Yorkshire Hi-Fi Club Meet 26-01-2019

Hi-Fi discussion
Post Reply
YNWaN
Site Admin
Posts: 3859
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:02 pm

Yorkshire Hi-Fi Club Meet 26-01-2019

Post by YNWaN » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:55 pm

Today I attended a second meeting (there have been more than two meets but this is the second of them that I have attended) of the Yorkshire Hi-Fi Club. It is generously hosted at the premises of ‘Brook Audio’ in Huddersfield. These meets take place every few weeks (I’m not actually sure how often). The last meet I went to was all about comparing phonostages but this time people could bring whatever they fancied and the attendees would have a listen. Dave Brook was a great host and provided lashings of tea, coffee and biscuits :).

Image

The speakers above are made by a company called Maxonixc (though weirdly the Gothic style lettering on them definitely reads (MARONIC). These are a super rare and outré artisan Japanese speaker. Before I encountered these at the last Yorkshire Hi-Fi Club meet I had never seen, or heard of such a speaker - not even at a foreign audio show. What makes them particularly different is that they use three field coil drivers. This means is that instead of having normal magnets in the drive units they use electromagnets. The two black boxes between the speakers are the power supplies for these electromagnets and this allows variable electrical damping - basically, you can change the strength of the magnets. These speakers claim very high efficiency and should work with even very low powered amps - oh, they are something like 50K a pair.

Image

The big valve amp is a DIY construct that was apparently unearthed from the designers shed, so presumably a discarded project. I don't know a great deal about it other than is a single ended design.

Image

The speakers are sitting on large Towshend platforms that decouple them from the floor - I've no idea if these improve the sound or make it worse, or do nothing at all.... When you push on the speakers they sway gently in whatever direction they are nudged.

Image

The rack above includes all the equipment supplied by our host Dave. The pre-amp is on the far right below the turntable and is a Soulution model. The unit in the centre bottom shelf is a fancy PS Audio power regeneration thing.

Image

This is the Garrard 401 which was the only turntable used. It has a 12" Jelco arm fitted.

Image

There was also this Clarity Dual deck by Clara Audio, fitted with an SMEV and a Koetsu black that had been re-tipped by Soundsmith in the US. The plan was to also use this but in the end Dave couldn't find the tonearm lead for it!

Image

On the far right there was also a Clearaudio Master Innovation turntable - but this just seemed to be on display.

Image

The pic above is of two sets of amps that visitors to the event brought with them. The four small black boxes are monoblocks. 10W Class A with two of the chassis' containing the power supplies and the other two the active circuits. The cost of this lot was under £400 all in, including postage (via China and eBay). They sounded pretty damn good, silky and controlled the speakers easily enough. The two silver units are the ones Si built and are based on a 'fancy' chip amp design. I thought these sounded good too - fresh and lively, but no sense of hardness.
Mark

YNWaN
Site Admin
Posts: 3859
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:02 pm

Re: Yorkshire Hi-Fi Club Meet 26-01-2019

Post by YNWaN » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:56 pm

More to come.....
Mark

REXTON
Posts: 65
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:05 am

Re: Yorkshire Hi-Fi Club Meet 26-01-2019

Post by REXTON » Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:08 pm

One day I will actually travel the whole 10 miles from my house to Dave's place, I've been meaning to visit since it's first inception. :shock:

YNWaN
Site Admin
Posts: 3859
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:02 pm

Re: Yorkshire Hi-Fi Club Meet 26-01-2019

Post by YNWaN » Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:06 pm

Image

The thing with a mains socket on the top is a DC blocker which never got used and there is also a transformer passive pre that we also didn't use.

Image

Image

Above is a TT power supply that is in its pre-production look (I hope) prior to being marketed by Dave and his accessories company Mains Cables R Us. It is intended to work with all Garrard and Lenco decks. This we actually compared in an A/B dem and the difference was pretty obvious. The supply removed a whole load of bloat and tightened the sound from top to bottom. It is possible that some may feel that it leaned the sound out at the expense of warmth but, on this day, pretty much everyone agreed it made an immediate and clear improvement. Cost is going to be about £850.00 we were told.

Image

The vertical box next to the turntable is a pre-production valve phonostage (Bigbottle Audio) there were numerous issues on the day with arm setup and cartridge loading. I wasn't very taken with the sound but a number of issues could have been conspiring here and it’s not fair to draw too many conclusions.

Image

The purple glow above is from the 20K optical cartridge used for a lot of the session. This unit needs a dedicated phonostage that is supplied with it. Details on the operating principles can be found here: https://www.ds-audio-w.biz/?page_id=39

Image

The black box with the silver knob is the power supply for the Claro turntable, but the rather garish unit above it is a phonostage that someone brought to the meet. The script on the front panel says it is a ‘Grounded Grid’ design. Personally, this didn’t float my boat at all and about the only thing I thought going for it was that it had reasonably good pace. I was genuinely surprised when the owner said it was £500+.

Image

The point of the final pic is the record clamp which is something I took along. It’s a design I invented myself and uses magnetic attraction to clamp the record. It seemed to find favour (I use a version of this design on my deck).
Mark

REXTON
Posts: 65
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:05 am

Re: Yorkshire Hi-Fi Club Meet 26-01-2019

Post by REXTON » Sun Jan 27, 2019 4:36 pm

Blimey, some very series stuff, any thoughts on what you heard?

YNWaN
Site Admin
Posts: 3859
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:02 pm

Re: Yorkshire Hi-Fi Club Meet 26-01-2019

Post by YNWaN » Sun Jan 27, 2019 10:00 pm

Yeah, sorry, I’ll try to write it up tomorrow.
Mark

YNWaN
Site Admin
Posts: 3859
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:02 pm

Re: Yorkshire Hi-Fi Club Meet 26-01-2019

Post by YNWaN » Sun Feb 03, 2019 12:10 pm

On reflection, and having spoken yesterday with Si, I think the main system is a bit of an odd one. At low level it really doesn’t sound anything special and really sounds a whole lot better once the volume is turned up a bit. Even then it doesn’t really have a lot of low level resolution. Why this should be the case is very open to debate but, as a whole, I’m not a fan of vintage idler drive turntables which do seem to mask the very low level detail I felt was missing - the kind of detail that makes the music sound palpable. It is a shame that it wasn’t possible to hear another turntable through the system as both times I have heard this system it was fronted by idlers.
Mark

REXTON
Posts: 65
Joined: Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:05 am

Re: Yorkshire Hi-Fi Club Meet 26-01-2019

Post by REXTON » Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:26 pm

Hmmmmm the thorny issue of idler TT's, in some respects they are equally as fussy as belt driven / spring suspension jobbies. Had idlers, DD, belt drive, I'll stick with DD's and Idlers in that order.

YNWaN
Site Admin
Posts: 3859
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:02 pm

Re: Yorkshire Hi-Fi Club Meet 26-01-2019

Post by YNWaN » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:16 pm

No drive type is without issues. However, I would say that idlers (vintage ones at least) have more than their fair share of potential problems and some of these are quite difficult to engineer out. Some seem to think a big heavy plinth is a panacea for all ills but I guess ignorance is bliss ;).
Mark

YNWaN
Site Admin
Posts: 3859
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:02 pm

Re: Yorkshire Hi-Fi Club Meet 26-01-2019

Post by YNWaN » Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:23 pm

REXTON wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 12:08 pm
One day I will actually travel the whole 10 miles from my house to Dave's place, I've been meaning to visit since it's first inception. :shock:
You really should visit, but I would go to one of the club days he hosts as the shop itself is a very minimal affair and tiny compared to the rest of the premises. I honestly can’t commend Dave enough on his hosting of these events and he is an outstanding host.
Mark

Post Reply