THE Show 2012 (at CES) – Lotus Group, Audio Power Labs, WAVAC, Pranawire

This room featured the Lotus Group’s Granada loudspeakers being bi-amped with the big Audio Power Labs TNT-833 amps and the smaller WAVAC MD-805m amps. The larger WAVAC amps that were originally planned for this system developed some kind of issue during shipping, I think.

I was happy to see the Audio Power Labs here, having just come from the room that featured them on the smaller Tidal ‘piano’ speakers. I really was anxious to hear the Granada speakers pushed closer to their audiophile limits than I had previously heard them – those being systems with the speakers driven by the Pass Labs amps and later the Musical Fidelity amps.

Unfortunately something was not quite right here.

The sound was dull, notes kind of slurring together; atonal, notes not ringing free [which these speakers can do really well] and the color was more pastelish than vivid [which these speakers can also do well]; and dynamically compressed, specifically in the midi-dynamic region, with micro-dynamics not really happening either.

I only heard the system driven by the CD player, even tho I came back here a few times – but Neli heard it later with the Hanss turntable and said it sounded much better. They may have made other changes to the front end as well.

Trying to capture the glow of the vacuum tubes of the Wavac and Audio Power Labs.

Lotus Group ‘Granada’ loudspeaker

Lotus Group ‘Granada’ loudspeaker rear drivers

Audio Power Labs ‘TNT-833’ amplifier

Audio Power Labs ‘TNT-833’ amplifier

Audio Power Labs ‘TNT-833’ amplifier from above

Audio Power Labs ‘TNT-833’ amplifier rear

The WAVAC MD-805m amplifier from above

The WAVAC MD-805m amplifier from above

The WAVAC MD-805m amplifier from above

The WAVAC MD-805m amplifier from above

The whole system from behind. Lots of Pranawire cables!

Some unidentified stuff in these Pranawire power cords and Acoustic Revive power distributor

More Paranawire power cables, Oyaide and Furutech plugs, and Acoustic Revive power distributor

The Hanss T-60 turntable

The Hanss T-60 turntable

The Lyra Olympos cartridge

EAR Acute CD player

WAVAC LCR-X2 phono equalizer preamplifier

WAVAC PR-T1 line preamplifier

Loricraft PRC4 record cleaner

Loricraft PRC4 record cleaner

Loricraft: Better, Quieter, Cheaper

Tone Publications reviewed the Loricraft in their latest issue, although their actual conclusion was more like “At Least As Good, Quieter, Cheaper” 🙂

Loricraft review

We meet the nicest people through the Loricraft. And now we’ve met Jeff Dorgay, who also seems quite nice, of Tone Magazine at RMAF – though every time he would say Hi! I would turn around to see who it was and BAMM he was already gone – like that Star Trek episode where some people are moving WAY faster than everybody else [though in actual fact it was me moving WAY slower than everybody else, which is, in fact, my goal, so I can concentrate on what I am hearing – and apparently I am quite good at this being slow stuff ;-)]

We plan on doing a lot more coverage of the Loricraft record cleaners. Different cleaning fluids and strategies, the efficacy of using forward and/or reverse, putting the Loricraft on HRS Nimbus and M3x platforms to further reduce vibration during cleaning…

… a whole BUNCH of fun things. Shootouts are a little difficult with cleaning machines, since every LP is different… but we’ll try!

Loricraft Record Cleaner


Finally sold our demo PR3 and now can order our PR4 or PRC-4 Deluxe [I like the idea of cleaning records in both directions. Then again, I am the one too lazy to do the Walker Prelude 4-step process :-)].

Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo handy. I mean, I have taken a million photos over the years – but finding one when I need it. Ha!

Our PR3 was [is] really quiet and it is kind of shocking that so many people clean records with record cleaners that damage their ability to hear music – at least in the short term.

Kind of like vacuum cleaning the house with your ear down there by the floor and the screaming motor.

It is not like any of us like to vacuum, especially [tho some people do it for relaxation]. We even sold our Royal vacuum cleaner – a great cleaner, but it was too darn noisy.

So why would someone want to clean their records with one hooked up to a wet hair brush? Maybe because they do not know about the Loricraft?

OK, here is a stock photo:

Loricraft record cleaner

It cleans records by applying a very, very strong vacuum at just one tiny area – much more effective than the wide area approaches – using a continuously spooling, always new, piece of thread to aim the suction and suck up that awful crud from way down deep inside the groove as it vacuums up whatever fluids you are cleaning/soaking/scrubbing the record with.

That is a long sentence huh?

But that is what it does. The fluid ends up in the mason jar on the right that one empties every so often. Not very often for us, but Kevin is the one who cleans records like a maniac 🙂 We, we try and clean them before we use them – and sometimes right after we buy them and are all excited about them – but we are too undisciplined to carry out a well-formed pan of attack on the Sate of the Dirty Record Collection in a kind of preemptive strike like Kevin does.

Cleaned records not only do not have crackles and pops – they actually sound better in terms of micro-dynamics, soundstage, dynamics, harmonic detail… in many ways that have surprised us. The shootout with the Walker Prelude was conclusive – you can do a quick little cleaning, or you can suffer wondering whether you are hearing more dirt than vinyl – then a few pops and crackles and then you know for sure [ah, the life of an audiophile :-)].

Anyway, we’ll have more to say and photos when we agree on what we are getting [*sigh*] and get it here.