dipping my toe into the ddk flow.....

May 30, 2010
15,506
715
113
Portugal
#41
tonight I will list the recordings I can recall from these sessions when I get home.

as far as listening levels compared to mine, it's so different since I was sitting likely 25+ feet away from the drivers in David's room, and in my system I'm about 8 feet away.

but relatively most of the music at David's was maybe around 80-85db at my listening position, whereas in my system I'm more typically in the 68db-75db range listening by myself, and maybe 75-80db with a group in my room. but the character of the system and the smaller scale music as well as much less bass extension all contribute to a bit more aggressive SPL's at David's.

and we listened to zero orchestral where you typically have such wide variance of SPL levels. most of what we listened to was quite constant in levels. and the lack of any remote volume control might have some effect on levels too.

David might have more accurate information on this than my seat of the pants estimates.
I was reading your sound descriptions and was thinking about the sound I can get with the Soundlab's sitting 20 feet from them. Sometimes I enjoyed sitting far from them getting this less present and less detailed sound, but large scale and full of energy and lifelike. However in order to listen so far I had to raise the level significantly, something that enhances detail and decays with these large electrostatic panels.
 
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JackD201

[WBF Founding Member]
Apr 21, 2010
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83
Manila, Philippines
#43

jdza

Active Member
May 3, 2010
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#44
Nevertheless it's set up to sound very different than the others so everyone will have a different favorite depending on mood and priorities and it takes more than a couple of tracks to hear it's unique nuances.
I do marvel at the cleverness of Mr. Karmelli. On the Thorens table note the knurled knobs on the side of the suspension towers: The top ones set the table level but these set the compliance/resonance of the suspension. They probably make the Reference the most tunable turntable ever. Have them all the way down and the sound will be big, warm and blooming or in the wrong application ,bloated, slow and fat. All the way up and the sound will be tight, small and constrained or fast and nimble depending on same. Somewhere in there is a right setting for any arm,cart room and individual listener. It will take the owner a while to get there though. Of course there is the amount of metal filings in the arm pods,material of armboards etc,etc that can make the old chameleon cast an evil eye on any vaguely OCD owner.

My guess would be that David has set the table up to sound different from the others rather than more similar with a resultant sound about as far as one can get from that of a direct drive table.
 
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BruceD

VIP/Donor
Dec 13, 2013
994
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#45
After seeing the pictures DDK posted, I want to go there too! That's a great trip to take.
So great to hear of DDK system visits--and wonder at the scope that is possible for Playback --Kudos and big thank you to Mike for the Pics.

Indeed I was fortunate to work for nearly 3 years in that Area and did fair bit of driving NV/UT/AZ and snapping pics!--I used to have a snigger at the Cardboard stationary Cop cars--or the real ones with the "Mannequin cops" seated in full view--ha!

Gotta keep an eye on the Timezones too--!:D

BruceD
 
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Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,775
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#46
Micro; here is a list of some of the Lps David played for me, from my memory;

LSP-2566, The Incredible Carlos Montoya......this one was particularly magical on the AS with the articulation of the guitar.

Miles Davis, Four & More, recorded live, Columbia......played all of side one at over 100db. David's system held together without an issue. Miles's trumpet was super explosive and delicate at the same time. those speakers really cook.

Fitzgerald & Pass......again, Pablo.....sumptuous vocals.

Frank Sinatra's Greatest, 'Come Fly With Me' and one other cut......super smooth and perfect pitch.

Special 50th Anniversary Sampler, Blue Note, side one, last track, Bobby McFerren

can't recall the exact Lp of the Debussy piece.....but he played that on three of the tt's.

and.......Rostropovitch, Richter; Beethoven Sonatas for Piano and Cello, Philips Box Set 835-182/183.......which I'm playing right now in my system. one of the great recordings, by 2 of the greats.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,775
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#47
More than anything I love the social side of this hobby and get togethers like this brings it all home for me. I've known Mike for a very long time we're old friends and comrades but never really spent any one on one time together I'm grateful for his visit a great time! Thanks Mike :eek:!

david
David,

as much as I enjoyed the listening and your amazing collection of iconic rare tt's and speakers, I truly enjoyed just spending time talking with you. you are a treasure to our wonderful hobby and we are all fortunate that you are so open and giving of your insights and audio wisdom......and your own unique and well developed way of seeing things.....and not only about high end audio and music.

thank you for opening your home to me, and I hope you can visit me again sometime when it works out......and we can enjoy more one on one time again.

cheers,

Mike
 

bonzo75

Member Sponsor
Feb 26, 2014
11,906
1,600
113
London
#48
David,

as much as I enjoyed the listening and your amazing collection of iconic rare tt's and speakers, I truly enjoyed just spending time talking with you. you are a treasure to our wonderful hobby and we are all fortunate that you are so open and giving of your insights and audio wisdom......and your own unique and well developed way of seeing things.....and not only about high end audio and music.

thank you for opening your home to me, and I hope you can visit me again sometime when it works out......and we can enjoy more one on one time again.

cheers,

Mike
+1
 
Feb 8, 2011
21,948
606
113
Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
#49
↑ +2 because even if I've never met David in person I can deeply sense his magic aura through his typed words.
I feel a 'connection', and I learn from him to be a stronger me, a reaffirmation, an assurance, the right direction.
That feeling was there from the very first message I've read and never diminished the music flame of perpetual time.

Steve and Mike saw magic in person. It is obvious to us.
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,965
498
83
Utah
#51
I do marvel at the cleverness of Mr. Karmelli. On the Thorens table note the knurled knobs on the side of the suspension towers: The top ones set the table level but these set the compliance/resonance of the suspension. They probably make the Reference the most tunable turntable ever. Have them all the way down and the sound will be big, warm and blooming or in the wrong application ,bloated, slow and fat. All the way up and the sound will be tight, small and constrained or fast and nimble depending on same. Somewhere in there is a right setting for any arm,cart room and individual listener. It will take the owner a while to get there though. Of course there is the amount of metal filings in the arm pods,material of armboards etc,etc that can make the old chameleon cast an evil eye on any vaguely OCD owner.

My guess would be that David has set the table up to sound different from the others rather than more similar with a resultant sound about as far as one can get from that of a direct drive table.
You're spot on jdza, the Thorens Ref is extremely tunable and I've set up the resonance settings to match the two arms, cartridges and phono stage currently in use. The SPU/SME has a full bodied, spacious and slightly romantic quality and the Dynavector/Technics combination is much more neutral. Reason I use the Lamm LP2 here is because of the wonderful WE 417A which I can't have in the LP1. It's not always about the last drop of resolution for me there's hidden beauty and conversations in these grooves that get's communicated in different ways with each setup. In fact Mike's first reaction was "is this the same LP?" when we changed setups :).

WE 417A.jpg

david

Edit- Apologies jdza I failed to remember that you're also very familiar with the Thorens's inner qualities!
 
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Feb 8, 2011
21,948
606
113
Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
#52
Do you know what I find the most amazing thing here?
You guys have all very different systems, setups, audio kits, rooms, acoustics, etc., and yet the music brings you all together.

A young girl in an alley in New York City is shooting heroin in her arm, a young boy is searching for food in a garbage field in Calcutta, India, a newly wed couple is spending their honeymoon on an island of the Pacific, a CEO of a multinational cooperative insurance syndicate is having a business meeting @ the 149th floor of Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
Here, Mike just had a wonderful visit to David's music kingdom; two very high-end chic audiophiles exchanging together, and with us their magical music tour.
Everything, everyone is important.

A baby girl is crying in her crib while her brother is celebrating his third birthday, in Wyoming, @ 5,668 feet high up in the mountains.
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,965
498
83
Utah
#53
We didn't have any time to discuss audio and sound with Mike, it was really a quick tasting menu of 4 tt setup more than anything else so here's some addition to Mike's impressions.

The 3 main TT's are setup to convey and communicate the music uniquely in their own tongue, think of them as different conductors and orchestras interpreting the same music. Yes the American Sound performs at an extremely high level but going through them the way we did can give one good, better, best impression very quickly but with time and a chance to go back to each tt/arm/cartridge/phono combination they'll reveal more of their uniqueness. This richness of variety that one can have with vinyl playback is the main reason that I haven't pursued R2R, and then there's the very limited and high priced software.

We only sampled a little classical, jazz and vocal selection (see below) and not everything on each tt. The system's FR is near 20hz - 20khz and everything we listened to is very much within that range so there's nothing missing in the sound. There's an ocean of difference between the wholesome presentation of an all tube SET based system vs the somewhat parsed (IMO!) way of solid state electronics giving the impression of extra detail, takes time to adjust from one to another. Bass presentation is also part of our individual philosophy and understanding of reality, personally I find SETs can deliver the most natural bass among different topologies and Lamms deliver it all, even my subs are driven by SETs for best results. Whatever one's tastes I doubt anyone would argue the differences in presentation between tubes and ss. Then there's the personal approach and relationship to enhanced bass in setup as it's own entity or not. Many enjoy that extra overhang, octave, extension or whatever you call it when there's a bass note which admittedly can be very impressive in the context of a system and might enhance one's sense of reality but I find that impression a distraction and diversion from the music and something I'm never impressed by individually at a live venue. I have eliminated that impressive element from my system to keep the whole experience natural and real. This will very much affect one's perception of system's FR.

Volume was also mentioned in a couple of threads, I see volume and presence as part of the real and natural experience so when the system is capable I prefer listening at close to live levels during more intense listening sessions. Of course a lot of listening is also done at lower and low levels...

Music we played;

Classical
Classical.jpg

Vocal
Vocal.jpg

Jazz
Jazz.jpg

david
 

ddk

Industry Expert
May 19, 2013
3,965
498
83
Utah
#54
David,

as much as I enjoyed the listening and your amazing collection of iconic rare tt's and speakers, I truly enjoyed just spending time talking with you. you are a treasure to our wonderful hobby and we are all fortunate that you are so open and giving of your insights and audio wisdom......and your own unique and well developed way of seeing things.....and not only about high end audio and music.

thank you for opening your home to me, and I hope you can visit me again sometime when it works out......and we can enjoy more one on one time again.

cheers,

Mike
It's the friendships that matter most to me, the rest can be purchased :).

david
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,354
812
113
#55
Many thanks Mike and David. Another really interesting thread coming out of the experience of DDK's rather extraordinary and unique horn setup.

Just wondering given Mike's experience and his benchmark system in what could be seen as perhaps reflecting clearly different and maybe balancing approaches while still centred around chasing shared goals of some kind of musical truth it would be a really a great contribution to our understanding to get both your thoughts (and also all who have had the experience of either of these systems) about potentially clearly different listening perceptual sets triggered by these different speaker types.

Listening to full range horns is clearly a different experience to a full range box based system or even full range panels.

After listening for any length of time to the Tune Animas going to any other type of speaker required a complete reset of listening and perception and some essential sense of a loss of a unique quality of experiencing. They seem to feel so very different in essence and whole and they lead you to understand and feel different things. David earlier pointed to some very clear points of difference in experience. It would genuinely be fantastic to get more of your thoughts in the fundamental difference in perception between great horns and virtually everything else.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#56
The mid range in David's system is second to none. As Mike points out the top and bottom extension is not the same as with Mikes system or any boxed speaker.

There is no sweet spot at David's. Rather every spot is the sweet spot.
 

Detlof

Member Sponsor
Nov 5, 2015
307
0
0
#57
I read the whole thread from beginning to end and it grew warmer and warmer within me as I progressed.Thank you to all, thank you for your discipline and passion.
 
May 30, 2010
15,506
715
113
Portugal
#58
It's the friendships that matter most to me, the rest can be purchased :).

david
Although I agree with your main idea, I will remark that some of what you have in your system can not be purchased ... :)

BTW, this is a great thread - I learned a lot about concerning your system and sound reproduction perspective.
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,775
928
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#59
Many thanks Mike and David. Another really interesting thread coming out of the experience of DDK's rather extraordinary and unique horn setup.

Just wondering given Mike's experience and his benchmark system in what could be seen as perhaps reflecting clearly different and maybe balancing approaches while still centred around chasing shared goals of some kind of musical truth it would be a really a great contribution to our understanding to get both your thoughts (and also all who have had the experience of either of these systems) about potentially clearly different listening perceptual sets triggered by these different speaker types.

Listening to full range horns is clearly a different experience to a full range box based system or even full range panels.

After listening for any length of time to the Tune Animas going to any other type of speaker required a complete reset of listening and perception and some essential sense of a loss of a unique quality of experiencing. They seem to feel so very different in essence and whole and they lead you to understand and feel different things. David earlier pointed to some very clear points of difference in experience. It would genuinely be fantastic to get more of your thoughts in the fundamental difference in perception between great horns and virtually everything else.
I've been pondering your question, trying to consider just how I feel about it. listening to my system yesterday and today, thinking about my experience on Wednesday afternoon at David's, I think I would say my particular 'box and cone' system maybe has a bit of 'horn' to it. and how I mean that, is that (1) I have such a huge amount of driver surface likely compared to any other 'box and cone' set-up I know of, (2) my room has such an ultra reflective floor, walls and ceiling around the speakers, (3) I have painstakingly treated all the necessary surfaces of all that reflective surface, (4) my speakers are very efficient and easy loads, (5) I have a huge amount of headroom in my amplification, and (6) I sit in the extreme nearfield where I get maximum musical engagement. so while a horn like David's Bioner's has greater 'jump factor' and 'projection' in degrees, my system can get close enough to the effect of horns that it is able to approach that feeling.....even while the character of the presentation has clear differences.

where I came up with that is simply from listening to my system this last 36 hours and trying to connect the dots on why our systems have so much in common. sure; David's system does these unique things, but musically I'm hearing the same reality if with slightly different attributes.

they attain their particular performances with radically different approaches.

this is just my own 2 cents about how things look after reflection from my visit and subsequent listening to my system. if 10 people were to listen to both systems back to back I'm not sure all would share my viewpoint. I like to think that my approach to the whole room, speaker, and total system building challenge has allowed my system to get very close to what panels do best, what other non cones do best, and what horns do best. I know what sort of effort it has taken me to get where I am, and I can see what effort David has made in his system too.

and when you think about it, as any design approaches optimization it should then take on characteristics of the best of other designs. we are all trying to reproduce music as a common goal.

on the pathway to music reproduction nirvana there is quite a bit of divergence of approaches, but as we move down that road farther and farther I think maybe the paths get closer and closer together nearing the goal.
 

the sound of Tao

Well-Known Member
Jul 18, 2014
1,354
812
113
#60
I've been pondering your question, trying to consider just how I feel about it. listening to my system yesterday and today, thinking about my experience on Wednesday afternoon at David's, I think I would say my particular 'box and cone' system maybe has a bit of 'horn' to it. and how I mean that, is that (1) I have such a huge amount of driver surface likely compared to any other 'box and cone' set-up I know of, (2) my room has such an ultra reflective floor, walls and ceiling around the speakers, (3) I have painstakingly treated all the necessary surfaces of all that reflective surface, (4) my speakers are very efficient and easy loads, (5) I have a huge amount of headroom in my amplification, and (6) I sit in the extreme nearfield where I get maximum musical engagement. so while a horn like David's Bioner's has greater 'jump factor' and 'projection' in degrees, my system can get close enough to the effect of horns that it is able to approach that feeling.....even while the character of the presentation has clear differences.

where I came up with that is simply from listening to my system this last 36 hours and trying to connect the dots on why our systems have so much in common. sure; David's system does these unique things, but musically I'm hearing the same reality if with slightly different attributes.

they attain their particular performances with radically different approaches.

this is just my own 2 cents about how things look after reflection from my visit and subsequent listening to my system. if 10 people were to listen to both systems back to back I'm not sure all would share my viewpoint. I like to think that my approach to the whole room, speaker, and total system building challenge has allowed my system to get very close to what panels do best, what other non cones do best, and what horns do best. I know what sort of effort it has taken me to get where I am, and I can see what effort David has made in his system too.

and when you think about it, as any design approaches optimization it should then take on characteristics of the best of other designs. we are all trying to reproduce music as a common goal.

on the pathway to music reproduction nirvana there is quite a bit of divergence of approaches, but as we move down that road farther and farther I think maybe the paths get closer and closer together nearing the goal.
Thank you, thats giving some great insight Mike... I've not experienced a system that has so comprehensively moved beyond its usual typology constraints and limitations so that it actually can be closer to being all things. You can always tell by the comments of your visitors that may just be the case and that is just awesome. I wonder if use of music as an essential benchmark always leads us to a shared place if we travel far enough.

I thought Steve's comment about David's system being all about the midrange was also really interesting as well as it mirrors the Animas trait of also being anchored in the mid point and being fundamentally midcentric which is maybe about it being essentially such a directed point of focus in the mid range... a bit like dropping a pebble in the water and having the greatest definition at its centre with the attention diffusing ever so slightly but equally as the pattern moves out to the extremes which kind of anchors you in the calm and stillness of its centre.

I also remember an earlier comment by Ked about horns breathing outwards effortlessly which also made a lot of sense to me in terms of this seamless continuity of action.
 

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