We had our 20th meeting on 4-19-15.
The meeting took place at the home of LVAC member Roy. This was Roy's first time hosting.What is unique about Roy is that he is not only an LVAC member, he also acts as a dealer and distributor under his company Vegas Image Audio right here in the Vegas Valley. So we got him to host a meeting and demo his wares without having to travel anywhere! This allowed Roy to demo as much equipment as you would see at a store or even a trade show, which was obviously to the club's advantage. Others have this distinction (being in a club and in the business) as well, however Roy had as much or maybe more equipment for demo as the big shots in big markets like New York, Chicago, and L.A. That's really what was impressive; to have it here in a smaller market which is Vegas.
To learn more about Roy and Vegas Image Audio, go to: http://vegasimageaudio.com/
After having some great food to munch on, Roy began the demo of the main system. His presentation was very informative and entertaining. He explained the ins and outs of the system (and the other 2 smaller systems) very well. No stone was left unturned info-wise. As far as the sound goes, the system (which costs well over $500k) was very dynamic and transparent. It had a knack to keep your attention at all times, wasn't fatiguing, and preserved the harmonic structure in the music. All of this is important obviously, and quite frankly, many audio systems can't do this kind of stuff. However, the system could be very revealing; exposing bad recordings for what they were. You could tell as the dynamics and transparency disappeared, and the imaging collapsed. With good to great recordings (in all genres) the system shined very brightly. There was a clear synergy of high end components and high quality recordings. The better the recording, the better the system sounded. Which was no surprise as this is what many ultra high end systems do. They don't mask or cover up anything, they present the recording as the producer and engineers intended. Neutral is an overused word, but it clearly described this system as a whole.
Up next in Roy's upstairs lounge, was another very unique system featuring very large horns driven by a humble vintage B&K ST-140 amp and Dodd tube preamp. The sound was not as big as the main system on the first floor. But, it packed a punch, was very clear and precise (especially with that old time B&K amp,) and it costs quite a bit less as the main system! Transients were well preserved, and the sound was very inviting. As for the speakers, there was no notion of them having a typical horn sound that many audiophiles abhor. This system was not the biggest and the baddest, or the most costliest, but it is one that many audiophiles could find satisfying in the long run.
Finally, we were taken down to Roy's master bedroom. The system there featured open baffle speakers driven by tube amps. The amps in particular are designed by Roy's colleague Jack Elliano of Electra-Print Audio. The preamp was the Ambrosia designed by one of high-end audio's unsung heroes, James Bongiourno. The sound in this room, was excellent, but not to the level of the previous 2 systems. Which is perfectly understandable as the room with closer boundaries influences the sound more. Plus, the level of equipment is not quite that of the other 2 systems. The system did deserve a bigger room. But, as many audiophiles do not have big or dedicated listening room this would be a great solution until one gets the proper listening space. However, the amps and preamps were top notch and sound-wise perhaps rivaled the ones in the main system a bit.
Near the end of the demo, Jack Elliano spoke to the club about technical matters, the nature of the audio business, and about his company and his equipment. It turns out that Jack has over the years, supplied and supplies transformers and other audio parts, to some of the big names in high end audio!
To learn more about Jack, visit: http://electra-print.com/
Finally, we were introduced to a veteran musician named Merv Harding, a long time Vegas resident who has played over the years with the likes of Tommy Dorsey and Frank Sinatra. We were looking for some great stories, which we're sure Merv has, but time unfortunately was running out. Next time.
All in all, a very nice afternoon on a warm Spring day here in Las Vegas. Basically, everyone had a good time to one degree or another. No one left disappointed or let down by the whole thing. We look forward to have Roy host again, hopefully in the near future.
Below is a master list of all the equipment demoed. There were 3 systems in total.
Main listening room:
Speakers- Vmps RM/X Elixir 2003 Best of Show, TC Sounds 18 inch in VMPS sub cabinets
Digital- Sound Science Diamond Music Vault Server 8 terabytes, Antelope Eclipse Mastering AD/DA Converter, Antelope Audio Isochrome 10m Rubidium Reclocker
Amps- Nat Audio Magma SET 160 watts, 2 Modified Crown k-2
Phono Stages- K&K Audio maxxed out phono with Lundahl 1931 trannies silver wound in Amorphous Core, NAT Audio Signature Phono, Jasmine Audio 2 input mm/mc
Power Conditioner- Equitech 10wq, Pure Power, Triangle Art The Sun God: A-6
Speed Controller- TA crystal digital controller
Turntables- technics SP-10 mk2 in two armed Artisan Fidelity coco bolo plinth with Panzerholz framing and arm boards, TA Ultimate LE, TA Refernce LE, TA Symphony
Tone arms- Osiris, Technics
Phono Cartridges- mm technics 205c IIX, audio-technica AT150MLX, moving coils TA MC Zeus, TA Apollo MC Cartridge, Koetsu Rosewood
Step-up- k&k Lundahl 1931 silver wired amorphous core
Accessories- TA Clamp
Speaker Cables- Isis Speaker Cables
Power Cords- Isis Power Cord, Anti-Cables Level 3 Reference Series Power Cords
Interconnects- Isis Interconnect
Amp: b&k st-140 70 mosfet
Preamp- Dodd reference linestage with octal based tubes
Digital- Server is modified Olive Symphony, and dac is CambridgeAudio dac magic
Analog- Oma slate plinth idler turntable formerly lenco L78
Tone arms- Sme series 3, Reed model L 12inch
Phono Cartridge- Koetsu Rosewood
Phono Stage- Modified Citation One
MC Step-up device- K&K with Lundahl 1931 with silver wire in amorphous core
Speakers- JMLC tuned 200hz wooden horns made out of American black walnut and H-frames constructed out of maple and black walnut. The bass cabinets are servo controlled and crossover at around 225hz where the horns have AER drivers in the horns and have no crossover but roll of naturally at 200hz. This is of my own design and is available on special order.
Amps-Jack Elliano 60 watt Set amp using low imd circuit with gm70 tube, solid state starsound technologies st-101 class A 110 watts
Preamp and phono- Ambrosia from Spread Spectrum Technologies
Reel to Reel- Pioneer Rt-707
Crossover- Marchand Xm44 active
Digital- DVD-5910 sacd and DVDs audio, cd, Sony Blu Ray
Analog- Choir Audio with Sme 3, and origin live speed controller, ol dc motor with ol transformer
Speakers- Open baffle design with amt ribbons and acoustic elegance dipole 15s crossed over 400 hz high and low pass with 4th order linkwitz Reilly crossover
Photos by LVAC member Les: