Home Next Meeting Location Previous Meetings Membership Rules Links Contact Yahoo! Groups Members
General Meeting Reports for 2008 Return to Index
December 2008 DIY Night

November 2008 Rockian Trading

Another night with Rockian Trading and as usual Ian provided us with a huge eclectic mix of music. Always interesting. Once again, thanks to Ian and Bev Hooper for giving us their time. The range of music was extensive. Even Santana and Roy Orbison got a mention. Also thanks to Greg Osborne for helping out with his usual great gear. The new Consonance range gave good listening. I can hear why its been selling well. Another great listening treat. Thanks guys.

October 2008 Top Hat Members Selection Night

Last meeting we had a another special night of electrostatic speakers. This time we had a classic pair of Quad ESL63 speakers with one of Hugh Dean`s latest amplifiers driving it. We had mostly positive comments about the night and the gear being used. For myself the best bit of music I heard was the last track for the night of a screeching trumpet, it truly sounded alive.

Chris Mogford

September 2008 Whise Products

Last meeting we had a special night of electrostatic speakers. I'd like to thank Charles Van Dongen for coming along and showing us the latest wares from Whise. Charles has been an enthusiastic ESL designer for a long time now and once again he showed us something that was special.

The HA1500 was quite a work of art with many features not found in other ESLs. Specially constructed stator to provide the maximum dispersion of sound. Integrated amplifiers for the panel as well as the sub-woofer.

Charles introduced us to the method of acoustic filtering which is vital to obtaining such copious bass from smaller enclosures. The very large ELS speakers (HA1800) were on show and we heard them briefly but unfortunately they were not sounding right. Charles believes that something must have come loose in its travels.

We heard a compact pair of ELS speakers that would be perfect for small rooms or desktop audio authoring. This was partnered with a tiny sub-woofer using the acoustic filtering technology and the big sound belied its small size. Charles has offered to provide a better listening environment at his workplace.

Those intrigued should give Charles a call. Contact is Charles Van Dongen, Immersion Technologies 12 Weir St Glen Iris.

Phone 9832 0057, email c.vandongen@iti-plc.com web site www.iti-plc.com

Chris Mogford

August 2008 Audio Trends

The meeting held at Audio Trends was another great night held at their premises. We thank all concerned for helping make this a night to remember. We were instructed as to how beneficial calibration of our televisions were and of the virtue of Stewart Screens.

If anyone has a request for specific manufacturers products where Audio Trends may help then please enquire. Audio Trends is keen to help with any demonstration of a particular kind. We look forward to further events with Audio Trends.

Chris Mogford

July 2008 Linn Klimax DS Demonstration

For our July program, the presenter Bill Livingston from Linn, came all the way from Scotland to give us an inspirational talk on Linn's approach to Audio.

It was fascinating to hear Bill's account of how Linn started in the audio business, their background in precision engineering, and the Linn philosophy on listening and evaluating equipment. Bill gave some fascinating insights into the listening process, methods of evaluating equipment, and the importance of the front end of a system.

I counted the audience at 104, which has to be one of the club's largest attendances, and from all accounts, I can confidently say that it was among the most interesting and best presentations the club has had.

The presentation only contained about 20 minutes of music, which will have disappointed a few people, however I think Bill clearly demonstrated that The Linn Klimax DS audio streaming technology is superior to their CD player, and that the quality of Linn equipment is high indeed - I overheard quite a few members say it was the finest system they had heard.

For those who were unable to attend, the system comprised Linn's top of the line system: the Klimax DS Digital Streamer; Klimax Preamp; Klimax 350A active speakers, and for comparison purposes, the Akurate DS and Akurate CD player.

David Cathro

Acting Program Coordinator

June 2008 AGM + Members Selection

The June meeting was the AGM, and most of the night was spent on the club business.. After the break, those who stayed were treated to an enjoyable session of member's selections from the Hat. I would love to tell you what they were, but I did not write them down and I cannot remember.

The system was your Program Coordinator's NOS CD player and single ended preamplifier, Ernie's power amplifier, and Manny's two way speakers, built and designed by our own Ron Newbound. We were asked to use the Theatre, and it proved to be a fine venue with many reporting that the sound was well above average.

David Cathro

May 2008 A Comparison of Two Pre-Amplifiers

The valve preamp verses Solid State (SS) preamp comparison, at the May GM, caused quite a stir and a lot of discussion amongst the members. For those who were not there on the night a complete system was setup where only preamps were changed between similar tracks on the same CD via an A/B switch box. The idea was to compare a valve preamp with a SS preamp with other components being shared. Leads were covered so no one knew which was A and which was B under the A/B comparison test.

Before I go on A was the valve preamp and B was the SS preamp. Now you know. Some members had to leave before it was revealed which was which and though they tried very hard to get me to tell them before they left, I refused. I didn't want it spoiled for others.

Some told me at intermission which they believed was which and why. Most had it wrong. At the end of the night, before the preamps were revealed, a vote was taken which sounded the best. There was a 60/40 split in favor of the Solid State preamp. That did not stop a lot from saying they much preferred the valve pre and why.

Thank you for those who attended and your nice comments about the equipment used all of which was made by me. Also I received a lot of comments about the wide range of music played which most appeared to enjoy. For those who asked if they can purchase the preamps the answer is yes, though at this point the valve preamp has been spoken for.

The list of tracks played below in order:

    1. Dee Dee Bridgewater - Red Earth (the warm-up track)
    2. Mick McAuley and Winifred Horan - Serenade
    3. Jorge Reyes - De Todo Poco
    4. Keith Jarrett - Handel
    5. Anne Sophie Von Otter - Water colours
    6. Enrico Rava / Stefano Bollani
    7. Jane Monheit - Surrender
    8. Robert Plant / Alison Krauss - Raising Sand
    9. Trumpet Concerto - Academy of St Martin in the Fields
    10. Claire Martin - Secret Love
    11. Australian Welsh Male Choir - Live from Frankston Uniting Church
    12. Stan Getz - Final live performance
    13. John Williams - Memoirs of a Geisha

David Cathro

April 2008 Manfred Kaindel Acoustic Products and Design

Manfred Kaindel from StudioCEL presented a range of acoustic products designed for the home listening environment. Manfred gave some background theory on room acoustics, and described the services and products that his company offers.

Manfred then demonstrated the effect of the acoustic products. We set up a system comprising Manny's Large speakers, Ernie's Aspen amplifier, an XTC 3 Pre, and a modified Marantx CD94 CD player. Acoustic panels were put behind the speakers to dampen the rear reflections, and were removed and added alternatively to demonstrate their effect.

Manfred charges $120 for a home consultation visit, and the panels are in the vicinity of $200 - $300, much less than in audio shops.

One club member has since informed me that he has had Manfred round and for $500 has completely transformed the sound of his room/system.

If you wish to contact Manfred you can reach him on 0413 074 451 or email

David Cathro

March 2008 Bill Armstrong Melbourne's Mr. Audio

We had the great fortune and pleasure to have the legendary Bill Armstrong as our very special guest for the March General Meeting. Bill talked about his long and amazing career in the music industry, and entertained us with numerous examples of his pioneering recording work. Bill's career has been quite incredible, and he shared with us many insights and stories. I have to say, that I have never seen the MAC members transfixed in the way they were for this presentation. To top it off, Bill was a complete and utter gentleman. For those who were fortunate enough to be there, I am sure it will be a night that lives long in the memory.

David Cathro

February 2008 Tweaking and Tuning

Februaries Presentation was a workshop on tweaking and tuning. The idea was to take a high quality inexpensive system, start with it poorly setup and see how much we could improve the sound.

The System comprised of: a Marantz CD60 (reclocked and NOS); Orelle 100evo integrated amp; and Orelle Swing speakers. This was initially setup with fairly ordinary oxygen free speaker cable and generic interconnects, the components were placed on top of each other on the trestle table, and the mains cables were intertwined with the audio cables.

Initially we played with the speaker placement, but did not spend too much time here. Admittedly, huge improvements could have been realized from spending the evening getting this right, and with improving the acoustics, but that was not the point of the demonstration.

The main changes that were made during the evening were:

  • Speaker placement
  • Separating the mains cables from the audio cable
  • Taking the CD player off the amplifier
  • Changing the speaker cable
  • Changing the interconnects
  • Changing the mains polarity on the CD player
  • Placing the equipment on a dedicated rack
  • Positioning the equipment on the rack

We also played around with some even more quirky ideas like putting different objects on top of the speakers, feet under the CD player, and even did a green pen comparison.

The feedback from the evening has been extremely encouraging, with most people reporting that they heard clear differences with each change, and some even inspired to experiment themselves.

David Cathro

January 2008 Buy, swap and sell

January meant it was time for the club's usual buy/sell/swap event. The council very generously gave us both halves of the Waratah Room, which meant there was plenty of seating as well as the stall area. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and there were plenty of happy people picking up bargains. I am told in the past there has been trouble with dealers, but I could not see much that would interest them, and none showed up anyway.

As is part of this traditional event, both pizza and drinks were enjoyed. Due to Council's policy refreshments were served at the bar, and your club will be picking up the tab. My thanks to the many members who came with their surplus 'treasures'.

David Cathro