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Coimbatore HFV Nano Meet

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esanthosh

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"The Man with the Golden ears" braved badly scheduled trains and ended up in Coimbatore for a day and a half. He lost the title of "rain bringer", kept the title of "golden ears".

Just a small list of things done at the "meet":

3rd July : Audition at Audire.
4th July : My setups were analyzed with a few combinations possible within the time.
5th July : iaudio will use the bandh to write all about it in this thread or else... :rolleyes:
 
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rallynut

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esanthosh,am sure u guys had a blast!!!!!and yep,looks like the "golden ears" bit is gonna stick from now on,eh titus ;)?!!!looking forward to the deconstruct.cheers
 

iaudio

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Reached home barely an hour back! Rain and bandh made for a good walk home from the railway station.
I shall try to 'comply' with esanthosh threat once I get some sleep!

Rallynut, as I related to you over phone, had a great time!

esantosh, Thank you!
 

iaudio

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Esanthosh and I have been interacting for a while on Hfv and TE. This guy has got it pretty much covered :cool:when it comes to portable audio. In the last few months he has been persevering to get a HT as well as Hifi set up. He has always taken the pain to keep me posted( that too quite elaborately via his PMs) about his journey to the same.
So when he invited me to come to Coimbatore :yahoo:to check out his Audire IO2 based system(after he completed the 200 hour burn in), I considered it pretty much mandatory that I had to head to Coimbatore at the first available opportunity, meet this man and listen to his new audio set up!
I reached Coimbatore on Saturday, checked myself into a lodge room, showered, had a good lunch at Geetha Caf and got ready for the first days program which was to head over to Audire.( Cmon, it would be idiotic to miss visiting Audire when you are in Coimabatore, after hearing so much about them!)
After hearing about his musical tastes, I had a mental picture of esantosh as a guy with long hair, goatee, black t shirt, tattoo etc,:D the whole Goth look, but instead I see a very simple guy immaculately dressed in formals with a pleasant smile on his face.:)
On the way to Audire we chatted non stop and he also introduced me to the single driver of the Ambassador , Govind Raj anna.
After reaching Audire met with Dr. Chandrasekaran who was to arrange our audition. The audire listening room and lounge had an array of exotic looking speakers.



Audire rack



We didnt waste much time and first listened to their Flagship Seraphims( which are still under development). They were conncected to a MF sacd player and Audire surround amp.





I played Saraswati and Shadows from Into the light. The Seraphims sounded very natural. But somehow they sounded quite timid, and not everything was coming out boldly. In the first track, the weight and texture of the background bass guitar was not coming through. I wondered aloud to esantosh if the Seraphims were a bit bass shy. But on the second track I mentioned there was an abundance of bass. I was perplexed and remarked the same to the Doc. He explained the Seraphims are usually driven by a very powerful Wavac(?) amp. As it got sold, it was now being driven of the Audire surround amp.
Next, I played Sultans of Swing by Dire straits on the Seraphims. I was underwhelmed. The impact of the drums when the repeats of the Sultans of Swing line is sung was missing. But i gotta say that the cymbals sounded ver close to the real thing and this I have heard only on a few systems. Doc said the Callistos would serve better for such music and we switched over to the same.



The Callistos were placed as shown in the pictures, and were connected to Audires own Class A 10wpc power amp( not yet completely developed) and a Marantz cd17 player. I played the same Dire Straits track and it delivered the excitement with pretty good separation. Next up, I played the de rigueur mandolin tracks from Into the light. This time around the weight and texture of the strings were delivered. However I noticed an unnecessary amount of tactile bass everpresent during the Shadows track. I looked at esanthosh and understood the feeling was shared by him too.
Next, I tried a couple of songs from Iruvar including Hello Mister and Narumugiye. The Callistos delivered them with good separations and well toned mids, but the high as well lows seemed a bit pushed, exaggerated. Especially, on the Hello Mister the highs were going beyond my comfort level.
I played Raghasudharasa, Carnatic based song, from the OST of a Malayalam movie Sargam, sung by K.J. Yesudas. This is not what one would call a very good recording( or is it?) and the Sound came across with good imaging and sound stage, I could hear the vocals and the mridangam in their respective positions. However, the speakers or the set up seemed to brighten up the recording overall, which took away from the naturality.
When I voiced my opinion to Dr. Chandrasekaran, he said we should try it with esanthoshs Topping Tp20, it would sound more balanced.
Next up, I tried Take 5 by Dave Brubeck, but this seemed to be a different,faster version than I am used to. Again, it sounded quite good, though the mid range could have a lil more body, lushness.
Then, we played a Dream Theater track, which one was it Santosh?, I enjoyed it on the set up and looked forward to how the higher end Io2 s would render the same at esanthoshs place.
Overall, I felt the Callistos are a good option to be considered for their 28k price, but one would have to partner it with something to tame the overenthusiastic highs and lows.
Thus, we came to the end of our 2 hour session at audire and after some chit chat with the Doc we left.
We couldnt listen to the Feastrex based speakers:sad: as they did not have their corresponding amps.


Worlds most expensive driver?


Audire D5, this uses a Rs.5 lac Feastrex driver.







The Echelons too were not available for audition.

Audire Echelon







Audire I02 speshal version, this looked simply stunning!







These speakers IIRC the doc said were mainly for Metal /HT




I would definitely be interested in listening to the Echelon with 8 driver and Tl design.
After having delicious Dosa:licklips: , vada and the big momma of strong coffees at Annapoorna, Santosh dropped me back at my room and I spent the rest of the evening strolling around Coimbatore town.

Disclaimer: pl excuse poor quality pics, the resizing messed up things!
 
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srinisundar

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Nice review, seems iaudio is one of our most interested travelling member who is parachutting( as like his avatar) to every place for audio session. If i could just think who were all doing reviews iaudio comes to mind immediately... Nice you should visit us for the next HFV meet in chennai.

Regards
 

iaudio

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Thanks, Cap'n. Pics of Santhoshs set up will come up along with my account of my second day at CBE which was spent at Santhosh's place.

Srini Sir, Thank you, I am honored. Last time when I came to Chennai, I had expressed my interest to meet you if convenient to Venkatesh, but unfortunately we couldnt meet. There s always a next time.
 

gobble

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Nice! funny you found the highs on the callistoes too bright. They dont on my system. What is too much tactile bass you referred to? I did not get it... Was the bass too much or was it too tactile? Why is tactile sense bad in your opinion?

Regards
 

iaudio

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Gobble, forgive my limited diction. Tactile bass, i believe its the bass one can feel, is fine. But with the callistos, in that setup, bass was excessive. Like a constant low rumble. I expressed the same and was told its due to the power amp which is still in development, and it would sound balanced with the topping. I had mentioned it in my previous post. Esanthosh felt the same.
Nice! funny you found the highs on the callistoes too bright. They dont on my system. What is too much tactile bass you referred to? I did not get it... Was the bass too much or was it too tactile? Why is tactile sense bad in your opinion?

Regards
 
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esanthosh

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^ Titus,

The Dream Theater track would be "Repentence" (Track #5 from "Systematic Chaos"). The CD was at the same position I left it last time along with Nirvana's "Unplugged". Strange - may be too many "Rock" people are visiting Audires nowadays :)

The last pic is indeed the "Rock" speakers. They had the driver and all, but unfortunately, 99.99% of the people only listen to "Hotel California" at the audition. So, when they found me switching between Brahms and Opeth, they decided to complete the Rock speakers. I did audition them, not inside the audition room, but outside in the hall. I don't clearly remember how it went, but I auditioned Callisto and IO2 the same day and liked IO2 better.

On the "looks": My mind is a full range speaker trapped in a bookshelf body ;) Sorry to disappoint you. Next time, I'll wear a black T-shirt with big skull, grow my goatee, have a bad haircut and even wear an eye patch :rolleyes:

On Seraphims: I have auditioned the Seraphims twice before and I'd say they performed more like 40% of what I've heard. Chances are this is due to the Amp. Their multi-channel amp is capable of delivering 150wpc, where as Seraphims need 1000wpc. The speakers themselves will take sometime to finish. They were more like 40% complete last time and about 70-80% now. During the next visit of Titus, everything should be set - Echelon & Seraphim with proper amp.

@gobble,

I had auditioned Callistos before fixing on the IO2. It has a lot to do with the amp basically. The amp, I'd say has taken away any naturalness from Callisto. Both sides of the spectrum sounded exaggerated to me this time. Once the power amp is complete, may be it could be a different story.
 

iaudio

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^ Titus,

The Dream Theater track would be "Repentence" (Track #5 from "Systematic Chaos"). The CD was at the same position I left it last time along with Nirvana's "Unplugged". Strange - may be too many "Rock" people are visiting Audires nowadays :)

The last pic is indeed the "Rock" speakers. They had the driver and all, but unfortunately, 99.99% of the people only listen to "Hotel California" at the audition. So, when they found me switching between Brahms and Opeth, they decided to complete the Rock speakers. I did audition them, not inside the audition room, but outside in the hall. I don't clearly remember how it went, but I auditioned Callisto and IO2 the same day and liked IO2 better.

On the "looks": My mind is a full range speaker trapped in a bookshelf body ;) Sorry to disappoint you. Next time, I'll wear a black T-shirt with big skull, grow my goatee, have a bad haircut and even wear an eye patch :rolleyes:

On Seraphims: I have auditioned the Seraphims twice before and I'd say they performed more like 40% of what I've heard. Chances are this is due to the Amp. Their multi-channel amp is capable of delivering 150wpc, where as Seraphims need 1000wpc. The speakers themselves will take sometime to finish. They were more like 40% complete last time and about 70-80% now. During the next visit of Titus, everything should be set - Echelon & Seraphim with proper amp.

@gobble,

I had auditioned Callistos before fixing on the IO2. It has a lot to do with the amp basically. The amp, I'd say has taken away any naturalness from Callisto. Both sides of the spectrum sounded exaggerated to me this time. Once the power amp is complete, may be it could be a different story.
:D I will look forward to that! Not a matter of disappointment, but that of preconceived notions and stereotypes being shattered!:)
And dude, I am hooked to Opeth for the last few days! Morning started the day with Windowpane!
 

esanthosh

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^ Yep! Those tatoo-ing, piercing, gothic look etc., are a "statement" to others. It's just a matter of musical taste, not my personality. So, why be a stereotype? :)

Wait till you listen to complete albums. Opeth like most Prog outfits is an album oriented band. At last, I can sleep in peace tonight. I've made at least one person understand that while Opeth is "classified" as "Progressive Death Metal", they are far different from that :eek:hyeah:
 
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thevortex

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^ Yep! Those tatoo-ing, piercing, gothic look etc., are a "statement" to others. It's just a matter of musical taste, not my personality. So, why be a stereotype? :)

Wait till you listen to complete albums. Opeth like most Prog outfits is an album oriented band. At last, I can sleep in peace tonight. I've made at least one person understand that while Opeth is "classified" as "Progressive Death Metal", they are far different from that :eek:hyeah:
I hear ya, Santhosh :).

Good job, Titus. Keep those trips of yours coming. You are due at Chennai again soon :).

I had wanted to experience the Echelon Gamma and even spoke to Sharath of Audire to see if a home audition was possible. Unfortunately nothing happened on that front.

I am curious as to what Titus made of the IO2s at Santhosh's place.
 

iaudio

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Bala, Thank you. I will post about my second day at Coimbatore spent at esanthosh's residence soon. Also I think I have to do a second shot with the pics, the resizing has somehow injected a helluva lot of noise into it!

esanthosh, You can sure sleep well buddy, listening to Credence now. The way their songs open on the guitar are amazing. Each song pretty much goes through a series of transitions through the 7-10min and this is continued to the next track. But the cd6003 seems to be in a mind of its own as to sorting it. I have to read up the manual!
 

esanthosh

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@iaudio,

Then, you must in the future give a listen to the full "My Arms, Your Hearse" album, in which each song's last word is the name of the next song. It's also a concept + gap-less album. BTW, what order does CD6003 sort? Does it not play files in alphabetical order (in this case, would equate to chronological + track # wise)?

Bala,

Titus needed one more day here to finish all that we initially planned. Hardly had time for some of the things he wanted to try out. Or may be I am too possessive of my portable stuff that I "planned" to have him audition when he had no time left :rolleyes:

May be we should appoint iaudio as the official traveling golden ears of HFV? It was amazing on his part to make it here when we had no trains that arrived and departed at saner times. Originally, the "meet" was to take place sometime later, but when it got pre-poned, he made quite an effort to make arrangements at very short notice. I'd been too lazy to be bothered in a similar situation :p

@iaudio,

PS: There's been one small change since you left - not very significant, so will be made known later on, probably at CBE HFV Nano/Micro Meet II when my "mission" is complete ;)
 

keith_correa

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the Seraphims are usually driven by a very powerful Wavac(?) amp
connected to Audires own Class A 10wpc power amp( not yet completely developed)
When I voiced my opinion to Dr. Chandrasekaran, he said we should try it with esanthoshs Topping Tp20, it would sound more balanced.
We couldnt listen to the Feastrex based speakers as they did not have their corresponding amps.
This is surreal! Do they sell amps and speakers in matched sets? If they did not have the right equipment, they should have told you guys to get the equipment along. I wonder why they are demoing if the full potential cannot be exhibited.
 
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gvenu

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Dear Titus,

Good review. You will sure become a flying review expert of not only for HFV may be for others too.

Awaiting for your impressions at eSanthosh's place.

Rgds,
Venu
 

gvenu

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Dear Titus,

Good review. You will sure become a flying review expert of not only for HFV may be for others too.

Awaiting for your impressions at eSanthosh's place.

Rgds,
Venu
 

iaudio

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Dear Titus,

Good review. You will sure become a flying review expert of not only for HFV may be for others too.

Awaiting for your impressions at eSanthosh's place.

Rgds,
Venu
I was being a good boy and typing up the second days account when our own 'Smart Spender' called me up and we chatted away to glory about music, movies, our Ilairaja/a.r.r favourite tracks etc! Yes, Venki, I am shifting the blame to you!
I will definitely post up today though. Else even the softspoken esanthosh may use the choicest abuses on me.

Gvenu, thanks for the kind words!

Keith, You have a valid point there. I had gone there after fixing an appointment through esanthosh and its sad that they didnt have amps for the other speakers. They are getting some fancy amp this week, according to Sharath, what was its name..yes, Dartzeel! And he suggested I come over for a listen surely! If only trips to CBE were so easy!
 
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