I Got To Meet Roger Russell Today! - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-21-2012, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
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My best friend, and fellow audiophile Mike and I drove from the Tampa Florida area over to the other side of Orlando to Roger Russell's house. I bought his old line source array prototypes, and Mike and I were there to pick them up.
While we were there, we got the chance to hear his new speakers. They are called the IDS 25, and are basically 25 3.5 inch full range drivers in a floor to ceiling vertical array. They do use equalization.
I was not exactly dead center, but close to it. My friend Mike was in the hot seat.
Roger played some classical I was unfamiliar with, it sounded smooth and sweet.
Next he played some Fleetwood Mac I was unfamiliar with, Christine McVie's voice sounded very good.
Then Roger played some crazy New Age stuff, to show off the Imaging, and the room seemed to disappear.
Mike brought in some Jazz from the 60's with a very very well recorded Sax on it, and a string bass.
I have never heard it before, but I was amazed how fast the bass was, and it had some impact.
My friend Mike has VMPS RM 40's, and he remarked that on his speakers, at his house, the Sax was more Immediate.
He thought the IDS 25's sounded good, but were more "polite" then his speakers.
Then, Roger put on the Beach Boys song "Surfer Girl". I am ultra familiar with this song, and the IDS 25 really sounded great to me, on this cut.
There is just "something about" a full range driver, call it coherence, call it what you will, but if you have ever sat in front of a good full range driver, you know what I am talking about.
The IDS 25 reproduced this Beach Boys Song, about as good as I have ever heard it!

It was a 2 hour drive from where we live to Rogers, so we couldn't stay as long as we liked.
Plus, we had to get the speakers I bought from Roger out into the truck.

The speakers I bought from Roger use the old McIntosh 107 Equalizer, and it had to be set up.
I was not sure if I had the manual to set it up right. Roger smiled and said "I think I can figure out how to get it working, I designed it"
So, Roger put the right capacitors in the equalizer for me, and gave me an extra manual for the used McIntosh MC 107 I bought.

The Prototype Line Source speakers I bought from Roger are not hooked up yet, that's for tomorrow:)
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-22-2012, 06:57 AM
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Cool story, thanks for sharing. Can you share any details about the room?



Also, if anyone hasn't read the story of his time at Mc, it is truly a phenomenal red in my opinion, here.

there's a lot there, but it's truly revealing about Mc, and how a superb individual can get jerked around despite their technical prowess.

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post #3 of 7 Old 07-22-2012, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FOH View Post

Cool story, thanks for sharing. Can you share any details about the room?
Also, if anyone hasn't read the story of his time at Mc, it is truly a phenomenal red in my opinion, here.
there's a lot there, but it's truly revealing about Mc, and how a superb individual can get jerked around despite their technical prowess.
Roger has a pretty small listening room, and it is not what I would call a good room.
Looking at the speakers, to the left, 3 feet away, are hard glass and a wall, and to the right of the speakers, maybe 2 feet away is a hard brick inner wall.
There is thick carpet in there, and the ceiling slopes upward from the back wall. Roger has his speakers 4 inches out from the back wall, firing straight ahead
I would estimate they are 6 feet apart, and you are 8 -9 feet away. There is a couch in between the speakers.
Of course, there is a full blown older McIntosh Solid State stack running the show:) Speaker Wire was what Roger got at a Flea Market 4 years ago he said:)
His interconnects were all stock. His McIntosh Preamp is not balanced like his big amp is capable of, and he talked about getting a better McIntosh preamp, someday.
We talked a little about his days at McIntosh. I asked if he remembered Mila Nesterovic and Richard Modafari, he said he did.
I asked him if he missed Binghamton, he said they can have the Snow!

I am a Ham (Ka7niq), and Roger told me that both his father, and his grandpa were both Hams! His mind is still sharp as a tack, he even recalled both their Ham Radio Callsigns!
We were talking about amplifiers, and how some Mac's use one amplifier to cancel the distortion in what is called a balanced bridge circuit, I think ?
Roger let us know he did not believe in this circuit (too much to go wrong he said).
Oh, he did talk about Tone Burst Testing, and the importance of passing good square waves in amplifiers. I told him I have plenty of power to drive the old prototype line array speakers I got from him.
He asked me what amp I will use to drive the speakers I was getting from him, and I told him it is a Chinese copy of a big Pro Sound Type of Yamaha. He told us he owned a Yamaha M 80 Power amp once, and that it was a good amp.

I have my work cut out for me. The line array prototypes I got from Roger are about 2 inches too tall for my room! But, I have a suspended ceiling, so we plan to pull out some ceiling panels, so the speakers will "fit".
This way, I will be able to listen to the speakers, and IF I like them, the plan is to cut the speakers height down, and remove a pair of 2 drivers from each side.
As of right now, they are equalized to go flat to 25 hz, but I may change this. Unlike Roger, I have a pair of monster subwoofers. I don't need the speakers to supply any low bass. Just enough to marry the subwoofers at 80 to 100 hz.

My room will make nearly 4 of Rogers room size. It is highly unlikely the speakers can supply enough bass by themselves in there anyway, and since I have those monster subs, why even go there ?
So, this is where I am at, so far.
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-22-2012, 08:30 AM
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Thanks for the insight, I'd really enjoy visiting w/him, talking shop, etc.

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post #5 of 7 Old 07-22-2012, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FOH View Post

Thanks for the insight, I'd really enjoy visiting w/him, talking shop, etc.
I hear ya brother! You know how new speakers are, some work out, some don't. I bought the line array prototypes from Roger w/o hearing them first, based on Rogers reputation.
They may make the team here, they may not. If not, I will pass them on.
But just getting the chance to meet Roger was worth it all. I have met quite a few big names in audio, over the years. Some of them have Ego's so big, they need their own Zip Codes. They are much smarter then you and me, and they will flat tell you they are too.
Roger is quite un assuming, and seems to take great care to talk to you in language you can easily understand.
I could tell he is very much a music lover, when he demonstrated his IDS 25 speakers. He knows I can't afford what they cost. It was more like one audio guy showing another audio guy, what they like, and listen to. He played some really crazy sounding New Age stuff that showed the imaging of the IDS 25 speakers. His face lit up, and he said something like "I love it when you can't tell where the speakers are".

I really wish we could have stayed longer, but traffic between Tampa and Orlando really sucks sometimes on Interstate 4. It was Saturday, and you get all the traffic from Disney and Universal Studios, with all the lost tourists, etc,etc, etc.

Oh, I heard no comb filtering either, and I squatted down, and rose up slow as I could, to listen for it. I also heard no brightness either. My listening to the IDS 25 was time limited, and I was only really familiar with one cut that was played. But If I were to describe them, they sound much like older Vandersteens. Sweet, a bit laid back, super smooth, and very musical. Imaging was very good, and they would easily overwhelm the small room Roger has, when turned up. But, as volume was increased, they simply got louder. I detected no sense of strain.
I wonder what my pair are going to sound like ? My pair are not IDS 25's. They are based on a speaker project Roger wrote and did for AudioXPress Magazine.
I sure hope they sound like the IDS 25's.

Unlike the IDS 25's that have their own dedicated equalizer, mine use the MC 107 equalizer, and only one slot out of 7 slots are used.
Roger showed me the super flat response he measured from the drivers between 100 hz and 4 k w/o any equalization, but did tell me IF my room has a big effect on the speakers, we can set the MC 107 to correct it.
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-22-2012, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FOH View Post

Cool story, thanks for sharing. Can you share any details about the room?
Also, if anyone hasn't read the story of his time at Mc, it is truly a phenomenal red in my opinion, here.
there's a lot there, but it's truly revealing about Mc, and how a superb individual can get jerked around despite their technical prowess.
Holy you know what, I just read about all that ******** that happened to him at McIntosh. Like you said, Roger Russell's website is quite large, and I confined myself to the other parts of it.
That one dude that took over at McIntosh was like the kiss of death!
He went to ADS after McIntosh ran him off, then ADS ran him off, then he went to Snell, and they went out of business!

You know, Roger never said ONE bad word about McIntosh when I was at his home, or what happened to him there, at the end.
I did find it strange though, that he was planning to BUY a newer McIntosh preamp. I would think after all he did for McIntosh for 20 some years, they would just freaking give him one ?
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-24-2012, 02:30 PM
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The Peter Principle


Yep, they sure jerked him around, I absolutely loved the read, very few around here even take the time to read it, as it's quite long. But man oh man, is it worth it, what a story. Placing him and his colleague in the auto-sound division, etc., these guys were incredibly talented,... what a pity. Again, great read and highly recommended. Thanks for reading it.

Best of luck

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