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The DIY Meet in a 'Hidden Sanctuary' in Bengaluru

Kannan

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@har297 Please also share some details about your tube amplifier.

Other than the event details which i have already penned, many would also like to know technical details of the DIY products.
 
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reubensm

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What an amazing experience this may have been, what a lovely sanctuary too :)
The work on cabs for the DIY equipment is really out of this world. I can feel the excitement and the joy of seeing and hearing all these creations.
Though I always believe feedback on how equipment sounds is highly subjective and taste-dependent, the joy of getting one's own creation to meet or exceed one's own expectations is what DIY is all about. Truly amazing stuff.
Well done.

On another note, a lot of forum members may not be in a position to attend in person but can probably ship across equipment for audition. Though this may be a cumbersome process and requires the host to take additional responsibility, it could add to the fun. Also recently I have been invited to couple of WhatsApp forums where there is very active discussion/debate and even demos of creations. Though the aspect of convenience is obvious but a lot of these discussions and demos are lost ultimately as reach is limited to the WhatsApp group members. If these contributions could show up on a forum where the entire world can visit and take notice, that would be great. But again, it all comes down to personal preference.

Also seems like the grand daddies of the pack (age-wise) were missing - the vinyl guys :)
 

Kannan

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Though the aspect of convenience is obvious but a lot of these discussions and demos are lost ultimately as reach is limited to the WhatsApp group members. If these contributions could show up on a forum where the entire world can visit and take notice, that would be great. But again, it all comes down to personal preference.
Pertinent point. I also see lesser interest in forums nowadays as all talks have shifted to whatsapp groups. It is like instant coffee with no indexing, classification or chronology and important information shared just get lost.

Imagine sharing the details of this event on WhatsApp...this is where the powers of forums come in.
I hope better sense prevails and projects are chronicled in forums.
 

spirovious

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Nice meet and reviews. I am surprised to know that famous V4 amp sounded edgy. Glad to know that DD amp is runner up in the end.
 

har297

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@har297 Please also share some details about your tube amplifier.

Other than the event details which i have already penned, many would also like to know technical details of the DIY products.
Mine is a very simple build based on Tubelab SSE.

Choke and OPT are from Hammond, Power transformer is from Torotrans.
Driver tube is NOS GE - 12AT7
Rectification is new gen JJ - GZ34
Power amplification tube new gen JJ - EL34

The core circuit of Tubelab is retained, i have changed some component values to adjust Bias, Drive, etc to suit my listening taste, to get a decent THD figures and to keep odd harmonics to very minimum.

Basically this fine tuning is dependent on Valves, So if we roll tubes it may or may not give best results.

I have tried KT88 in the same amp and i did not like it as much as EL34, in KT88 there was ample amount of Bass, but the mid and upper mid detail was lost, I spent some time tweaking for this tube, but could not settle with it. May be next time :)

I would say, time and patience is the key to achieve decent sound out of any DIY with a little bit of tweaking. One thing i have realised in DIY is that , even a small tweak in right direction will give many fold increase in performance.

Please consider my view casually, as i am no expert in this :)
 

Vivek Rao

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It was a indeed a privilege to have attended this event and got to hobnob with so many wonderful DIY'ers. The passion and enthusiasm displayed not only during the event but in the days before, during the planning phase where the whatsapp DIY group was smoking messages ever so often, was building up to a crescendo. The event got so serious that some of the serious equipment (Shreekanth's especially) got setup a day earlier in the evening.
Full credit goes to the Shiv and Shreekanth to have thought of and initiated this kind of a meet. It was really kind of Prakash to have allowed this event to happen within the serene green ambiance of his gated community - the Club room for the event seems to have been constructed just for such a meet - with walls made of stripped wood having backfilling of some sound dampening material. The pictures pasted here and Kannan's wonderful write up do tell you the entire story.
The Auditions - the Hirage monoblocks and the DD amps were sounding wonderful. The combination of the DD amps with Shreekanths floor standers demonstrated the strengths of both the amplifier and the speaker. Playing Bickram Ghosh's "Untabla" it was quite amazing to hear the fast paced tabla movements coming out clean and natural from the speakers. There was no muddiness at all and the seperation of each strike of Ghosh's finger on the tabla coming out sharp and precise left me breathless. Wonderful demonstration of the dynamics of this combination.
Being a tube convert for sometime now my heart still was with the combination of 'woodpecker' Harsha's lovely tube amp with my Frugal horn . Although I too use the Frugal horn at home with a 3watt Shanling tube amp I could clearly see that Harsha's 3.5 watt tube amp was way superior and sounding magical - just look at the size of those output transformers... ! I missed playing his amp with my Altec full range speaker with passive radiator as I was sure these would be a good combination. Thats for the next meet !

For those interested here is the link to my Frugal Horn build.

The highlight of the day for me was also to see in action a true DIYer - Kannan who carried his heart in his mouth literally. He seemed to be the very spirit of the event - travelling all the way from Chennai in the night lugging his equipment along. There was no hint of tiredness or sleeplessness in the morning and was the very epitome of a kindled DIY audio Spirit. DJing with his laptop sitting close to the speakers next to the Hirage's he could comment on so many facets of the sound (many a time those of us sitting in the middle were scratching our heads trying to cope with his comments :) ). It was amazing to see his knowledge and enthusiasm on this subject. He had brought along his large and heavy bookshelf with infinity speakers. The boxes were additionally heavy due to his adding an additional baffle board in the front to create a time alignment between the tweeter and woofer. The boxes sounded very balanced and neutral with tight bass.

Looking forward for such meets in the near future - a big thumbs up to the organisers and the all the DIY members who attended the meet. Cheers.
 

soundnovice

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Maybe have a BYOS = build your own sound
Day.Where a participant can walk in ,engage and walk out with his/her amp/spkr. Given the mechanical ,physics and electronics know how floating around in our country collectively....it's possible provided the rules of engagement, integrity and respectful civil conversations are maintained ! we can rotate statewide and even have a diy geek out day ! Any thoughts !
a very good idea indeed
 

diyaudio

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Bangalore has always had buzzing diy scene. Good to see so much of gear.
Very intriguing design of OB speaker by Sumith, pls share more details.
 

har297

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It was a indeed a privilege to have attended this event and got to hobnob with so many wonderful DIY'ers. The passion and enthusiasm displayed not only during the event but in the days before, during the planning phase where the whatsapp DIY group was smoking messages ever so often, was building up to a crescendo. The event got so serious that some of the serious equipment (Shreekanth's especially) got setup a day earlier in the evening.
Full credit goes to the Shiv and Shreekanth to have thought of and initiated this kind of a meet. It was really kind of Prakash to have allowed this event to happen within the serene green ambiance of his gated community - the Club room for the event seems to have been constructed just for such a meet - with walls made of stripped wood having backfilling of some sound dampening material. The pictures pasted here and Kannan's wonderful write up do tell you the entire story.
The Auditions - the Hirage monoblocks and the DD amps were sounding wonderful. The combination of the DD amps with Shreekanths floor standers demonstrated the strengths of both the amplifier and the speaker. Playing Bickram Ghosh's "Untabla" it was quite amazing to hear the fast paced tabla movements coming out clean and natural from the speakers. There was no muddiness at all and the seperation of each strike of Ghosh's finger on the tabla coming out sharp and precise left me breathless. Wonderful demonstration of the dynamics of this combination.
Being a tube convert for sometime now my heart still was with the combination of 'woodpecker' Harsha's lovely tube amp with my Frugal horn . Although I too use the Frugal horn at home with a 3watt Shanling tube amp I could clearly see that Harsha's 3.5 watt tube amp was way superior and sounding magical - just look at the size of those output transformers... ! I missed playing his amp with my Altec full range speaker with passive radiator as I was sure these would be a good combination. Thats for the next meet !

For those interested here is the link to my Frugal Horn build.

The highlight of the day for me was also to see in action a true DIYer - Kannan who carried his heart in his mouth literally. He seemed to be the very spirit of the event - travelling all the way from Chennai in the night lugging his equipment along. There was no hint of tiredness or sleeplessness in the morning and was the very epitome of a kindled DIY audio Spirit. DJing with his laptop sitting close to the speakers next to the Hirage's he could comment on so many facets of the sound (many a time those of us sitting in the middle were scratching our heads trying to cope with his comments :) ). It was amazing to see his knowledge and enthusiasm on this subject. He had brought along his large and heavy bookshelf with infinity speakers. The boxes were additionally heavy due to his adding an additional baffle board in the front to create a time alignment between the tweeter and woofer. The boxes sounded very balanced and neutral with tight bass.

Looking forward for such meets in the near future - a big thumbs up to the organisers and the all the DIY members who attended the meet. Cheers.
I guess synergy between Alpair 7p and my tubeamp seems to be good. When we tried to power TL's of Sreekanth, tubeamp was struggling on hard metal tracks :) , but this was expected.

This has triggered a itch to build a FH (XL). :oops:
 

soundnovice

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Sreekanth's speakers can take anything you throw at them. For any type of genre, they will excel. Not just in meet, but during my numerous visits to his place (including my yesterdays visit) we have played all kinds of music and his speakers play them all without a hint of sweat. Yesterday we tried three amps. Eight audio, Dayens Menuetto (Naresh's amp) and Sreekanth's long serving home made amp. With a critical listening session that lasted 3 hours, with absolute certainty I can say that, these speakers are highly capable when it comes to various attributes of audiophile music. Such as soundstage, imaging depth, instrument seperation and channel seperation. Realistic vocals with 'thick' presense of 'body'ness. One can hear the intricate sound being modulated in the throat of a singer. Especially with female vocals, a listener can develop that 'intimacy' with the singer, when vocals are reproduced to this level of accuracy. When it comes to string instruments the 'presence' and 'decay' of a pluck is clear. The decay is not more not less. Just as much as it was played by the musician. One might have experienced the 'longer decay' in ported designs or a total lack of it in other designs. But in a well designed TL speaker, a tight transient reponse is the highlight. Coming to amps, Dayens amp was pretty close to Sreekanth's amp in terms of sound signature but slightly (read as very slightly) it was bass shy. Eightaudio could handle equally well in resolving music with similar sound signature as other two but lacked soundstage and 'thick'ness in the vocals compared to other two but still better than many amps i have heard. It also fell short of reproducing bass properly but acceptable. Definitely worth for the money paid for them.

Due to their extreme resolving capabilities at high SPL, Sreekath's speakers demand for an amp which can power them up with enough juice and headroom. when this condition is met, thats when we get to hear that awesome dynamics with entire frequency spectrum being reproduced efforlessly. I am no amplifier expert, but i think the term 'damping' comes into picture here. As far as i know, 'damping factor' and 'THD' of an amp play important role in driving the speakers. I am not sure, but maybe the damping factor of tube amp is not sufficient to drive Sreekanth's speakers. And the inherent harmonic distortion character of tubes (which is widely considered it gives unique flavour to music read as 'tube sound') may not be suitable for speakers like TLs. Thats why many of us might have come across speaker and amp matching in several threads where low power tube or class A is preferred for very high sensitive single full range speakers and few others preferring more than 100W class AB power. I think it all is related to supplying enough juice to the demanding speakers based on their damping requirements. Amp experts shall chime in here and explain in detail.

As far as my limited knowledge goes and having owned two full range speakers (fostex BLH and alpair 6" in sealed, MLTL and ported boxes), I can say that full range speakers struggle to resolve heavy metal kind of music. they are very good with vocals and with songs which have detailed but limited number of instruments involved. they struggle especially when volume is turned up at more than average levels. however they are easiest to build and achieve realistic vocals or timbre of instruments. the only challenge is taming their increasing frequency response after mids, which is easier said than done. i am guessing TL or BLH designs address such issues.
 
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yogibear

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Given a chance I would want to drive them with 17 to 30 watts of PP or PPP EL84, some day. Higher wattage tube amps drive even lower sensitivity speakers well and produce desirable organic bass. Lower damping factor of tube amps is just fine.

Some ferrite full range drivers do fine with any type of music you want them to play, sans the lower wattage Alnico ones and and they do well especially in a TL built around them.
 

Kannan

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Higher wattage tube amps drive even lower sensitivity speakers well and produce desirable organic bass. Lower damping factor of tube amps is just fine.
Would like t get the opinion of amplifier designers here.
As per my inference, essentially most vintage amps and tube amps were designed with minimal negative feedback leading to very low damping factors that made them sound good with F/R designs.
The high negative feedback SS amps do tend to have higher damping factor often stated above 500 which I feel does not add any value except probably in PA situations.
The variations in sound signature between various amps to a speaker is very complex and depends on a number of factors including the control of negative feedback, cable resistance, passive crossover design, output impedance of the amps, the native speaker impedance and its vagaries over the frequency bandwidth (though the amp only sees the crossover).
The basic most factor is the output impedance of the amp, first see if it is capable of driving low impedance speakers.
This is where the best route to take is going active, which solves close to 90% of the speaker/amplifier matching problems.

The simplest of the designs is to have a F/R covering most of the octaves and the lows handled by a sub woofer driven by a separate amplifier.
You can of course scale up from here if you can counter the complexities of the multi-way, and will have very rich dividends.

Let me give you a analogy.
Imagine a live concert by 'X' band...let us say they are paid well and play a popular song that essentially employs 5 instruments, a male performer and a female performer - equivalent to multi-way
Now let us look at another live concert by 'X' band now playing the same song on a budget......now they employ only 2 instruments and one vocalist for the performance - equivalent to a system with lesser drivers.

Now the problem of multi-way is the complexity of the crossover in achieving cogency close to the F/R, and its impact on the amplifier characteristics to drive it. But if it is achieved, you are closer to the live performance of 5 instruments, a male and a female performer as each of the bandwidth is managed by separate drivers. This crossover and amplifier issues are completely solved in an active setup, but then is not seen as practical for real world. This according to me is now a fallacy as the amplifier size and price have considerably shrunk to be fit in a single box.

For F/R designs, low NFB (negative feedback) amps are good enough which brings into picture the tube designs and again damping factor is not an issue either. This does not mean that SS amps with higher NFB cannot be used as it will have excellent control at the f/s point of the F/R driver keeping the ringing under control as long as the F/R driver is liner across its bandwidth.

Similarly there is no perfect speaker design, if one design addresses a shortcoming, it will have its own issues be it IB, OB, T/S, BLH, Quaterwave or any other type. As long as the design offers uniform impedance over the usable bandwidth, and a balanced crossover design, it is finally all about voicing as thought fit by the designer or the DIY guy to suit his taste.
 

Fantastic

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That must have been a great get together. Thanks to Kannan for doing this write up. Never knew that you guys had planned such an event.
Cheers.
 

yogibear

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NFB in Tube amps depends on the builders choice of topology. Some love it and some hate it but both build great and capable amps.

The biggest enemy is the passive components. Although kudos to those designers who design and have the experience to design one which is nearly transparent and seamlessly integrates the drivers, else in most of the cases it’s neither amp or drivers you are listening to but the crossover.

In an active setup, yes the amp sees the driver directly and plays it. I love driving FR unfiltered and bass active. It’s much more musical and gives a straight idea as how well the amp is mating with the drivers.

I have seen high power and low damping factor tube amps drive bass very comfortably.

Thomas Mayer recently demoed an ensemble of Open Baffle setup with two 15” bass drivers and an FR each side with passive network built in, from his 1.25 wpc Tube 46 amp to an incredible fidelity with no loss of bass. Yes, high sensitivity drivers are a boon for such setups. This setup was also driven by different SS and high power tube amps too but with the 46 amp it was altogether a different experience.
 

manniraj

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I guess synergy between Alpair 7p and my tubeamp seems to be good. When we tried to power TL's of Sreekanth, tubeamp was struggling on hard metal tracks :) , but this was expected.

This has triggered a itch to build a FH (XL). :oops:
Harsha if you mean Frugal Horns then do check out mine with Alpair 7p (paper cones) at my place if you are interested as I wanted to dispose off to build my new speakers ;)

thanks
 
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'Hidden Sanctuary' in Bengaluru? - yes true

This pic will answer it, taken just outside the venue which happens to be the gated community in which Prakash (one of the prime organisers of the meet) resides.
Yes this serene neighbourhood is full of trees and birds not commonly seen in Bangalore and some monkeys as well, is very much in Bangalore.

View attachment 34319

Before I begin, a very special thanks to the three musketeers 'Shreekanth Nagaraj (online handle 'SoundsGreat'), Shiv and Prakash' for making it possible.
I know I just can't express the gratitude with a simple thanks and I am sure all members will agree to it. They were selfless, modest and very kind to us all, especially all of us born with greedy stomachs.
The food served for lunch was sumptuous made with the loving hands at home and the cake in the evening also took care of the non-eggitarians.
Such was the care they had taken to the minutest details.


Before I summarize the day a special mention of all the members who attended the event. Most of them were meeting in person for the first time but it was like a camaraderie, as if we knew each other for long though there were interactions over WhatsApp before the meet.
The mutual appreciation, respect and new found physical friendship was infectious irrespective of the age, especially for someone like me who is looking at the other side of 50 and there were many in the mid 20s to 30s.
It was as much a meet of music lovers and not just enthusiastic audiophiles, and that is what set apart the get-together.

The Gang - All from Bangalore except me

View attachment 34320

Top row: Vivek, Shobhit and Suman
Middle Row: Balaji, Srikant, Manju, Kannan (that's me), Srikant Nagarajan, Rachit, Dinu, Harsha and Sumith
Bottom row: Naresh, Maneesh, Shiv - (my pre-event host) , Anil, Som (my post-event host), Madhur, Suresh (now popular as 8watt guy), Prakash
Missing from the picture: Two camera-shy audiophile fore-fathers sitting on a tree branch above.

Possibly many are members of hifivision as well though I don't have their handles.

Picture of most of all the DIY gadgets comprising of speakers, amps, pre amps, DACs and cables. The TV can be ignored.

Pic 1

View attachment 34321

The gadget list: (Sorry if I have missed out on some)

SPEAKERS:

From extreme left:
1, Xavian 2-way BonBonus bookshelf speakers on the black stands: branded owned by Naresh
2, On top of the Xavian: 2-way Bookshelf speakers designed from ground-up by N. Shreekanth
3. The next two 2-way transmission line floor standers also designed from ground-up by N. Shreekanth
4. On the Stool: 2-way Bookshelves (black colour) made by me (Kannan) using vintage Infinity drivers based on the vintage RS series designed by the late Arnie Nudell
5. On top of the Infinity: Full range bookshelf with Alpair driver made by Som
6. Behind and to the inner side of the Infinity: Transmission line full range Alpair designed by Vivekanand

Not in pic:
2-way speakers designed for active stage (no crossovers) made by Shiv
View attachment 34323

2-way full rangers with Altec driver, Ambipur AMT (air motion) tweeter and a rear passive radiator designed by Vivekanand
View attachment 34324

A full range Karlsonator designed by Balaji
View attachment 34325


Amplifiers and Preamplfiers:

On the floor in the main picture: Two Hirga 30W pure Class A mono blocks with one passive pre made and by Som
Next to the Higara: The Adcom GFA535mkii power amp (black) and Nelson Pass design AmpCamp (red) on top of it, both belonging to Kannan (that's me)

On the big desk in the middle (from left): Tube amplifier made by Harsha.
View attachment 34326


In the middle of the desk: Eight Audio amp (wooden front), Denon CD player on top of it and Vincent tube CD player on top of the Denon, all belonging to N. Shreekanth
To the right side on the desk: The 8W Class A amp designed by Suresh, with its power supply module and pre on top.

On top of the lot is the hybrid amp with 6J1 buffer stage designed by Vivekanand

Closer views:
The hybird
View attachment 34327



The 8 watt amp, power supply and pre
View attachment 34328

The V4 amp designed by Shaan and assembled by Shobith plus the eye catching VU meter
View attachment 34329

The DD (discrete amp) designed by Aniket and built by Anil.
View attachment 34330

Dayens Menuetto integrated (made in Serbia) belonging to Naresh
View attachment 34331

A pic of a handmade speaker cable by N. Shreekanth

View attachment 34332

One DIY Car Audio Setup
The total DIY 4-way active car audio setup in my Indica that I drove from Chennai to Bangalore.

Sadly could not demo this as it was too late in the day when the meet got over.
Only Prakash's son heard it from the sweet spot while couple others heard it from the rear seats.
Sorry no pictures to share now.


Now to the meet
I am not offering critical opinions on any of the gadgets as that was not the intent of the meet according to me.
It was a meet to get into the real world, meet, see, seek and enjoy the fruits of DIY.
I will give a brief on what I heard to my capabilities and also encourage the participants to share their views in the thread.

There were some gutsy designs on display like

The Karlsonator
The Altec with rear passive radiators
The hybrid amp served on a plate of wood
The open baffle full range with custom phase plug and a unique design in the rear for a ported woofer
A half-cooked hurriedly assembled DD amp which showed the true spirit of DIY.
At the other extreme were the ground up professionally designed speakers of Shreekant and his cables.
It was like the spirit of the country...'Unity in Diversity'

How the day unwound

It initially started with each member introducing himself and giving a short brief on his DIY journey and equipment.

Since there were too many possible combinations and there was paucity of time, it was decided to stick to a particular chain to test speakers. As there was tracking problems with the Vincent CD player, the final chain was SMSL USB DAC with the Hiraga 30 watt mono block Class A amps and a passive pre.

The room was not resonating much and to an extent the speakers were reasonably isolated from the room.

Since the track list was not finalized earlier before the meet, there was some delay in finalizing it and around 7 songs were settled upon for listening.
Possibly not all members were familiar with all the tracks, but due to time constrains it was the way it proceeded.

The test covered all the speakers listed above with the above mentioned chain starting with the bookshelves.
Each speaker had its own flavor and was enjoyed by the members.
There were those ooomps, aaahs often from the crowd to show something was extra appreciated.
We employed a miniDSP to power an active speaker.

Some impressions from my side on the speakers:

1, We had Alpair full range in a bookshelf design and in a transmission line.
The full range sounded very good but the T/S was a revelation. The bookshelf design can be improved to the level of the T/s, but I think Som has made up his mind to go the T/s way.

2, The Xavians sounded superb, a very balanced sound, but can do with a sub, if the listening space is a little big.

3, The bookshelf designed by Shreekanth had good dynamics and will need careful pairing

4. The Alpair full range with the AMT tweeters had nice mids, was slightly shy in the lower mids, the highs were nicely complemented with the AMT though they were fixed at an 180 degree wrong angle, the dispersion improved further after it was corrected. Vivekanand had cut off the axis matched coaxial driver as he found it to get shouty. My recommendation would be to use that, it will create incredible point source effect, ease the woofer bandwidth and improve phase coherence. Any peaks can either be equed down or shunted with a notch filter. Very good speakers and a superb DIY effort

I will reserve the opinion on the DIY Infinity speakers that I got to the other members.

The Karlsonator were screaming at the designer to show some mercy. They had very good midrange spoiled by the resonance of the box when it was trying to play the lows. These need a more sturdy wood than the thin wood used on them. But a big salute to Balaji...improve on it and you can have some great music pumping on your desktop.

The transmission Alpairs were brilliant. Sounded excellent off both SS and tube amps. If Vivekanand had blinked his eye a bit, there were many member who would have packed it home including me. It just sounded a bit congested at heavy sections, a caveat of F/R drivers. It however was the show stopper for me, no doubt

The active trial with miniDSP and Shiv's 2-way did not go as expected. We could not find a combination of pre and power to drive the woofers, so gain matching and overall db levels became an issue, so we did not delve much into it.

Like his bookshelves, Shreekanth's towers had superb dynamics. He gave us a detailed explanation of the design concepts and was not actually happy with the chain of playback. Anyhow a dedicated demo of his speakers after popular demand by the members is underway.

In-between we broke for lunch,

The next session moved on with checking out the amps.
Essentially Shreekanth's two tower speakers and the Alpair full range were used to test them

My Impressions:
In-between we broke for lunch,

The next session moved on with checking out the amps. Essentially Sreekanth's two tower speakers and the Alpair full range was used to test them

My Impressions:
The Hiraga mono blocks
drove anything that was thrown at it. Very well built and balanced sound and for me the clear show stopper of the event

The V4 was the fastest and had great control over the speakers with excellent bandwidth. But sadly sounded edgy and was ruthless on Sreekanths speakers which were voiced to be dynamic. The full rangers also sounded quite bright on them. But a plus on its side would be that they were still raw with just 2 hours of run-in. With so many superb revies on the V4 around, there was something not correct about this one....maybe the bias or even the LPS.
I will leave it to Shaan to pen his thoughts as its designer on how this can be improved. It however has immense potential

The Discrete DD amp was an absolute marvel. It was brilliant on the Alpair full rangers but a bit reduced on dynamics when paired with Shreekanth's speakers. But it was running off a basic passive gang for volume as the active pre board was still not ready. I dislike basic gangs as they usually have stereo imbalance (sometimes up to 20/25%) and often constrain the bandwidth. Good gangs come in very expensive, so passive volume controls should never be compromised on cost.
Going active or using the digital volume control is a better solution. (Ofcourse these are my preferences).

The tube amp was the most liked by the members on the Alpair full rangers. The magic of secondary harmonics were into play that add that midrange magic, but the lows were more mushy than taut as from the DD amp. It was though more lush sounding. It did not do as well as the DD or the V4 with the tower transmissions.

The 8watt guy or the mini Hiraga sounded close to the 30watt monoblocks, but were a bit under stated in scale, dynamics and bandwidth. They would sound brilliant in a normal room in a house though. A superb effort by Suresh.

After the Hiraga, the DD was the clear winner. It is a much simpler solution over the Hiraga if you are not a Class A freak like me and want to save on real estate.

The Dayens
were only played for a short period, but I have heard it in Naresh's house. It is a very good amplifier and comes highly recommended from me.

Again I will leave the impressions on the AmpCamp (which I got) to others, by just adding that it personally surprised me by its dynamics in two heavy metal tracks driving transmission line speakers and easily filling the room.

A special mention for N. Shreekanth alias SoundsGreat
His were total DIY, but very professionally made speakers and cables:

He has designed his speakers from ground up, which means even the drivers and the machining have been done by him.
He had brought three of his designs, one bookshelf and two floor standers all 2-way designs.

View attachment 34333

The tweeters from the floor standers
View attachment 34334

Top class machining
View attachment 34335

The Cables handmade by Shreekanth:
Wow...the builds were phenomenal and my jaws dropped when he said they were handmade.
He uses multiple silver quoted pure copper cables hand braided together of different thickness and insulating materials and has 3 to 4 grades of cables to suit multiple budgets and chain of equipment.
The terminations were top class and would give a run for any high end branded cable.

It includes speaker cables and interconnects.
Here are some bigger pics:

Sample of the internals, the hand braiding
View attachment 34336

The superbly finished speaker cable. Weighs a ton.
View attachment 34337

The good quality interconnect screw lock connectors
View attachment 34338


Overall it was a great experience and worth the night ride from Chennai to Bangalore.
The true spirit of DIYers bold in their approaches and not shy to display their wares and willing to learn, ask and query was the highlight of the event.

The primary reason to share this event was in the hope to wake-up members from the WhatsApp and online world into the real world to meet and enjoy.
Most of the members were from Bangalore and had been in contact over WhatsApp for a long time but met only at the meet.

I hope that more such meets happen all over India.

One most important observation was to pre decide the song list well before such meets.

Comments and suggestions are most welcome.

Cheers to all.
Kannan
(A penniless audio maniac)

Ah...Somehow totally missed on the woodwork beauties displayed at the meet.

A special mention should go to our 'Woodpecker' Mr. Harsha.

He is the man for the woods. Excellent fit and finish.
The only thing that were not wood in his build were the components, I am sure next time you will see a wood finish over them as well including the tubes :)
His eye to details was exemplary to the fact that he had also added a wooden knob for the volume control.

His amp sounded very musical on the Alpairs and was evident from the responses and cheers from the members.

View attachment 34342

Beautiful finish, look at that knob..wow:)


View attachment 34343

So much detail to the contours, edges, lacquer and a fine polished look.
This is what I call a wife friendly finish....
Can be a benchmark for many who want to delve into wood work for their amps, pre etc.

Salutations Harsha....Our little woodpedker

Here the man himself...with a wood-top finish from Tirupati...:D

View attachment 34344


There were many more with wooden facia, Vivekanands hybrid on wood surface, a DAC on wood, couple more amps..all made well.
but this one above was true professional finish...
What a writeup kannan avargaley.. Magilchii (local language expressing happiness) I was dragged away from all these gadgets due to the regular busy schedule, all hifi gears are running with no further changes. This write uo was shared to me by one of our forum member, really boosted and back on track now... Thank you kannan for such writeup.. Very inspiring..
 

har297

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Harsha if you mean Frugal Horns then do check out mine with Alpair 7p (paper cones) at my place if you are interested as I wanted to dispose off to build my new speakers ;)

thanks
Cool.. i am thinking to build XL with 6 to 6.5 inch drivers. But this is still a loooong way to go ;)
 

MaSh

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Oct 12, 2012
Messages
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The V4 amp designed by Shaan and assembled by Shobith plus the eye catching VU meter

34329
Just a correction, I practically did nothing apart from buying the amp boards and other peripherals. The stunning amp cabinet is from FM Sadik, who put the whole amp together for me. Same for the VU meter.
The components were couriered to him and he put it together in this lovely glossy cabinet.

All credit to Sadik for the way the the combination looks and sounds.

MaSh
 

captrajesh

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I have been invited to couple of WhatsApp forums where there is very active discussion/debate and even demos of creations. Though the aspect of convenience is obvious but a lot of these discussions and demos are lost ultimately as reach is limited to the WhatsApp group members. If these contributions could show up on a forum where the entire world can visit and take notice, that would be great.
Pertinent point. I also see lesser interest in forums nowadays as all talks have shifted to whatsapp groups.
Yes. It's ironic that the crystallization of this very meet happened over WhatsApp. Had it happened over the forum thread, more members would've participated. Hifi meets that we used to conduct in Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad & Mumbai looks like a distant memory.
It is like instant coffee with no indexing, classification or chronology and important information shared just get lost.

Imagine sharing the details of this event on WhatsApp. This is where the powers of forums come in.

I hope better sense prevails and projects are chronicled in forums.
Can't agree more.
 
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