DCHFG August 2022 Meeting – LTA, SOTA
On Saturday, August 20, 2022, we had our late summer meeting at Ken Wolff’s beautiful home.
Mark Schneider of Linear Tube Audio (LTA) was on hand to provide the latest news on the locally produced tube Hi-Fi components. We listened to the Z40+ Integrated.
LTA’s Hi-Fi products are based on DCHFG member David Berning’s innovative tube designs. David was also in attendance to discuss his designs.
The demos also included the new SOTA Pyxis and Acrux phono preamplifiers and a SOTA turntable.
I have had my SOTA turntable since 1985 and upgraded it to Nova 5 status in 2013. I have had my LTA microZOTL preamp for a couple of years now and can attest to their extreme efforts in customer service. I would never have a reason to go elsewhere for this type of equipment.
John Gatski started the meeting off with club business.
Ken Wolff dug deep into his collection and pulled out a 15-year-old pair of Sonus Faber bookshelves that sounded fabulous. Gary Gill (Capital Audiofest/Pacific Audiofest) reported on the success of the recent Pacific Audiofest that he and Lou Hinkley (Daedalus Audio) presented in Seattle. Gary also updated us on the upcoming Capital Audiofest.
Chris Barker provided Audiophile news about MoFiGate Vinyl, new DAC chips from ESS/Sabre, and the just released Technics 100C turntable at $999.00.
Many members went home with raffle prizes including the Limited Edition 45 RPM LP of Linda Ronstadt’s Simple Dreams.
All Things Must Pass
Hot, Hot, Hot. It was not just the weather on Saturday afternoon at our fearless leader’s (John Gatski) home for the “All Things Must Pass” demo.
Nelson Pass only made three speaker models in the company’s 30-year history, including the infamous Rushmore, which still fetch $40,000 per pair on the used market. John has decided to oblige the inquiring members with a full-system Pass demo, including the SR-2’s (Son of Rushmore number two), the mammoth stereo X350.8 and an XP-10 preamp. The XA350.8 is a current model; the XP-10 preamp is the pre section in the INT-60 integrated but sounds fine. The SR-2’s are circa 2012-2015. These bad boys were custom all the way. The speaker featured custom manufactured tweeter, midrange, woofer, crossover, and a beautiful, hand-built, hardwood cabinet (165 pounds). They sold for $20,000 a pair at the end of their run!
After a libation or two and belly full I was set for a listen. I can see and hear why these speakers are considered most special. I would love to hear them in a room more fitting for their size and capabilities.
We had four happy winners in the early drawing then it was time for me to depart and make room for the next group. It was a good day.
DC Hi-Fi Group June 2022 Summer Vinyl Event
On a warm and sunny Saturday, we had about twelve vendors and individuals presenting their ware for the public to peruse and purchase. Most vinyl sales were brisk, both used and new LP’s, CD’s, and even cassette tapes were available. Lots of vintage gear was available too. The beautiful weather kept the big crowds away but there was a steady stream of participants.
An enjoyable time for like-minded people interested in good music.
DC Hi-Fi Group May 15th Meeting
It was one of those special spring days for a drive down to Annadale from Baltimore. Luckily, this time the traffic on 495 was tolerable.
Dave Raden’s house is on a magical lot with one thousand azaleas just past their peak but still beautiful.
The main club business was to announce the June 25th Summer Vinyl Event at the Garrett Park Town Hall. Past events have been successful for the sellers and for attracting new club members. There is always a lively turnout.
Our club members have been treated to the evolution of Dave’s speaker since early meetings in 2016. It is the cumulation of years of tweaking and tuning and is a revelation. What he presented was highly defined and clearly focused on musicality.
The Model 1 speaker system is a two or three-way system comprised of the Model 1T and the Model 1B. The 1T is a two-way MTM D’Appolito design. The 1B incorporates a single twelve-inch driver.
The 1T is a slot-loaded cabinet and incorporates two six-inch mid-bass drivers and a ribbon tweeter. The crossover is external to isolate it from vibration and eliminate microphonic coupling to the crossover components from the drivers. When operated at full range the 1T delivers deep and well-defined bass that will satisfy many users without the need for the 1B.
Adding the 1B to the 1T provides deeper bass and even more impact to the already impressive 1T. With an 80 Hz crossover between the 1B and 1T, the 1T is relieved from delivering the most demanding bass frequency range resulting in higher power output capability in the range above 80 Hz. The 1B has a significant power handling capacity (700 Watts RMS) and delivers more impact and deeper bass than the 1T on its own. Together, they can deliver startling dynamics across the entire audio frequency range. The price of this impressive speaker is $13K. For further information see DR Audio Works.
Dave also sells an interesting interconnect. I use a pair between my preamp and power amp in a 14ft run. This is a pure silver cable that I find transparent to the music without any harshness or grittiness that is usually attributed to silver cables.
For coverage of 2022 Audio Shows please visit MyAudioPhrenia.com.
As always, the club provided a great lunch for those that made the trip.
The Vinyl Revivers Open House – May 17, 2022
This was a real treat. We gathered on a Saturday at Ron Ziegel’s incredible Penthouse apartment and party room for a great afternoon of food, drink, tunes and camaraderie. There was a good crowd of forty or so club members and guests. Russ made eight trips from his Columbia townhouse to set up two large systems and a countertop of LPs for sale. We had the big Quad ESL 2912s with Hegel electronics in the Party Room and the KEF Blade One Meta’s and Martin Logan Renaissance ESL 15 A’s in Ron’s Living room.
The KEF Blade One Meta’s were the star of the show. Ben Hagens, KEF Product Training Manager, talked about KEF’s design history and backstories that kept us focused on the marvelous sound of the beautiful speakers. I have heard earlier versions of these speakers at Audio Shows and this version with the Meta disk behind the Uni-Q driver brought more clarity and coherence to the music.
Russ made every effort to impress with a great catered lunch of sliders of beef, ham, chicken salad and a vast array of finger delicacies. We washed this down with delicious wine and beer.
And there were door prizes.
The grand prize was a set of KEF Quincy’s followed by a few albums and audio accessories.
This was a fun and great afternoon.