The DC Hi-Fi Group

DCHFG November 2019 Meeting—The Leesburg Listening Room

Dennis Clark of the Leesburg Listening Room, hosted our November meeting following just a week after the very successful Capital Audiofest (my report is in process). The location is in a large home in a gated community just south of Leesburg.

It’s a lovely home and the basement is dedicated to the Leesburg Listening Room store. It is geared toward home theater but with an audiophile tilt.

We had the usual eat and greet with about twenty members making the trip out west. We then crammed in to the main sound room for a listen. We were treated to Legacy Aeris speakers controlled by the Legacy Wavelet room correction system. Digital source was a PS Audio DAC with Bridge 2 Steaming board installed and Krell power amp bringing the speakers to life. I heard a lot of presence and slam.

Dennis brought us up to date with the lines he carries and asked what brands the club would like to see and hear.

We had the usual raffle drawing with Stephen, Dave, Larry, Eerik, Mike and Randall winning. See you in December!

Setup Discs in the Age of Streaming

I recently rearranged my audio system and replaced some cables, etc. While not terribly complicated, there is always the chance of misconnecting a cable and reversing Left and Right or even worse connecting speakers out of phase.

It’s always nice at the end of an overhaul like this to be able to quickly test things for peace of mind. For many years you could grab a CD or even an LP that had a series of tracks that would walk you through basic channel tests, phase tests and even frequency sweeps.

But what to do if you have embraced streaming music exclusively? I pondered this question and happily found an answer. I did a search of Tidal via the Roon interface and discovered a system setup disc for streamers!

The Ultimate Headphones Test is available on Tidal and has all of the basic tests one needs to do a check of a system’s setup. While the title implies it is for headphones, all of the tests can be used with speaker based systems as well. The test stream allowed me to quickly confirm that I had my channel settings correct and in phase. I could also check my speaker/room frequency response and even the state of my audiophile hearing. More on that in a moment.

I found each track professionally created with the narrator (presumably the creator), Stéphane Pigeon, offering concise information about each test. I found his French accent added an exotic touch to the proceedings.

While I was going through the tracks I also played the frequency sweeps for both and high and low ranges. Given the myriad of room and speaker combinations this test will be highly variable. In this case, I decided to actually listen to these tests on headphones as intended. Being brutally honest I can say I can easily hear from 30 hz in the low end up to 14 Khz in the high end. From what I have read, this is probably about average for someone like me who is a male nearing his 6th decade. So much for my Golden Ears!

My limited hearing test did drive home the reality that while many in the industry are striving for ever higher sampling rates (e.g. 768 Khz), many if not most of the end listeners cannot even hear all of the frequencies of the original CD created decades ago.

If you subscribe to Tidal, be sure to add this audio test stream to your collection for future use. The next time you are unsure if your system is performing properly you can easily run these basic tests and confirm your setup.

See You There

Don’t miss a banner year for Capital Audiofest as CAF 2019 exhibitor participation reaches a new maximum. This year’s Capital Audiofest is on track to be the largest yet, with almost 250 brands already scheduled to show in over 80 rooms, and the event is just a little over a week away!

DCHFG Members needed for CAF 2019 Room

Besides volunteers for CAF 2019, we need volunteers to host the DCHFG room at this year’s CAF 2019. As usual our fearless leader, John Gatski, is stretched pretty thin helping vendors and needs help from DCHFG members. Please contact John about volunteering for a time slot at the DCHFG CAF 2019 room.

DCHFG Second Annual Rummage Sale Wrap Up

The DC Hi-Fi Group’s second annual rummage sale is now in the history books. Last Sunday, at the historic Garrett Park Town Hall, we had over 20 sellers with a wide variety of electronics and media presented for the public’s perusal. There was a steady stream of buyers coming through from 9:30 am in the morning to around 2 pm in the afternoon looking over tables loaded down with everything from vintage Hi-Fi to some of the latest digital audiophile electronics. There was an awesome selection of new and preowned LP’s as well as plenty of CD’s available. I call it a big success and look forward to clearing out my closet next year.

After the public cleared out, we had a small raffle. Linear Tube Audio provided a couple mobile DACs and KLH provided a couple of headphones.

See everybody at CAF in a couple of weeks.

We are still looking for volunteers for the CAF reception desk. Please contact Dave Raden and sign up to help.