Audio Federation at CAS 2017

[Yes, we are going to Newport 2017 this Spring as well, and I’ll post where we will be when the powers that be (Neli) tell me the details :-)]

Here we are in the wonderful world where there is a show that is only 20 minutes away. :-)

Although CAS skipped a year, it is back in force and we are signed up for one of the larger rooms on the first floor of the building where the vast majority of exhibit rooms will be.

It is now in Oakland, at the Hilton, with plenty of parking and rooms that do not have air conditioners or heaters where equipment is supposed to go [unlike most of the other shows, shows where you eventually just learn to sit on the thing while plugging cables into the back of the gear].

 

 

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This is the hotel layout and where the rooms are located.

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This is the room we are in. The front wall backs to the outside. So we will not disturb anybody if we play it a little LOUD [unless, however, our neighbors on the other side of the rear wall are too loud for our listeners to bear . in which case we will flip the room the other way. ]

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Hmmm, maybe we should just put the system on the long wall, on the left, also an outer wall. You know, there is hardly ever any choice when we setup rooms about where the system should go. This is a such wealth of choices here [we, (well me anyway, haven’t talked to Neli about this recently), have been looking more favorably at long wall setups than we used to. Letting the sound breathe on the sides helps clarity and macrodynamics, and clarity OF macrodynamics :-)]

We’ve been wanting to go to this show for years and years. Every year we would talk and talk about it. One or the other of us would always not be able to make it. This is awesome.

Listening room photos March 2017

[Still have a hard time writing 2017. Or ‘2’ for that matter :-)]

 

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This is the main listening room with the Acapella Cellini speakers and La Musika integrated amplifier. Audio Note digital CDT-5 and DAC 5 Signature.

Finally sounding…. OK…. here, though we still have some issues with the very thin 1/4 mahogany plywood walls [the (awesome) windows are much more substantial, sonically, than the walls in these Eichler homes!]

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The small Audio Note room, AN/E SEC Signature speakers, Kegon amplifiers and M2 Line Balanced preamplifier sounds quite nice, though we are divided on whether to push the speakers just a little bit more into the corners or not. This room also has extremely thin walls, and zero insulation – but it is working better than we feared at first. Still lots of experimenting going on here. Tonality and frequency response are pretty good; still working on the soundstage.

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The dining room system, trade-in Avalon Eidolon speakers, is not setup and Neli is still a little upset about it. Took us forever to commit to really using the dining room this way, since it also has Neli’s office in it and, you know, the kitchen.  :-) But she should really just go with it – I mean it *is* kind of a nice work environment… 😉

Getting everything into a ~1500 sq. ft. home, with us both needing an office, another room dedicated to audio gear and tools [and perhaps someday serving as the guest bedroom] plus 3 listening rooms is challenging… but it is finally starting to work out. (!)

 

How sound at sea-level is different than sound at elevation

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How is sound at sea-level different than sound a mile or more above sea-level?

I’ve spent 50 years at least a mile (5280 feet) high [so many jokes, so little time]. We’ve both spent the last 25 at 7200 feet or so.

Funny, but going to shows at sea level during those years did not highlight these differences, so they are obviously more subtle than the impact of individual room acoustics and setup on the sound.

But, both when hearing things while outside and when listening to stereo systems, there are differences that helps me understand how people at sea level are hearing things differently than the people at higher elevations [few of us there are at altitude].

The short and sweet is that sound works better here at 13 feet above sea level. It travels farther, it is more solid and substantive, more dense. Sound at elevation is thinner sounding, like ‘thin sounding’ cables.

Have to say that even though I may still prefer the lighter, more airy sound that I ‘grew up’ with [Perhaps because is just feels ‘cleaner’], I am enjoying the easy gains system setup down here provides us in ‘the soup’ compared to the more laborious setup in ‘the clouds’

An unfortunate side-effect, however, is the background city noise here, which at sea level also seems to travel farther, be stronger, and permeate ev-e-ry-thing. 😉