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. (!)

 

Audio Note M10 Line Signature preamplifier

Neli had the opportunity recently to help unpack and setup Audio Note’s new Level Six linestage preamplifier, the M10 Line Signature, at Fred’s place in Houston. Fred will be reviewing it over the coming months. He’s started a thread over on Myles Astor’s site, AudioNirvana.org, with M10 Line Signature discussion and comments.

She took some pictures and told some stories :-) some of which I can tell you here…

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Acapella Triolon loudspeakers, Audio Note Kegon Balanced amplifiers, EMM Labs’ DA2 DAC and TX2 transport, Finite Elemente racks, and, of course, the 3 box (control plus a power supply for each channel) Audio Note M10 Line Signature. Fred’s analog rig is an updated Rockport Sirius 2 with Ortofon A90, and an Ypsilon stepup transformer and phonostage.

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I’m from the “How hard can it be” tribe, but , hey, there is a manual, just in case 😉

 

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The front of the Audio Note M10 Line Signature preamplifier

OK. Just like every other time we have had the pleasure… But brand new, cold, just hooked up for the first time – Audio Note rocks. Yeah, it sounds better warmed up of course, but really, it is always such a shocker to hear it sound truly excellent right out of the box, unlike just about everything else we have ever heard.

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The rear of the Audio Note M10 Line Signature preamplifier. Support for bi-amping is apparent. The green military-grade connectors on the left there are for the connections to the two power supplies.

 

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The front of one of the Audio Note M10 Line Signature preamplifier’s ‘Galahad Signature’ power supplies.

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The rear of one of the Audio Note M10 Line Signature preamplifier’s ‘Galahad Signature’ power supplies. The separate right and left channel power supplies connect to the main linestage control unit with Audio Note’s provided silver umbilical cables.

 

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Convenient double high rack for the power supplies.

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The front of the Audio Note M10 Line Signature preamplifier powered up. This is the main control unit, with separate right and left volume controls, and the selector switch.

 

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The front of the Audio Note M10 Line Signature preamplifier powered up. This piece provides two transformer-coupled balanced inputs and four single ended inputs.

 

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The original system with the EMM Labs MTRX amplifiers [with gold faceplate] which Neli reports went very well with the Audio Note M10 Line Signature as well.