Raven Audio

DSkip

Industry Expert
Aug 26, 2013
263
9
18
Arlington, TX
www.audiothesis.com
#41
Once again, that is Saturday, May 17th, 5 until 9pm, in Colleyville, Texas

I fixed the date for you Dave. I'd be interested in coming out, but I'll have to check the honey-do's before I can commit. If I come, I'd likely have one or two others with me, one being Marvin, the gentleman I roomed with this year.
 

mep

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 21, 2010
9,483
5
0
#44
Mep- I'm curious what you thought of the Stereophile review of the Raven amp or if you heard any of the idiosyncracies that the measurements displayed.
Keith-Art reviewed a Raven 300B amp and I reviewed a very much different pair of monoblocks that used KT-150s so there is no comparison to make. Art is on a kick that he carried over to the latest Stereophile where he bemoans any money 'wasted' on fancy casework which he feels contributes nothing to the sound. I'm on record in my review saying the casework Dave has machined is a thing of beauty and functional IMO with regards to stability and resonance control.

Frankly, given the fact that Art claimed the first pair of amps literally went up in smoke and he was prejudiced against their casework-not to mention he couldn't get another pair of the monoblock 300B amps and Dave had to send him the stereo version, I'm surprised the review was positive at all.

In summary, there was nothing in common between the amp Art reviewed and the amps I reviewed.
 

Ravendave

Industry Expert
Mar 31, 2014
20
0
0
Chita, Texas
#45
Thank you SO much Mark~! Coming from you that makes things a bit easier to take around here.

Keith,

I know you are addressing Mark Pearson, and I hope you will not think me rude or mind too terribly much if I take the chance to explain the hard lessons we learned from this small disaster, which we must from now on own like a scarlet letter: "S"

Unfortunately during the scramble to send Stereophile a replacement for the Spirit 300B Monoblocks, which we were at the time (fortunately - or in this case unfortunately) completely sold out of - with their approval I accidentally grabbed a prototype version of our "Spirit 300B Reference Stereo Amplifier" that SE Han (our designer) just happened to be in the middle of trying out a specially designed mirror image Hammond interstage transformer in - which was intended to be a custom-order mirror image unit from the factory, to enable mirror image wiring on opposing channels - but had at this point proved to be pretty far out of spec. I was for some reason still out of the loop on this situation unfortunately.

When Mr. SE Han left Texas for Seoul, South Korea in order to be home in time for the Chinese New Year's celebrations, in the process of cleaning up his testing/prototype shop he left the amplifier sitting outside of the door on the floor of the larger shop. Leaving something from the testing and prototype shop outside and in the boxing and shipping shop unmanned for the holiday season (except for ole' screw-up Dave here) is never a great thing.

So there she sat, this huge opening for a screw-up, and me in charge! Not a good thing. Because when things can go wrong I am the champion~!

So all of our attempts to be very careful to completely defuse potential situations where Dave can screw up... all came tumbling down... and right there in front of the multi-million eye strong Stereophile world. It was horrible and I have to admit that I cried like a small child when we got the first rough draft.

In the end the situation was our fault completely - because the amplifier was neither marked in red "Working Prototype - Not For Sale" as our shop rules state - AND! it was outside of the testing shop, sitting out in the main shop where we do our boxing and store our newly completed amps and preamps. A HUGE recipe for disaster with Dave at the helm. Thanks go to Stereophile though for being so understanding and awarding us with a second chance to resubmit our product in the future, an extremely rare opportunity for redemption that we cannot wait to take advantage of. But wait we must do. And in the meantime, the effects rumble through our lives like soured molasses.

So it was this comedy of errors that in the end led us to when receiving our first official Stereophile review (which was of course one of our largest most anticipated dreams) landed us squarely in the "ULTIMATE SUCK" category. We are now on our way to joining the exhaulted membership of the Stereophile Suction Awards list. Hooray!!!

The smoking monoblock was another story though. Framed upon our wall is a tiny errant clipped soldered resistor lead that fell out of the case during return shipping - and was sitting in the bottom of the box. The doubtless culprit for the slightly burnt paint job on one of the power supply resistors, and the source of the acrid smell that Art experienced. Ah life... it does indeed suck sometimes~! The amps have been working perfectly in the five months since the smoke display, without changing a single thing. And the square wave and sine wave for all frequencies is nothing short of perfection. How unfortunate.

It was a hard lesson to learn for a new company. We will ultimately suffer long and hard for it, and for the long long time that copies of Stereophile usually sit around, because let's face it... copies of Stereophile rarely hit the trashcan, especially in high end audio shops. As a result sales of the new Spirit 300B Reference Stereo Amplifiers have fallen off since April. We have only sold two since the review came out - hardy soles those people are, and we thank them for their faith in us.

The pictures of what the correctly laid out Spirit 300B Reference Stereo Amplifier, with it's hum balance pots facing out and their plastic guide tubes (that guide the adjustment screwdriver directly to the hum-balance pots) facing to the outside like they should be AND with the off-the-shelf stock-version of the Hammond interstage transformer in place - is attached below.

The mirror image transformer may have been a good idea in thought, but in the end has proved to be "not worth the effort" when dealing with a company as large as Hammond because almost 50% of them have proven out of spec. We are in negotiations with a custom transformer shop in California and will pick another source before the end of this year.

Hard lessons these were... and in the end it proves that we are just as imperfect as the rest of the humans out there... maybe even a bit more so, which is not a practice we plan to implement and keep in our future hopefully! :) Sorry for kidnapping your question... I found it rather difficult to pass up the chance to whine very loudly about our plight!

thanks!
Dave Thomson
Raven Audio :D

View attachment 15723 View attachment 15724
 
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zztop7

Member Sponsor
Dec 12, 2012
750
0
0
Edmonds, WA
#46
Praises - very forthright.

If this could only be the way the world worked. I was going to say the way politics worked, but then I would be in trouble for being forthright.

zz.
 

Ravendave

Industry Expert
Mar 31, 2014
20
0
0
Chita, Texas
#49
The Second Chance

WE GOT IT~!!!

Art Dudley personally invited my wife and I to come to upstate New York and stay with him in his home for several days, and to notify him of our plans to complete the invitation as soon as possible! It happened at the NYAS a few weeks ago when we were showing with Volti Audio - "Vittora Speaker System" - and for us this will be ultra important.

More news to come as soon as we know ourselves. And very special thanks to Mark Pearson for starting this thread.... I have something new for you - if you have time~! :D

There is so much more to this story than that that we cannot disclose just yet.... but at least I owe a hint. A brand new marketing partnership is occurring, and with it new Raven Audio Products are also coming, as a result lots of work is going on around here!

Best wishes to all that made me feel so at home here on this forum! Sorry for my absence.

We have also been on a whirlwind show run.... CAS to NYAS to RMAF.... whew! I am finally home and completely beat.

But with a HUGE smile in my face and in my heart.... and I want to say to everyone here....

Thanks Guys!
Dave

View attachment 17753 View attachment 17754 Spirit MKII 300B Monoblock A - SM.jpg
 
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Jan 23, 2012
577
0
16
Philly
#50
Looks like a great product line. I'd certainly give it a listen.
 

Ravendave

Industry Expert
Mar 31, 2014
20
0
0
Chita, Texas
#51
Any Time~!

Just let me know and I will try to get with you on it. I just sent an amp to Philly a few days ago and they got it yesterday!

Thanks for the positive comment - hope you can see them better now. I made them smaller so all three pics can be seen now.

Cheers!
Dave
 
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LL21

Well-Known Member
Dec 26, 2010
10,929
140
63
#54
Good luck Raven on the 2nd chance. We all make mistakes, however inadvertent and unintended...it happens. Wishing the best for Round 2.
 

Ravendave

Industry Expert
Mar 31, 2014
20
0
0
Chita, Texas
#56
Well here we go!

Gabrielle and I will leave heading towards NY to bring the new Raven Audio Spirit 300B MK2.1 Monoblocks and Silhouette Reference Preamp on Dec. 2nd. Heading up to Art Dudley's in the middle of the winter personally is a LOT better than leaving it up to UPS!

Just finished the last solder point and set everything to match. Here we go~!

Spirit 300B MK2.1 Mono SM.jpg New Black Raven 300B MK2.1 Mono SM.jpg
 

Attachments

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Apr 20, 2010
208
4
18
Texas
www.suprahifi.com
#57
Absolutely beautiful amps Dave. I would love to hear those on my big YG's :D
 

Ravendave

Industry Expert
Mar 31, 2014
20
0
0
Chita, Texas
#58
Howdy Scotty!

As soon as we get back I'm bringing a pair of monoblocks and preamp your way so we can find out how they work together. We need to find out about the symbiosis before we give those sets of Shamans to Dick. How does that sound... maybe right before Christmas? or whenever you have time. Call me when you have a chance.... Gabrielle and I are driving back from NY on Tuesday, so we will have a LOT of time to plan. Its going to be a long drive..... 2,000 miles.

Cheers!~
Dave
 
Apr 20, 2010
208
4
18
Texas
www.suprahifi.com
#59
Dang it Dave. I am just now seeing this message. I have looked for your card, but I can't find it. PM me and lets see if we can get together.
 

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