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Central Iowa Spring Audio GTG - JTR/Bamberg/Seaton/Salk/GR Research - Page 8

post #211 of 284
Does the room have any acoustic treatments?
Just curious, not trying to be critical.
post #212 of 284
I'm just sitting here in the back yard reading this and laughing Jonathan. I really kept Jeff in check the couple of times he was out here for GTG's. It sounds like he had lot's of co-conspirators in Iowa. Great fun and very sorry I missed it. Thanks Dbeck and all for the information and entertainment. cool.gif

BTW, my OS's are level matched or maybe -1 or 2db. If I bumped them 6-8db and ran the system at +20 in my suspended floor room ... eek.gifeek.gifeek.gif

I've got to get some ear plugs... biggrin.gif
post #213 of 284
Thread Starter 
And you thought the worse last night was a broken picture. Look at what happened today after a little settling...
post #214 of 284
post #215 of 284
Originally Posted by RMK! View Post

I'm just sitting here in the back yard reading this and laughing Jonathan. I really kept Jeff in check the couple of times he was out here for GTG's. It sounds like he had lot's of co-conspirators in Iowa. Great fun and very sorry I missed it. Thanks Dbeck and all for the information and entertainment. cool.gif

BTW, my OS's are level matched or maybe -1 or 2db. If I bumped them 6-8db and ran the system at +20 in my suspended floor room ... eek.gifeek.gifeek.gif

I've got to get some ear plugs... biggrin.gif

Yes. Suspended floor with orbit shifters? I didn't realize you were on a suspended floor! That's gotta be nearly unbeatable. Egads

Yeah Jeff with the remote is sorta like those Toyotas with the failed accelerators that you can't disengage. There is no shutting him down once he starts 'misbehaving' wink.gif but I hadn't seen that side of desertdome before. Desertdome is certainly a bit sick with the remote too!

Jeff looked pretty rough by about 1:30 am. He was planning on driving back to Wisconsin 6hrs drive for a meeting Sunday morning, and was coming back to Topeka, Kansas next weekend for a motorcycle race. The man runs himself ragged. I hope everybody else made it home last night okay too. I couldn't keep my eyes open by about 3am. I give a big nod to stitch1 for driving the kc gang home. We got home about 4:30am.
post #216 of 284
Originally Posted by Milt99 View Post

Does the room have any acoustic treatments?
Just curious, not trying to be critical.
there were a few acoustic panels the vendors could move around.
post #217 of 284
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

there were a few acoustic panels the vendors could move around.

There are a total of 6 GIK acoustic treatments. Some tri-traps, 244's and their new bass traps.
post #218 of 284
I also had an amazing time. David put on a great event and his wife deserved big kudos for the great food including the wonderful chocolate chip cookies and cake balls. I also have to throw out a big thanks to the manufacturers for taking the time to support small local events like this and spend time talking with a fervent group of enthusiasts like this. I don't know if they made any sales this weekend but I can guarantee that the attendees including myself will be looking at these guys when it is time to buy.

On to the speakers. I certainly didn't take as good notes as Archea but do have some thoughts. I think it would have been a good idea to level match the speakers for the formal audition (not just the blind audition) and also keep the levels at a reasonable level for all the speakers until perhaps later when we can turn them loose with the volume knobs. Some of the speakers like the Bamberg and the Salks were simply being over driven at points. This isn't a fault of the speakers or the designer; simply the limits of a 6" high end audio driver and 1" dome or ribbon tweeter compared to a pair of 12" pro audio woofers and a compression tweeter/horn. As Archea said, different design goals.My tastes to lean towards music first and HT second so that bias will show up below.

The BESL Series 5

These tied with the Salk's for best sound for me. I thought the midrange on these was almost perfect. The mid and the treble were integrated very well and I didn't notice any lobing issues when sitting or standing up. The servo woofer was integrated really well and added great low end to them; though nowhere near the depth and impact that was being put out by the other speakers using the two captivator subs. They had a broad soundstage and when I was in the sweet spot you could clearly hear the different locations of the singers and instruments. As I mentioned above, there were simply spots where the speakers sounded strained because they were being played louder than they should have been in a really big room. I thought these were great sounding speakers and if you want to listen to music at reasonable volumes, you would be hard pressed to find better. if you want to crank it up really loud in a home theater or blast the Metallica at reference levels there are better choices. The build quality on these was also stellar.

The SVS Ultra

These were great looking speakers and sounded far far better than their relatively modest price would imply. I thought the low end was a bit loose in a couple spots but it was hard to tell if that was the room or the integration with the subs. These seemed to be a bit recessed in the midrange compared to the BESL speakers and also a tiny bit brighter on the high end but I didn't get to sit in enough spots while listening to this one to be sure if this was the case off axis as well. The SVS with its dual mids seemed to handle the louder tracks a bit better than the BESL with it's single mid. While it appeared to strain less, it still was being asked to play louder at times than it should have been. I liked this speaker and it would be a nice dual use speaker for two channel as well as part of a home theater.

Seaton Catalyst

These were tied with the JTRs for dynamics, sheer output, and putting a big kid like grin on grown men. The tonal balance was very good although I felt the very top end sounded rolled off compared to the Salk's which I felt had the best highs of the day. I thought the speaker sounded very good when paired with the dual Captivator subs but I thought it really came to life when Mark switched the DSP over to full range mode and I thought that it sounded even better in the low end than with the subs, though I am sure this was just a matter of the room and integration as Jeff's subs were amazing. Despite sounding very good at moderate volumes, I felt the Catalysts really shined when cranked up. I wasn't there for the late night house destroying session but during the audition, the louder you played them the better they sounded. The seemingly limitless dynamcs were almost scary but even at almost painful volume levels they still showed no signs of strain or distortion. If I was going to get speakers for home theater but also wanted them to sound good on music these would be my choice of anything I have ever heard, hands down. (To be fair to the JTR speakers, I only had a couple minutes to listen to them before I had to take off; so if I had more time to listen them them, my opinion might have changed)


These were probably one of my least favorite speakers of the day, though given the level of competition at the GTG, that is like getting a bronze in the Olympics. During a couple of the electronic tracks I thought they sounded a bit peaky in the mids and low treble. I noticed it during the blind audition on some of the sysths and later in the real listening. I thought the integration between the mids and tweeters was good and despite the array of ribbons. They had good imaging across multiple seating locations. One place where these did excel was in the dynamics. During some of the drumming tracks I was amazed by how well they handled the loud and complex low frequencies. They were among the best of the day on these tracks.

Salk HT2

I thought these tied with the BESL series for best sound. I was very surprised how much impact they had down low and on some tracks I preferred them to the series 5, though overall I preferred the lows on the Bamberg as it felt more in control and less strained on the lows, though the difference was small. They also were almost flawless through the mid range and vocals sounded amazing, though these sounded a touch more laid back through the mids than the series 5. Depending on the track, especially some of the harsher tracks I preferred the Salk while on other better recorded tracks like the DIana Krall I preferred the BESL. The one place where I preferred the Salk over the series 5 was the treble as the ribbon had so much detail without being hot. This surprised me as I have worked quite a bit with the Millennium tweeter Phil and it is one of my favorite tweeters. While the point of the session was sound, I can't help mention how gorgeous the Salk speakers are. As I mentioned before these sounded a bit strained at the volume levels on some of the tracks. I thought the dual Excel woofers handled this a bit better than the single Excel in the series 5 but in the end, we were playing these louder than an audiophile speaker is designed for. These would be my choice over the BESL for two channel and some light home theater, though I think I would prefer the BESL for strictly two channel.

JTR Noesis

Unfortunately I had to leave just as the formal audition for the Noesis was starting so I can't really say too much about them. However, during the blind audition and the quick listen I did during the formal audition I thought they were well balanced and had great dynamics.I wish I would have had more time to listen to these as the small bit I heard did wet my appetite for more.

The GTG was a great experience for me and I can't thank those involved enough for putting it on. I made some new friends and I heard a wide variety of amazing sounding speakers all with differing design goals yet all having their own set of strengths. I can't want for the next event.


post #219 of 284
Thread Starter 
Finally the house is all cleaned up and back to normal (well, almost:-). I want to thank everyone for coming to this event. Even though we experienced some delays and issues I think the day turned out well. Definitely learned some lessons if I ever decide to host one of these again (am I that crazy?). This was my 3rd event and much different because there were 5 manufacturers present. This significantly increases the pressure to make sure things happen without a hitch. You certainly want these guys to feel it was worth the trip and not feel disappointed. Unfortunately we experienced some problems that impacted everyone in a different way. However, it was a fun event and I think everyone had a great time.

A big thanks for Jeff, Mark, Phil, Roger and Steve. All these guys are world class and some of the nicest and most knowledgable guys you could ever meet. Phil helped in many different ways that had nothing to do with the event. Thank you Phil. My son is still talking about all the tennis tips. :-) I also want to thank Chris Seymour from Seymour AV. He supplied the AT material that we used during the blind event and it worked fantastic. Special thanks to DesertDome for supplying the brains behind the event and also to Steve Crabb for helping with the iRule remote. It is amazing!!!

Like it was said before, all the speakers sounded amazing. There was a type of speaker for everyone's taste. For me, as I sit down to reflect on the event, I'm happy I'm sitting in front of my Salk HT2-TL's. They sound crazy good with female vocals and that's my preference (Brandi is in Des Moines July 7th :-). Now if I ever do that AT screen then Seatons or JTR's will certainly do the trick.

Again thanks to all for coming!
Edited by dlbeck - 4/28/13 at 8:28pm
post #220 of 284
Thread Starter 
For those that want to learn more about the speaker placement methodology that Phil Bamberg was discussing, you can check out this link:

post #221 of 284
David.... can't thank you enough for inviting us all into your home and the wonderful host your family was. Thank you, thank you , thank you. It was great to hear some speakers I do not have the chance to listen to in shops or at HT meets.
post #222 of 284
David, thanks for posting the link to Cardas room setup. However, both the Cardas AND Audiophysic setup tips links can be found on this tech article page:

Again, if your significant other will allow you to bring the speakers off the front wall, then begin with the Cardas setup. Afterwards, fine-tune the final sound with the AudioPhysic tips.

From the photos you will notice that the Bamberg speakers had NO toe-in, which is unusual for me. But this is a compliment to David's room dimensions when firing down its length.

On setup day, I determined that the center image was not as focused as I might like from the front row, but it was fine in the back seats. Further, you can hear the image bloom from the left/right deep corners of the stage better this way. A little toe-in focuses the center, but "shortens" the image depth in the sound stage corners. So it's a trade-off, but not much of one when there are a few rows of seats. (I hope you can visualize my explanation.)
post #223 of 284
Originally Posted by Milt99 View Post

Does the room have any acoustic treatments?
Just curious, not trying to be critical.
That is another benefit of the Noesis. The horns 60/40 directivity allows for less reflections on sidewalls, floors, and ceilings. The end result is less acoustic panels are needed.
Chris W
post #224 of 284
Have Jeff or Mark shared any measurements of the speakers?
post #225 of 284
Thread Starter 
Emails will be sent to the winners of the drawings. Congrats!
post #226 of 284
Originally Posted by dlbeck View Post

Picture of the playlist. If this doesn't work I will type it out. The name of #19 is Fuel by Ani DiFranco.

What was that song that had the word jazz in the title (or maybe in the artist name)? Many of us were asking about it but I can't remember what it was called. I don't think it was on the standard playlist but we heard it a couple times? Anyone know what I'm talking about? I was impressed with how it sounded.
post #227 of 284
Originally Posted by carp View Post

What was that song that had the word jazz in the title (or maybe in the artist name)? Many of us were asking about it but I can't remember what it was called. I don't think it was on the standard playlist but we heard it a couple times? Anyone know what I'm talking about? I was impressed with how it sounded.

Jazz Variants, O-Zone Percussion Group.

WAIT! Did I just school carp on a song title?!?!?!?!? smile.gif
post #228 of 284
Originally Posted by dlbeck View Post

This one hurt too. Take the remote away from Jeff!!!

Well that's interesting... a similar sentiment was expressed at the NE GTG. biggrin.gif The man is fearless...
post #229 of 284
Originally Posted by Archaea View Post

What a fun G2G!


David Beck as G2G host? Double win! David I don’t know how you get buy in from your wife and family on these things but it’s amazing! David’s wife and family made a welcome poster, GADs of snacks, and a speaker cake! (of which I had several pieces and the rest of you just missed out – cause it was GOOD!). I don’t know how many pounds of beef were purchased but I’m thinking there must have been close to 20lbs of beef between chili for lunch and tacos for dinner. There was enough ground beef to have fed all 25ish attendees and David’s family twice over. There was no shortage of food or drink! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! The chocolate cookies were excellent, the chili was awesome and the tacos hit the spot! Wine and beer all supplied? Really It was over the top! Who sponsored that $100 amazon gift card, $25 itunes gift card, and $15 Starbucks gift card give away? The games were great, and the demonstrations by the venders were fun to engage in! Thank you and DesertDome for organizing everything! DesertDome – thank you for working the EQ and doing all the setup work. I saw cables, amps, hardware EVERYWHERE as we were picking up Saturday night. I imagine most of that equipment belongs to you and so I thank you for tearing up your equipment back home to set it up and share it with us at David’s house!

The music trivia game was the most fun ‘party game’ I’ve played in a LONG time – perhaps ever! That was a great idea, and I applaud whoever came up with it! Carp was on point for that contest! WOW. I felt like his brain was a Shazam super-computer,and mine was rolodex by comparison. Most times he had raised his hand and been called on to answer the question by the time I could even get my pea brain to process what I’d heard for .5 seconds – just 2 seconds ago. I’d swear one time I didn’t hear any music at all and he named the song. I exclaimed to the group –“ what the heck just happened? ---Michael did you even play the clip yet?” A couple times he answered a song based on the first second or two of distortion in a track (not even musical notes) and a dozen times he named a song on a single note or two it seemed. Ridiculous. I guess listening to music for four hours a night pays off. At least for a $100 Amazon gift card in this case! I suppose it’s not too much a chore though – to listen to music with the 212HT. :P At any rate – it was absolutely bizarre. Basically – the only time the rest of us had a chance was when David deliberately overlooked Sheldon’s raised hand as a mercy gesture, or on the rare occasion it was a song carp had never heard. If there was a national competition for this kind of thing I’d sponsor carp!
The meet was laid out really well. Planned really well, and implemented well! The blind listening section to a mono speaker was a great idea, and some quick fun, but sadly probably really didn’t really amount to much of anything for most people because the speakers were ‘arrayed’ across the front of the soundstage and as everyone knows room positioning and seating positioning REALLY can affect your impression of a speaker. Also there was no subs to sponsor the speakers that were not designed to run full range. So for those of you with less experience, take even your own impressions during the blind listening section with a grain of salt.

The stereo setup section was fantastic. Each of the vendors present got to setup their gear the previous day and could spend time making it right with EQ preferences and tailoring their gear to the room! Some oddities occurred with timing delays with the JTR S2 subs that maybe someone will elaborate on, but on several occasions I felt the timing delay on the S2’s was slightly off. The full range speakers without S2 integration probably had some level of advantage here because of this fact, but not across the board. The S2 integration with the 212HT was great. I heard Mark say that they had it all down pat during Friday’s setup date for each speaker they chose to run with subs, but that the room sounded much different with 25 bodies in it, than it did with just their setup gear. The vendors certainly expected this – but the early setup was a compromise to do the best they could to eliminate setup time and keep the meet’s pace moving. There wasn't too much down time between speakers, and when there was some downtime it was fun to meet new folk and catch up with old friends. There was bocce ball and ladder golf and a demo room upstairs showcasing Lynx equipment and both JTR Single 8 and Bamberrg monitors. I’m not really a separates kind of guy – my Onkyo AVR suits my needs just fine for theater use and connection to my HTPC through my Nvidia GTX670, but I appreciate that the Lynx representative, Roger Schermerhorn, both supplied superior hardware for the meet’s use, and was willing to share his knowledge on the Lynx DAC hardware. Roger also provided some helpful information about places to download or buy DSD files (a newer lossless format I was previously unfamiliar with). Steve did a great job of showing off the Irule. It looks to be an impressive tool!

Of course I thank Phil Bamberrg, Mark Seaton and Jeff Permanian for showing up, representing their products, and talking shop with the enthusiasts. You guys are heroes in the hobby! I’ve heard a lot of people say they like supporting vendors that support these types of events, and I agree with that sentiment! Thanks to SVS too for working out a low or no cost ‘loan’/’buyback’ of their SVS Ultra Towers with dlbeck for the purposes of showcasing their new equipment! This kind of support of the community goes a long way towards building respect and loyalty for your brand!

On to my meet Notes!

I don’t think I’ll rate the speakers in an order. I’ll just let my comments speak for themselves to what I preferred. Speakers are so subjective. I may absolutely love something and be bowled over by its performance and you might find yourself unimpressed & vice versa. Speakers are probably one of the most subjectively evaluated things I’ve run into in any hobby I’ve enjoyed. What’s more --- our preference bias is based so much on what we’ve heard in the past, own, or have previously considered to be good equipment. If your gear at home is setup like ‘Y’, even if ‘Y’ is setup incorrectly then you are going to more closely identify with the setup that sounds similar to ‘Y’ – even if Speaker ‘Z’ measures more accurate. IE If I have a room null in my room in a midbass region and don’t’ know it – I might prefer and advocate speaker that has less midbass because it’s what I’m used to hearing . Speakers are something each buyer should listen to himself and make his own decision. These meets, especially when kicked off in this manner are absolutely excellent --- because the vendor gets to represent his speaker setup as he wishes. The previous day setup was a fantastic idea.
So --- summarily – my disclaimer is that my review notes are 100% honest from my perspective and absolutely biased to my subjective preferences and tastes. If you like loud, live, transparent, high quality sound and your favorite music genres are top 40, funk, bluegrass/folk, acoustic, vocal or accapella, dubstep, and various bass heavy tracks – then you might parallel my tastes. I listen to music at about -20 or -25, with the subs about 6dB hot. I watch movies at about -12dB from reference, but I like to replay my favorite demo scenes somewhere between -5dB to reference type levels with my JTR Captivator subs 6 to 9 dB hot. I do not like listening to speakers much above about +5 over reference -- even for very short demos --- it’s too freaking loud. + 20dB is too loud --- yes I’m talking to you carp, popalock,gorilla83, pennynike1,and Jeff P. . In the old days of manual EQ for speakers – I used to EQ a bit of a smiley face. I hate a bright treble bias –I don’t much like the sound of electric guitars. In guitar hero type games I’ll pick the bass guitar every time, and turn up the bass too boot. I do like subwoofers that measure flat and are accurate (thanks to Luke Kamp), but I do like the bass emphasized. Those are my preferences. Evaluate my write-up of each speaker through the lens of my preferences.

I moved all over dlbeck’s room during these demos. The demos were broken into sections and we’d all rotate seats. I had a center seat for a demo section on each of the speakers, but other times were spent off axis or perhaps in the back center. So each review is a bit of a mix of many different listening positions. I recorded my written notes under each speaker, and then summarized my thoughts on the overall presentation below that. This is the order we demoed them in - so the bullet points should be written with that in mind.

Bamberrg Series 5 TMW
  • Vocals sounded really good most of the time.
  • Jazz female vocal with snapping fingers was fantastic in center front seat
  • Very impressive lowbass in full range --- played without JTR S2 subs engaged
  • Volume started inching up? – Now highs on the screaming female vocal track sounded pressed
  • Got Chills on the Star Wars Track (1 of 4 speakers to do this during this track)
  • Hallelujah track sounded ‘smaller’ than I am used to on my JTR 228HT at home (not ideal)
  • Imaging is good from center seat area – not pinpoint focused – but of the larger soundstage type.

As the volume increased I was not a fan of these speakers, but they were excellent when kept within their limits. In limits – clear, detailed, very accurate – taken past limits sound strained easily. Phil said that it was because they were revealing on the tracks –using the example of vocal mic recordings being recorded too close to the mouth and overloading the mic. He said the Bamberrg would reveal the details of the recording to a fault – and that some of the tracks were recorded poorly and the Bamberrg was reproducing that. This may be the case and more detectable in a smaller listening environment, but my take was that the speakers were being played beyond their capability a little bit in a setting like we had. I don’t think that was anyone’s intent. David’s room is large,and I don’t think the speakers were quite up to the task of filling the room with the SPL levels requested. Phil asked us to back it off a bit at one point during the standardized playlist. Phil said the room might have been getting overloaded, but I honestly think it wasn't the room so much as the speakers -- evidenced by the fact some of the later auditions did not struggle on those same tracks and remained in character through their demos at the same or increased volumes. The 2011 Wisconsin speaker G2G came to my mind where some of the full range audiophile speakers were taken a bit past their comfort zones. Reason? -- Different design choices to meet different goals! Mark shared with me that Phil is a very competent audio engineer but that his products may not cater to some of the group’s volume preferences at this type of meet. That seems accurate. Phil appeared knowledgeable, and was willing to share tips with the attendees, his setup advice seemed to be followed by the other vendors at the meet in regards to in room speaker placement for the best imaging. His product sounded excellent and detailed at lower listening levels - I just don’t think his series 5 speakers would cater to the spl levels, and listening preferences I personally most enjoy. As a side note I did like the Bamberrg monitors upstairs that played alongside the JTR single 8. I don’t know much of anything about them and didn’t get to spend that much time with them, but from what I heard – they sounded really nice in David’s living room and if in the market for some passive monitors – these would be something to consider.

SVS Ultra
  • Same male vocal that sounded great on the Bamberrg sounded great on SVS. (In fact this male vocal sounded great on every speaker I realized as the day wore on.)
  • I liked these speakers early in the audition. I’d own them. (this was my second written comment)
  • I liked the female screaming vocals better on these than the first Bamberrg demo. I think these had a bit more spl headroom.
  • I could tell the S2 subs were engaged on some of the lower biased tracks – which I liked, and complimented these speakers.
  • I felt like these were not as detailed/clear/revealing as the Bamberrg, but actually liked their sound better subjectively.
  • I got chills again on the Star Wars Track.
  • They were a bit bright on the techno track intro (this was the first track they sounded a bit too bright)
  • A bit ‘edgy’ on the Brandy Carlyle track
  • A bit brash on some of the metal tracks (too bright)

The basic sound signature on these sounded like a bit of a smiley face EQ to me. I like that. I liked these. I’d own them, though I like my 228HT better for a bit more $. Some of the East Coast guys at the Gorilla83 meet said these speakers sounded boomy. I was curious so I asked at the end of the demo if we could disconnect the S2 subs and play the SVS towers in full range. The host obliged and we proceeded to play some bass filled tracks. I did not pick up on that boomy’ness characteristic at all with our demo session. Dlbeck played Black Eyed Peas Boom Boom Pow and I stood up in the back of the room and walked around the room then then walked up to the SVS. The Ultra towers were doing fine. Notes sounded accurate and consistent volumes across the various bass frequencies. They did not sound boomy or bloated to me. Again, my subjective evaluation. I do not think they were hitting 28hz as they are rated for. They were just completely missing the lowest note on the Black Eyed Pea song, and I don’t think that note is lower than 28hz. I’d be surprised if the Ultra towers actually were playing much below 40hz in David’s big room in full range mode. Maybe when DesertDome posts the graphs we can verify, but I was talking to MrSmithers later and he had said he bet it was about a 45hz rolloff --- so our independent subjective evaluations aligned. On the east coast the speakers were effectively corner loaded. In David’s room they were out in the middle of the floor – about 8 foot from the back wall and 4 foot from the side wall --- the same placement for the other speakers. This would aide in a flat frequency response, but not assist in bass re-enforcement. No matter – these were an enjoyable speaker to me – and the lowest price of the day save the single 8. I’d recommend them.

Seaton Catalyst 12C
  • Neutral
  • Clear
  • Transparent
  • Found myself swaying to the fingersnaping blues song
  • No harshness on the female screaming lyric (first speaker this sounded okay on)
  • On the rap song with the ‘political introduction’ in sounded like I was in the auditorium during the concert among the audience! Excellent!
  • At times there was a little edge of treble bias
  • On one of the blues songs there were crickets in the background? Was that on the track? I didn’t notice that on any other speakers?
  • Bass guitar solo sounded the best so far on these.
  • They were a bit bright on the metal music selections
  • Whistling track sounded the best on these by a long shot to me. The descending notes were unique and distinct.
  • Saxophone song sounds excellent!

I don’t really have a lot to say about these speakers that hasn’t already been said innumerable times. Mark Seaton makes a classy and well engineered product. Seaton sound routinely wins best of show type awards for valid reason --- he makes excellent products. I’ve now heard 8c and 12c on multiple occasions at multiple meets. Mark Seaton was recently at the East Coast Gorilla83 meet (as was Jeff) and his 12C speakers were very well received there as well. They are a speaker that reproduces sound and just gets out of the way when doing it. Seaton products don’t add flavor or taint the material with any unique or identifiable characteristic. The 12C’s just sound great. Period. Phil Bamberrg clapped at the conclusion of the 12C demo. When a competitor applauds you publicly – you know you’ve made a sound product. I’d definitely be proud to own these. Mark is an excellent audio community supporter as well and attends a great many of these types of meets, and brings his products in to demo at no cost to the host. I hope his business is successful for long to come!

GR Research – LS6 Line Arrays
  • Gads of bass on the drum track – most bass yet from my seating positions– very impressive!
  • Treble is silky smooth (ribbon tweeters for the win!)
  • Off axis isn’t nearly as good as on
  • Hotel California track with drum intro was Excellent
  • Crowd cheering on some of these tracks sounds a bit odd? Small? Far away?
  • Diana Krall type track sounds fantastic!
  • Screaming female vocal sounds a bit harsh or annoying – forgivable because some of these other tracks have been excellent
  • Muted trumpet was too bright
  • Sherlock Holmes track was amazing
  • Rap song was a bit ‘messy’ in the busy section – sounded muddy compared to Seaton right before it.
  • Got chills on Star Wars again.
  • Metal music boring and small sounding
  • 1812 overture sounded best so far, but also sounded significantly quieter? Why is volume changing?
  • Whistling track was a significant downgrade from the previously noteworthy Catalyst performance
  • Saxophone track sounded excellent
  • Add Hoc Demos at end by request - Sounded great on Shambala acapella track, sounded disappointing on Days of the New – Shelf in the room track(I expected acoustic guitar to sound awesome on these?)

Of all the speakers of the day this one was a mixed bag of great and poor review per each track. It was inconsistent across seating positions and tracks. I don’t know exactly why. I’d love it for one track and think it fell short for the next. I think this speaker ‘s performance is probably largely dependant on where you are sitting and room interactions --- more so than the other speakers based on the mixed bag opinions I and other’s shared. One point of note - these were by far the tallest contestant. During the normal demos – sitting in the back row I could still see thee of the eight 6.5” drivers, and two of the six ribbon tweeters – meaning that no matter where you were in the room – you’d still get access to the silky smooth treble of the ribbon tweeter – where as other speakers the 20 heads or so in front of you would likely be blocking the path of treble when sitting in the back row. I would think that would be a strong advantage – but it wasn’t so clear cut, they were still hit or miss for whatever reason. I bet in a room with a defined sitting area these are excellent. They have ridiculous bass for a full range speaker, knockout looks, and a sound that when firing on all cylinders was among the best of the day (but at times also among the worst – when something was off). On occasion vocals sounded mudded, bass sounded muddied, and treble was off. Love/Hate type thing. Although hate is too strong a word,and Love is appropriate. A three pack of these or LS9 behind an AT screen would be pretty darn nice with the height filling out the entire projector screen – but it’s also be hard to want to hide something so handsome! They also were not limitless. The eight 6.5” drivers were pumping during the times DesertDome took them to the brink (at least in the full range config we demoed them in). Regardless even with the multitude of drivers they aren’t SPL champions like the 12C or Noesis. Overall, I’d be happy to own a set of these too.

Salk Veracity HT2-TL
  • Excellent sounding speaker
  • Screaming female vocal track actually gave me chills on this speaker (WOW!)
  • Super Clean
  • Very Nice Treble with ribbon tweeter\
  • I’d run these speakers with subs personally rather than full range at these 85dB ish volumes
  • The track with the sliding bass line was a bit weak on these compared to the LS6 and 12C
  • Crisp guitar sounds
  • An enjoyable speaker – one of the best of the night so far, especially when kept within its comfortable playback levels!

I’ve heard these several times now, both in the Wisconsin meet and a couple times in Des Moines meets. I like these. I’d own these for a 2 channel room. They’ve never been my top favorite in a meet, but I’ve always very much enjoyed listening to them. The ribbon tweeters are something special, and they are a gorgeous speaker in multiple finish options. They also have an uncanny ability to play full range. Phil was sitting next to me at one point and he almost refused to believe they were playing full range without the aid of the S2 subs. I think the design of the Salk tower – the transmission line namesake helps explain their capability –IIUC it’s a fancy horn like transmission line design that aides in depth of note. The Salk were played with no EQ and no subs. My most important note on these was that the screaming female vocal track actually gave me chills on this speaker. That’s huge! I can’t control chills I receive when listening to music, they just happen when I really like what I hear. Most of the previous speakers (except 12C) had really botched this track up – it was annoying, harsh, strained, or even in the case of the 12C – just reproduced neutrally without error. On the Salk – this track was engaging, emotional and chilling. This track defines the Salk – they always seem to sound phenomenal on female vocals, and you’ll hear owners rave about female vocals all over the forum boards.

JTR Noesis 212HT
  • Effortless on drum tracks
  • Noesis horn sounds fantastic
  • Joe Satriani track is startlingly clear
  • Electronic intros are fantastic – best ofday
  • Vocals on acapella men’s choral track are smooth – Awesome
  • Smooth Jazz sounded great
  • Clapping sounds on the Eagles track sounded so darn clear!!!
  • Finger snapping clip is the best of the day (fever song)
  • Volume levels are significantly increased over previous auditions (how much higher? 5dB?)
  • Screaming female vocal was good even at seemingly higher volume levels than previous auditions when several others sounded strained at lower volumes.
  • 4th row concert effect on rap song with crowd cheers – like 12C – this speaker’s clarity makes you think you are there. JTR sounds a bit muddy on the busy section of the rap song? Seems louder for sure than previous auditions.
  • Almost got chills on the muted trumpet track, pre chills – almost ready to shiver – but didn’t quite get there. Didn't really care for the trumpet on any of the previous auditions.
  • Techno track intro which sounded harsh on many of the other speakers sounded super clean on these and the volume had to be louder
  • Whistling was clear on whistle song (maybe 2nd of day behind 12C? on this track)
  • Clean saxophone

These are the speakers I would most like to own from this G2G. We listened to some additional material on them following the regular demo. All sounded excellent. I liked these so much at my initial demo last year that I bought the little brother 228HT unauditioned from Jeff as it became available because I didn’t want to try to afford the $2200 per speaker these cost, but wanted as much of this sound as I could reasonably afford! The 228HT’s were released at a promotional price of less than half the 212HT cost, but if money were no object I would own the 212HT. My personal evaluation is that I think the 228HT are 98% of the movie performance of the 212HT (I’m not sure I could even tell the difference), but only about 75% of the music performance when we’ve A/B’ed them directly. The 212HT has a bit clearer, transparent high, and a larger soundstage in stereo imaging. My 228HT would compare favorably with anything I’ve ever heard pricewise from other vendors at their $1200 pricepoint, but I do like the 212HT a bit better. Never the less - - - I’m very happy with the 228HT (at least until I can get my hands on some 212HT) wink.gif The 212HT remains my favorite speaker I’ve ever heard. The speaker is transparent; the treble is just CLEAR, never harsh, never grating. The speaker has a bit of a live sound. I describe it as fourth row concert in a very large venue – right there in person! That does not mean it has a treble bias. The treble is the cleanest I’ve ever heard --- like it’s not even coming out of a speaker. Couple that with the fact that the speaker is basically limitless.

We listened to open range during post party play time at +16dB over reference powered by some a Cherry amp monoblock putting out 800watts to four ohm --- one for each speaker on the front soundstage and I don’t the speakers did much more than barely begin to visibly move the surrounds. We had my two JTR 228HT speakers on rears duty sharing a stereo Cherry amp with 400 watts to each and at the same volumes they were pumping. I had 15dB reduction earplugs in and it was still unbelievably loud. You could feel more impact from gunfire than if someone was actually shooting in the room. The JTR equipment is absurdity. If you like the sound at lower volumes (most do) then take comfort the sound quality just keeps raising linearly as you raise the volume dial. If anything the sound somehow gets better as you turn it up. Its counter intuitive and freakish. During play time we were frequently in the + ranges above reference. I went outside at one point and David’s vinyl siding on his house was audibly rattling like it was all going to fall off at any second. Stitch1 was standing on the aforethought sturdy wooden deck and he half joked he was scared thinking the whole thing was going to collapse! It’s a wonder that we didn’t have the cops called on us with our post party shenanigans in David’s upscale neighborhood. Those two JTR S2 subs (four high excursion 18” drivers powered by 8000 watts) and a full JTR soundstage was borderline insanity. At one point I yelled, (couldn't hardly hear myself over the speakers) to the group -- What are we doing? Looking around the room we all had earplugs in, or hands over our ears (some people with both earplugs and hands over ears), and we (by we – I mean Jeff or DesertDome either one) just keep turning it up + 5dB + 10dB + 15dB + 20dB – with the subs hot! David had multiple things broken in his house. Pictures were falling off walls, glass breaking, picture frames breaking etc. We were wrecking the place. I admit to feeling sheepish, embarrassed , and ridiculous. Hence my rhetorical question??? But when speakers seem limitless – I suppose it’s only human nature to want to figure out if you can truly find their limits. In the case of a full JTR setup like we had going?... I don’t think you can find the limits without hurting yourself or destroying things. I’m sorry David. I know you were part of this too and wearing a grin in the back of the room like the rest of us – but it might not be as funny as you start taking inventory of damage! Absolutely Absurd… YET--- I LOVE IT! BTW – Jeff was holding his hands over his ears. I've never seen that before, in attending a half dozen meets with the man. Heck, we hit 137dB peak in my room with a pair of grout cracking JTR Orbit Shifters at the 2012 KC subwoofer meet and he didn't have his ears covered. At this meet he covered his ears. When Jeff covers his ears you know things are getting serious. Carp tried to snap a picture of Jeff covering his ears several times so that others would know Jeff was actually human, but Jeff was having none of it. Carp said Jeff lowered his hands every time carp tried to snap a picture.

It’s okay Jeff. We don’t need a picture – your secret is out -- at least a handful of us now know you are bound by limits --- even if yours speakers aren't.

Hahaha, I'm laughing because I'm remembering a conversation we all had shortly before we got home at like 4 am when you said you weren't going to write much as far as a review.

Honestly though, I'm glad you did do a in depth write up. I like reading them (Dragoson's and Dennis' are great as well) but have no skill in writing them myself.

BTW David, my wife says thank you for the Amazon card! smile.gif
Edited by carp - 4/29/13 at 6:44am
post #230 of 284
Wow, this seriously looked like a ton of fun. I am from Altoona and wish I could have been able to come. I hope you decide to do another one soon! I would love to be a part of this!
post #231 of 284
Originally Posted by deewan View Post

Jazz Variants, O-Zone Percussion Group.

WAIT! Did I just school carp on a song title?!?!?!?!? smile.gif

Haha, yep! Anything with Jazz in it I'm going to draw a blank... wait a minute... I had to take that Jazz appreciation course in college why can't I remember anything from it? Oh yeah... I almost never went... redface.gif

Thanks deewan, I appreciate it. I have to try that track tonight at home it was very cool.
post #232 of 284
Originally Posted by Milt99 View Post

Some nice gear you guys had there.
Obviously I wasn't there but, what's the point of playing music at 16db above reference(85db reference, so 101db?) in an untreated room, maybe I'm mistaken but I didn't see any acoustic treatments.
To the point where the framing is flexing and a picture falls off the wall?
How do you know that you were hearing the speakers and not a maelstrom of reflected noise.
Perhaps I'm missing something.

This was NOT during the formal auditions. Almost everyone had left, it was after midnight, and it was play time and it got stooooooopid. biggrin.gif

I have to say though, I was VERY impressed with the 228's as surrounds were the rest of you guys that were there? I have never experienced really high sensitivity/powerful surrounds and it made a difference for sure. Still when I do replace my surrounds i think I'm going with single 8's. They are crazy good for their size and I don't want to have to hang 228's on my walls.
post #233 of 284
Originally Posted by MrSmithers View Post

Our absurd listening was at the END of the day, after all standard auditions, and on the JTR speakers only. Further, almost everyone had already gone home, there were only 7-10 of us at that point. The rest of the listening was at a much more reasonable (I know this term is relative) listening volume.

Oops, your question was already answered.
post #234 of 284
Originally Posted by carp View Post

This was NOT during the formal auditions. Almost everyone had left, it was after midnight, and it was play time and it got stooooooopid. biggrin.gif

I have to say though, I was VERY impressed with the 228's as surrounds ... were the rest of you guys that were there? I have never experienced really high sensitivity/powerful surrounds and it made a difference for sure. Still when I do replace my surrounds i think I'm going with single 8's. They are crazy good for their size and I don't want to have to hang 228's on my walls.

I agree Carp. Having the Triple 8LP's as my side surrounds and Slanted 8's as height and surround backs allows the LCR Noesis to shine with movies or any MC audio source. Like a big screen, having balanced clean and SPL appropriate audio coming at you from all sides is a game changer. Having 228's as surrounds would only be helpful in a huge room and at that point, why not just do 212's all around? eek.gifwink.gif
post #235 of 284
Originally Posted by RMK! View Post

I agree Carp. Having the Triple 8LP's as my side surrounds and Slanted 8's as height and surround backs allows the LCR Noesis to shine with movies or any MC audio source. Like a big screen, having balanced clean and SPL appropriate audio coming at you from all sides is a game changer. Having 228's as surrounds would only be helpful in a huge room and at that point, why not just do 212's all around? eek.gifwink.gif

To be honest...you can say the same thing of the 3x 8LP's as side surrounds too. Singles should work in anything but a huge room and the delta between the 3's vs the singles in a surround role is not huge... We all like going over the top where we can tongue.gif
post #236 of 284

I'm thinking of the first note of a song. Artist, Title??smile.gif

You were on fire at the gtg.
post #237 of 284
Originally Posted by ALMFamily View Post

That is all the pictures - my impressions of the day to hopefully follow soon.....

Oh sure Joe, you go to this GTG but snubbed us in the NE... tongue.gif
post #238 of 284
Originally Posted by kjlewie View Post


I'm thinking of the first note of a song. Artist, Title??smile.gif

You were on fire at the gtg.

Haha, thanks. I was naming stuff that made the metal-head in me cringe. Enya? Come on man... redface.gif
post #239 of 284
Originally Posted by JimWilson View Post

Oh sure Joe, you go to this GTG but snubbed us in the NE... tongue.gif

Oh, if you only knew how much I agonized over not being able to attend the NE one Jim..... smile.gif
post #240 of 284
I finally got caught up on reading the posts in this thread! (Edit: I wrote that about four hours ago.) I left work Thursday afternoon and arrived back home Sunday afternoon at 3 pm. With all the loading and unloading I spent almost 4 complete days for the GTG!

David did a wonderful job as the host. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at his house and had some wonderful food while there. His basement was perfect for this sort of GTG since it had plenty of room for attendees, it had side rooms for storage of speakers and gear, and it had walk-out access for easy transportation of gear using a dolly. David was very poised, patient, and flexible as we faced several issues (mostly Thursday and Friday).

Measuring Gear
For each system that was getting some EQ we measured with a microphone. I have an iSEMcon EMM-7101-CHTB microphone with custom calibration down to 5 Hz. It is -.25 dB at 5 Hz and I was told by iSEMcon that because of its constant current power (CCP) it really is flat to DC. Even thought the mic is so flat, I still loaded its calibration into the software. I also did a loopback measurement of the Steinberg UR824 and loaded it into the software, too. The UR824 is flat down to 3 Hz on the outputs and is -3 dB at 10 Hz and -7.8 dB at 5 Hz on the mic input. We used 3 other DACs for playback during the event and they are all flat at least to 3 Hz. Digital Amp Company Cherry Plus monoblocks were used for playback. These amps are flat from 1 Hz-60 kHz. So, we had no signal chain rolloff whatsoever for playback, but had to compensate during measuring for the mic input.

Measuring Software
Most of the measuring was done with Audiolense. With the first system measured (SVS Ultra) I verified measurements with both Room Equalization Wizard and Omnimic. REW was also used after EQ to verify the effect of EQ. Audiolense is very powerful software that can be used for partial correction, full correction, active crossovers, and true time delay correction. I used Audiolense to create filters for the Seaton Catalyst 12C, the SVS Ultra, and the JTR Speakers Noesis 212HT. I used partial correction with any EQ only happening below 200 Hz. With both S2 subs, the bass was actually quite smooth and not much EQ was need. Audiolense creates filters for each sample rate required for playback. One filter is then loaded into JRiver Media Center and it will automatically switch filters based on sample rate. You can also have different filters based on whether the input is 2.0, 5.1, or 7.1 and it will automatically switch between these, too.

Playback Software
I used JRiver Media Center for playback. Both David and I use this on a regular basis for the playback of music and I also use it for all other media (Blu-ray, DVD, picture, etc.). It addition to the convolution engine that can playback Audiolense (or other convolution software) filters, it also has a full parametric equalizer and advanced DSP. The Bamberg Series 5 speakers have a separate lower and upper section. I setup a 4.0 output in JRiver with a 12 dB/octave 200 Hz high pass filter for the upper section. I copied the left and right to the 3rd and 4th channels and sent these to the subwoofer. The copying was done before the highpass so the subs got the full signal. The subs have a built in low pass to match the mains. This type of setup would be difficult with other software. If you can't do this kind of setup, you could run the signal to the sub section, then to the amp, and then back to the speakers. However, Phil Bamberg said he preferred the first method.

JRiver allows one to setup multiple zones. A zone was created on Friday for each speaker setup. Each zone contained all the necessary routing, level, and EQ information for that speaker setup. On Saturday we switched to the proper zone, doubled checked the levels again with an SPL meter, and then started playback of the playlist.

For the blind testing on Saturday I created another zone for each speaker/sub combination. For example, speaker C used output 2 for the Catalyst 12C and output 8 for the dual S2 subs. Speaker E used output 6 for the Noesis 212HT and output 8 for the dual S2 subs. As you can see, a both zones used output 8 for the sub. I had measured and created filters for all the speakers using Audiolense. However, due to the way I had to measure each speaker separately and the way the routing was setup in JRiver I couldn't get the filter affect playback of the correct channels. This caused some delays at the beginning of the GTG so finally we just played each speaker without the subs and no EQ. It was disappointing. I could have quickly created crossovers in JRiver and still used the subs, but it would have required level matching again and we felt there wasn't time.

For the movie playback later in the evening, JRiver was also used for some of the playback. I setup crossovers at 80 Hz and distance setting for each speaker in its Room Correction DSP. The levels were also adjusted for the rears since they need about 6 dB more volume to match the mains. Since I had 8 channels of output, the subwoofer could have been copied to another channel, but we just daisy chained the subs since they have that capability and both were positioned symmetrically.

Four Way speakers using six different speakers and two subs!
I wanted demonstrate the active crossover feature and capabilities of Audiolense. At the end of the blind listening I played back music through 6 speakers and two subwoofers for a 4-way system. I only spent 10 minute to set it up, take a measurement, create a filter in Audiolense, and load the filter in JRiver. Audiolense set the proper levels, delays down to the 100th millisecond, EQ for a smooth frequency response, and made sure all drivers were in phase. When standing in the measurement spot, it actually sounded quite good, but if you moved around the room the timing would be all messed up. It was a fun little exercise. Below I show the setup in Audiolense:

Front Left
Bass - S2 sub (80Hz and down)
Lower Midrange - Seaton Catalyst (80-600 Hz)
Upper Midrange - Bamberg Series 5 (600-4000 Hz)
Tweeter - LS6 (4000 hz and up)

Front Right
Bass - S2 sub (80Hz and down)
Lower Midrange - Seaton Catalyst (80-600 Hz)
Upper Midrange - Bamberg Series 5 (600-4000 Hz)
Tweeter - LS6 (4000 hz and up)

Here you can see what the "speakers" looked like. We had the tweeters to the outside with the lower midrange in the middle:

Level Matching
Bob Katz, author of Mastering Audio: The Art and Science, recently helped JRiver implement an audio calibration system that met the standards of SMPTE RP 200. This is the standard used by the studios for calibrating their equipment prior to mastering movies. From the JRiver wiki:

"If you use Internal Volume, you may want to calibrate the volume control so that the zero point matches the "reference level."

The audio industry does not have a standard for playback system calibration, but in the movie industry a calibration standard has been defined by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE). The standard states that a single channel pink noise signal with an RMS level of -20 dB relative to a full-scale sinusoid should be reproduced at 83 dB SPL."

This audio calibration system in JRiver was used in conjunction with a Galaxy CM-130 SPL meter. Limited range pink noise was used on the left channel and the volume level adjusted until it reached 83 dB. This ranged from about 50% to 93% of the volume. The percent number was entered in JRiver's Audio setup and would correspond to 0 dB on the volume. The subs were set at a similar level for the SVS and Seaton systems. Jeff ran the subs hotter for the Noesis system.

By the way, 83 dB isn't designed to be a listening level, but a calibration level. Bob Katz said, "83-85dB is too loud for me anyway. I don't ever listen to my hifi anywhere near that loud even when just enjoying my favorite songs, never mind for hours at a time."

For the blind listening each zone was set properly and then adjusted to -15 dB fro playback. This way all speakers would be level matched. We also played each system later at -15 dB except for the Noesis. After the playback on the first system (Bamberg), no adjustments of any kind were made until the final system (Noesis). Jeff had his bass hot and the listeners decided they wanted the mains a little louder, too. We increased the volume to -10 dB during most of the the Noesis formal playlist.

After the formal playlist, individuals and manufacturers could pick music and then ask for an increase/decrease in volume level. This was a fun way to either listen comfortably or explore the limits.

I've always heard that speakers/equipment sound better at RMAF on the second day after more tweaking had been done. After hearing all the systems on Friday and then again on Saturday I think I understand a little better why that is. I thought everything sounded better on Friday than on Saturday. Adding people to the room changes things and made it sound a little worse on Saturday. It would have been interesting to do a measurement with no people and a measurement with people in the room. My comments below might include some setup details or things I noticed from Friday instead of Saturday.
  1. Bamberg Series 5 - I really liked these speakers. Once music starts playing, the speakers completely disappear more than any of the others. For my normal listening levels they had a great imaging, wide sweet spot, and smooth sound. As I mentioned above, these have a 200 Hz high pass on the top section with the sub bass handling below 200 hz. The bass very good.
  2. SVS Ultra - When I was doing the blind listening setup, the SVS always sounded the most different from the other speakers. The finish was beautiful for speakers of their price. On Friday I thought the bass sounded flabby, but it seemed okay on Saturday when we used them fullrange. Pulled out into the room they don't get near the low frequency listed on their specs.
  3. Seaton Catalyst 12C - Power wise, this is one of the first times the 12C has been in a more level playing field. The amps used to power the other speakers measured over 400 watts at 8 ohms and right around 800 watts at 4 ohms. I think this helped bridge the gap in dynamics between the Catalyst and other speakers. The speakers are very clear, dynamic, and enjoyable. You can definitively notice the instant, sharp peaks on notes with high output. The speakers were very easy to setup since they already have amps. The bass was amazing even with the subs when we played them fullrange.
  4. GR-Research LS6 - I own these and love them. Due to their size I wouldn't have just gone out and bought them, but I was able to buy the cabinets cheap at the av123 auction and then build them out. I decided to run them fullrange with no EQ (like the Salks). The bass is too hot on these without EQ and from 100 Hz and down can go up by 10 dB. I usually listen to them at home with EQ and a 40 Hz crossover to my infinite baffle system. So far I haven't been able to get a very wide sweet spot with them. I'm going to try a few things others were doing and see if I can get it better. I noticed during the formal playlist that the sound really pulled to one side or the other depending on seating location. I thought the very middle was the only place there was a good soundstage. I did have some fun with the bass and turned up the volume when I replayed a portion of Poem of Chinese Drums. The power these have during that song always amazes me. During the playback on Saturday, I thought these were the most dynamic. I also thought that some songs sounded the worst on these speakers and the Bambergs. Maybe these speakers were the most revealing. smile.gif
  5. Salk Veracity HT2-TL - This is the second time I've heard these speakers. If I was to purchase one of these six speakers for my living room, these are what I would buy. They have the sound quality I like in the asthetic quality, size and budget that could work for me. We played them fullrange on Saturday with no EQ at David's request, but used with them on Friday with the dual S2 subs and a little EQ. Both ways they sound terrific and fullrange they have more bass than seems possible. I really like the sound of the tweeter
  6. JTR Noesis 212HT - I've measured these in my room at home and in David's room. In both they show an incredible immunity to room effects. At the mic position, the speakers were almost ruler flat. When measured with the subs it was flat from 5 Hz up to 20 kHz (before Jeff turned up the subs!). The Catalysts were a very close second in measuring the flattest in-room. After the Bamberg's, I think these did the best job of disappearing. It was just pure, clear, beautiful sound coming from the front of the room. These have an extreme sense of clarity to them. Several people PM'd since last fall when I had these and the LS6's in my room. I said to all of them that the Noesis have greater clarity that the LS6's. As I mentioned in my previous review, "the Noesis is a "no regrets" type of speaker that will be exceptional at most things and excel at just about everything."

5.1 system
Late at night, once all the two channel guys had left biggrin.gif, we setup a JTR Speakers 5.1 system comprised of 3 Noesis 212HT speakers for L, C, R; 2 Noesis 228 HT for surrounds, and 2 Captivator S2 subwoofers. I used my HTPC for playback, an 8 channel DAC with balanced outputs, and three monoblock and one stereo amp from Digital Amp company. All together we had 12,000 watts of power available! By using an HTPC as the source, you never have to worry about clipping the digital signal. Nothing else can add any gain or cause any issues between the source and the amps except the DAC. The DAC I used has variable gain trims so you can set the output gain to never overdrive the input on your amp. You can also use amps with different sensitivity for the various channels and level match with the DAC. I had them set to +4 dBu and level matched in JRiver because this was just a temporary setup. We calibrated with JRiver's audio calibration and once reference level at 83 dB was set, we still had 18.5 dB of gain available! Because the 83 dB SPL in the room is set with an RMS level of -20 dB, we could play each speaker at 123 dB! Furthermore, Jeff had the subs set 7 dB hotter than the other channels.

I think the loudest I went was +15 so we still had even more headroom available. Most stuff was played at 0 or +5 above reference and it was still extremely loud.

I've heard dual Orbit Shifters played extremely loud at Archaea's house, but this is the loudest I've ever heard an entire system. You could just keep turning it up with no compressed dynamic from lack of power or exceeding driver capabilities. As mentioned earlier, Jeff finally had to cover his ears. I think Jeff or Mark checked to see if the clip light was on on the subs and I don't think it was. I can't imagine anyone ever needing more than two of the S2 subs. This 5.1 system showed how immersed you can get in the sound without needing 7, 9, or 11 channels. To me, quality beats quantity every time.

This was a great GTG and I enjoyed meeting everyone. I felt the pacing was relaxed and I really enjoyed the various presentations and the song game. Besides Carp, there were several others than knew most of the songs. Carp was just quicker on the draw. I think the GTG appealed to a wide audience. Even though we use EQ and subs, David and I ran our speakers with no EQ or subs. We also had speakers fullrange with EQ, built in subs with one PEQ on each sub, and speaker/sub combos with the subs EQ'd. Hopefully guys had a chance to compare the pros/cons of using subs vs going fullrange and enjoy sampling speakers with such different implementations.

The last summer's Iowa Crawl that started at David's was the hors d'oeuvre, the January GTG was the soup, this one was the salad. Now that he has the process down, the next one will be THE MEAT!
Edited by desertdome - 5/1/13 at 6:42am
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