive. Its looks fine so I dunno, it might be gone by Monday. Its a Steve B started thread and that's (the thread, not Steve B) if form follows form like a horse that sprints out of the gate and gets shipped to the glue factory before the race is over.I wonder if the speaker wires were replaced with 14/2 zip cord whether the system would have still moved you? We and you just don't know. My guess is that we the amp and cd player, a pair of $100 Radio Shack speakers coupled with a $500 sub would have sounded good. Re moving around. It is almost impossible to obtain great sound when setting up a system to fill a large area instead of a smaller sweet spot. So it would be interesting to know how the speakers were aligned.

It didn't sound from your observations that they were set up for near field listening. Unless they were, the untreated walls would be brought into play and depending on room size from side to side, far far field might be better if the first order side wall reflections arrived 14 ms or so after the direct sound. Juat being serious but not critical. Glad you like it.
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Old 05-29-2009, 06:25 AM - Thread Starter
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This was a large room and the speakers were not setup for near field listening.
The speakers commanded a disappearing presence filling the entire large room quite nicely.

You mean you don't remember me? Back 1999 - 2003, I started and moderated the AVS Tweaks forum and also the AVS Special Guests forum.

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