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The DIY Meet in a 'Hidden Sanctuary' in Bengaluru

sureshkn

Active Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2013
Messages
105
Points
28
Location
Bangalore
'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...

Sorry for my delayed reply. 8W Hiraga was not designed by me. It is Om & Sachin's design and built by Raghu. And the pre is Kuartlotron buffer again by Om & Sachin, built by Raghu. :)

Thanks,
Suresh.
 
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soundnovice

Active Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2010
Messages
475
Points
43
Location
Bangalore
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.

Can't agree more.

it didnt happened just over whatsapp. many from hfv have shown interest after getting to know about it from abov post
 

captrajesh

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
5,110
Points
113
Location
Kurnool / Hyderabad

it didnt happened just over whatsapp. many from hfv have shown interest after getting to know about it from abov post
Oh! since the meet was branched off as a separate thread, I thought everything happened over WhatsApp. Nevertheless, I still stand by my post. No offenses but that thread came and went without much ado and rest surely seems to have happened over WhatsApp. Check out the threads initiating the Chennai, Bangalore, Hy & Mumbai meets and you'll get what I said.
 

goget

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2016
Messages
81
Points
8
Location
New Delhi
Feeling jealous of the FMs who made to the meet!
I have listened to @Vivek Rao's Frugal horns! They are exquisite and the prime reason for discovery of my current setup at @manniraj's place . I had listened to Harsha's tube amp (still remember the handcrafted satin finish) with Vivek's Jamos. They were not bass shy but needed right set of cables to pair. I don't recall if they played well with brand cables or Vivek's DIY. But, with right pairing, they were awesome.
Love the look of the open baffle! Great write up, Kannan!
Waiting for the impressions of the rest!
Hi Great initiative by all the guys and brilliant write up by Kannan.
Kindly advise which speaker CABLE/guage will go best with Jamo S426 floor standing speakers and Marantz Amp and Marantz CD player.
Presently looking to change Mogami 3103 cables(which will be put in my older system ENBEE made by Mr Nakra)but dont want to go very for very expensive cables. Many thanks
 

arunkvivek

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2015
Messages
502
Points
63
Location
Bangalore
Hi Great initiative by all the guys and brilliant write up by Kannan.
Kindly advise which speaker CABLE/guage will go best with Jamo S426 floor standing speakers and Marantz Amp and Marantz CD player.
Presently looking to change Mogami 3103 cables(which will be put in my older system ENBEE made by Mr Nakra)but dont want to go very for very expensive cables. Many thanks
@Vivek Rao is the right person to answer this. His Jamos were from concert series.
 

soundnovice

Active Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2010
Messages
475
Points
43
Location
Bangalore
Hi Great initiative by all the guys and brilliant write up by Kannan.
Kindly advise which speaker CABLE/guage will go best with Jamo S426 floor standing speakers and Marantz Amp and Marantz CD player.
Presently looking to change Mogami 3103 cables(which will be put in my older system ENBEE made by Mr Nakra)but dont want to go very for very expensive cables. Many thanks
buddy please post such question in diy section or other suitable section. this thread is purely for discussing regarding the meet. no technical questions here please

Oh! since the meet was branched off as a separate thread, I thought everything happened over WhatsApp. Nevertheless, I still stand by my post. No offenses but that thread came and went without much ado and rest surely seems to have happened over WhatsApp. Check out the threads initiating the Chennai, Bangalore, Hy & Mumbai meets and you'll get what I said.
the thread has helped to garner close to 15 members out of planned 20 members initially. so i am sure the thread has done its job. but surely its sad it was moved to general lounge section from diy section which has generated less audience. in any case our intention of having the meet was with limitation to 25 people. once 20 members were freezed, of course all the venue and meet planning was done over whatsapp. until the very last day i have accepted people's request to join. few dropped out. few could not make it. at the end we had 22 people on the day of the meet. close to our target. so whether you accept or not, the thread has done its job although its not in a very professional way. it was never meant to be. its a DIY way ;)

besides interested organizers can always kick start another meet with better access to bigger venue so that more people can join in. infact i believe someone should start it right away. Nikhil (moderator) in post#19 has assured all the requried help he can give from hfv side. organizing next meet should be much easier.
 

Kannan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
1,508
Points
113
Location
Chennai
I still stand by my post. No offenses but that thread came and went without much ado and rest surely seems to have happened over WhatsApp. Check out the threads initiating the Chennai, Bangalore, Hy & Mumbai meets and you'll get what I said.
The thread was always open and anyone could have shown interest there. But I do accept you point of keeping the thread updated of developments to kindle more interest.
But as Shiva @soundnovice has mentioned above, the numbers had to be restricted due to the limitation of space. But overall it was an excellently organised meet, though being done for the first time and I think the first time exclusively for DIYers....
 
Joined
Mar 26, 2017
Messages
75
Points
8
Location
Chandigarh
Very well written, Kannan, one correction though. Harsha built the DD amp for the meet. The DD pre had some issues ,so amp was paired with some other pre/volume pot.

Regards
Sachin
Hi Sachin! Can you share your no.
 
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pks.k

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
60
Points
8
Location
Chennai
'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...
Excellent write up Kannan sir! All of this exotic gears are treat for eyes !!
 

ktks1

Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2019
Messages
48
Points
18
Location
Bengaluru
buddy please post such question in diy section or other suitable section. this thread is purely for discussing regarding the meet. no technical questions here please


the thread has helped to garner close to 15 members out of planned 20 members initially. so i am sure the thread has done its job. but surely its sad it was moved to general lounge section from diy section which has generated less audience. in any case our intention of having the meet was with limitation to 25 people. once 20 members were freezed, of course all the venue and meet planning was done over whatsapp. until the very last day i have accepted people's request to join. few dropped out. few could not make it. at the end we had 22 people on the day of the meet. close to our target. so whether you accept or not, the thread has done its job although its not in a very professional way. it was never meant to be. its a DIY way ;)

besides interested organizers can always kick start another meet with better access to bigger venue so that more people can join in. infact i believe someone should start it right away. Nikhil (moderator) in post#19 has assured all the requried help he can give from hfv side. organizing next meet should be much easier.
Happy to see that DIY community is quite strong in Bengaluru. Humble request to include me in future meets as I'm interested with anything related to speakers (but a newbie in diy) :)
 
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