Miscellaneous ramblings about AKFest 2K5

Discussion in 'AK Fest 2005' started by tentoze, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. Reel 2 Reel

    Reel 2 Reel Mad Dog Junkie

    Rockport Texas
    AK fest this year was the opitomy(sp) of get-togethers.. and I couldn't ask for better bunch o' guys to be there with...rite from the time we pulled up to the front of the hotel...it was just a fantastic time..everybody with carts full of geer stumbling over each other !!...well I'm exagerating a bit.

    Getting set up wasn't too much of a chore.... I did leave the power cord to my computer at home!!....yup...thought I was screwed there ...but... a 'Knight in Shining Armor' came to the rescue!!...Punker had a couple in his 'tub-o-goodies'...so with that I proceded to 'git er done!'....

    After a little tweekin of the controls...there were tunes playin....the room acoustic left a lot to be desired...but on short notice what can ya do!...if I wouldave thought about it while I was there I wouldave did what the CAR guys did...pin quilts up on the walls...there were bad reflections in my room even Tim eeeked!...the highs bounced off the back wall...and the bass came in from the sides.... but for the most part it wasnt TOO bad...

    Spinning MP3s was the only media I had with so I showed what MP3s can sound like with signal processing...and I think it went over well...I had the facilities to burn discs for anyone who wanted copies of some of tunes that were there ..just needed blank media...even from vinyl to disc....i guess there was sooo much goin' on that it slipped peoples minds...

    Making the rounds to the other rooms was one treat after another.....NOSvalves was across the hall...and he started out with Klipsch Herseys with a Klipsch sub...great combo....and went from there ...it was like everytime I went in there was something else playin!...

    Andyman brought his Advents...Stacked at that!.......theres just something about stacked speakers that makes the music fuller.....and more robust!....and for that being his Garage system..I can understand why he spends so much time out there!!......

    Botrytis showed up saturday morning with his little Royds...and a set of Rogers...I forget the model #s...but like Flynn said

    If I was to go out tonite and get me some small speakers....those would be it.....amazing soundstage....and the bottom end was tight.....recomend them to anybody!!....

    It was a fluke that we got individual rooms...and was for the better....it would have been a nightmare with 3-4 systems in each conference room.....this way there was no need to 'take turns'....

    When the tweeks were worked out on those monsters....I was sitting there listening to Kraftwerk - Tour De France.3..soundtracks.........I closed my eyes and sat there with what was like a pair of headphones on...but without the phones!... and was beginning to dream...but I wasn't sleeping!....I got lost in the 'circumaural experience' for about 20 minuites!...and it was fantastic!!....

    like Carson...theres 'More to Come'......
    (I just have to remember it!)
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2005
  2. reyneman

    reyneman Requiescat in pace

    Central PA
    OK- this is long and rambling, but I'm still not quite coherent :sigh:

    What a great bunch of guys, and what a great time! My week started on Thursday, driving to Detroit with a truck load of goodies. Thought I had a lot of junk, er, stuff, er gear till I got to Grumpy’s place. Wanted to play around with his system, see how I could get it to sound. Hooked up a Black Cube between his Kuzma TT with a Dyna 20x and my Final Labs Music Three tube amp, using his AN/Js. Frankly I was a bit disappointed, was kinda glad when Kama came by and interrupted the proceedings. Spent the next 20 gazillion hours getting items from storage to the house for delivery to the Fest. Couldn’t have spent the time with better people.

    Friday night hooked up some JBLs to the little T-Amp in my room, Billfort gave it the thumbs-up, so I was ready to party. Went up to Kama’s room, he was boring his wife with audio talk, so I slyly stole her away from her hubby! Got her into my room with the lure of Usher and Disco. Man it always works- when are you audio snobs gonna learn that boogie music is more appealing than that Blues stuff? Unfortunately, Army was there so I couldn’t demonstrate my moves (hey, my age and pot belly have nothing to do with it).

    Fest time- went out for a nice leisurely breakfast on Saturday morn with tentoze, we had just ordered when the phone rang. “What Grumpy, you mean all those tickets weren’t for me? You have people who want to buy some?" Drats, thought I was in like Flynn.

    Got back to the hotel, delivered the tickets to Mrs. Grumpy (really Nancy, you deserve sainthood), kissed Mrs Kama good morning (just kidding Tim) and walked down to my audio room. Saw some guy crawling around on the floor hooking up my equipment and neatly stacking boxes (KEWL), and wondered who the heck he was. Saw a nametag that said ‘Gilbert’, he told me my equipment was almost ready, wondered about my phono pre. Told him that Punker wanted to try it on his table, I’d worry about it later. Next thing I know Gilbert walks into my room carrying a top of the line Blue Circle phono pre- yup, the chief cook and bottle washer of Blue Circle hooked up my gear AND let me borrow his phono pre. What a truly nice gentleman- and a fun guy to be around.

    Spent most of Saturday in the room listening to a system provided by Grumpy (speakers, TT, tuner), NOSValves (tubed monoblockes) and Juicy Music (Blueberry pre). Speaking of NOSValves- although Craig had multiple rooms of his own, he went out of his way to help all who asked, and I’d like to thank him for his efforts. Yes, he may be cantankerous and opinionated, but since his opinions basically align with mine I take them as gospel. And yes, his system somehow managed to make Heresies sound pretty good.

    Some quick inputs:

    Punker’s TT is a thing of beauty

    Reel to Reel had a nice neat system that sounded pretty darn good. I can’t believe that his wife (a fine woman by the way) wouldn’t leave him to come listen to my disco music. Well, OK, Gary had disco music and better looks, but I’m more charming! Just sayin…

    Don’t let Bot know his Royds sound good (dang, it even hurts to type roids,,,oops)

    Went to dinner with tentoze, saw BrianB and Gilbert, we just invited ourselves to sit at their table. Unfortunately they had already ordered so we didn’t get freebies. Me and toze got real food (steaks!) while those wussies ate salad. Yeah Brian, like you need to lose weight.

    THE DOWNFALL- OK, I had brought a couple of cases of local brew so others could share in the joy of Pittsburgh’s finest (Ahem). But was that good enough? Oh NNNoooo, my beer was still warm, we needed to get a half rack already chilled to last until the ice worked its magic. To the store, beer and bags of ice, then back to the twelfth floor.

    With most of the floor empty, I hooked up a sweet little Almarro amp to Grumpy’s speakers. Using the Kuzma TT, Dynavector 20H cart and the Blue circle phono pre, I spent some quality time just listening. For the first time I liked the sound of the Dyna. That Blue Circle worked like magic! If you’re in the market for a phono pre, I highly recommend that you go to your local dealer and check it out. If you have no local dealer, then give Venus HiFi a call- BrianB is an authorized dealer. Is a bit (!) pricey for a phono stage, but hey… I will try for one. Besides being a great unit, Gilbert is a guy worth supporting.

    Between cuts of Satchmo playing the same song over and over, I noticed that rather than getting rid of my beer more and more was appearing in the room! Now I know that Brian, toze and myself were trying to get rid of the stuff (for academic purposes only- does music quality go up as the beer goes down?), but BigMacc et al brought more and more into the room. What was I to do, let it go to waste? Nope, did my best to rid the hotel of the evil brew before it polluted others. Lightweights left by 3 or so, I made it til after 4, but Brian, being the fine gentleman that he is, was still going. Grumpy’s son watched over us the entire night, just to keep us out of trouble.

    Crawled into bed at 4:30 or so, had to check out at 11, almost made it. Couldn’t eat breakfast, skipped lunch, had no supper. Oh, what I did for benefit of my fellow Akers.

    On Sunday I once again sat around the room (where the heck did all those empties come from?), trying to find a way to make Gilbert forget where his phono section was. Dang, that guy has a good memory. Was finally getting some really good sounds from mine and Grumpy’s system (and NOSValves’ and Juicy Music’s and BrianB’s and… oh, wait, none of this was mine). Quit playing Satchmo, toze still refused to come in the room just in case. He did catch me playing some twangy stuff, but just yelled at me from the door- I had the Satchmo album cover propped up and ready for action!

    Enough already!!! Left a bit after 7, got home at 12:30, got to work by 7:30 the next day.

    Man, I’m already looking forward to next year!!!
  3. Dave918

    Dave918 Super Member

    I can just picture that scene, too funny!! :rofl:

  4. Grumpy

    Grumpy Krusty old SOB! Yes, I own Audiokarma Staff Member Admin Sponsor Subscriber

    When I arrived at our room Sunday morn I was in awe of the amount of empties laying around. I thought they had shot Animal House II in there.

    I know you boys didn't abuse my speakers now right ? :)

    Funny how when ever i get a Satchmo LP anywhere near them they start bouncing down the hall away from me...
  5. dgwojo

    dgwojo AK Subscriber Subscriber

    SouthEast Michigan
    I think I did a wise thing removing my Altec A7's before Saturday night drinking started!! :scratch2:
  6. tentoze

    tentoze Twangophile

    Somewhere Else

    As God is my witness, the only reason I went into the Grumpy Room after 8:00 PM was to drop off empties and pick up full ones. :D

    Now what Ray and Satchmo were doing, I cannot say........I put in ear-savers each time just in case before entering to grab a refreshment......

  7. Jim H B

    Jim H B Active Member

    Ann Arbor, MI
    I was only there on Sunday, but I'll throw in my 2cents. My favorite systems were Punker X and Botrytis, and the Advents. Reel 2 Reel's system wasn't on when I was in the room, so I can't comment.

    The vintage stuff hung right in there with the vendor's new systems, I must say.
  8. Grumpy

    Grumpy Krusty old SOB! Yes, I own Audiokarma Staff Member Admin Sponsor Subscriber


    Actually the couple of times i tried to get in there when you were firing up the altecs i was blown outta the room. You definitely took second place to John wolf in the sound levels. Really wanted to hear em but 100 + db non stop was just too much for me.
  9. dgwojo

    dgwojo AK Subscriber Subscriber

    SouthEast Michigan
    That was at 1 watt, sorry, you must be getting old!!! lol!! Just kidding, we did take requests for any available music at any volume you could stand, Craigs tube gear had a quiet side too!! Let's get the ballroom next time so we can really crank them up!! Great Fest, Dave. :yes:
  10. NOSValves

    NOSValves AK Subscriber Subscriber


    Actually it would of been fun to set them up in the lounge where we had lunch. Grumpy and I had even talked about it previous to the show but it would of been so far off from the action who ever monitored the room may have been awful lonely. I bet those A7's would of really sounded great in that setting at any volume.

    PS Grump is a SPL wimp ;)
  11. dgwojo

    dgwojo AK Subscriber Subscriber

    SouthEast Michigan
    I think the lobby would have SPL wimped out too!! I just sent pics of the A7's to Great Plains Audio, Bill H. and I had a conversation about them last night, what a great person he is!! Dave.
  12. BrianB

    BrianB AK Vendor Emeritus Moderator

    Grand Rapids, Michigan
    Hiya, tentoze! First off, I've got to say that one of the highlights of the show for me was finally getting to meet and hang out with you. I had a blast - and it was great to find someone whose musical tastes are so similar to my own (there aren't too many)!

    At any rate, here are a few comments on your "ramblings":

    Man, was it great to be across the hall from Grumpy and Reyneman's room! And this arrangement made it very easy to directly compare two of my alltime favorite speaker lines: Audio Note and Shahinian Acoustics.

    Glad to hear that you liked this rig so much! I have a feeling that this may become my personal audio system once we've moved to Michigan...

    Reyneman is, of course, a true gentleman, and a genuine asset to AK. It's always great hanging out with Ray! And I am very happy that you got to meet Gilbert. The man is both wickedly talented and wickedly funny, and yet is about as un-self-centered as you can get. Gilbert is truly one of high-end audio's shining stars, and it was great having him at AK-Fest 2005!

    Now THAT was a fun evening! Let's aim for a repeat in 2006...

  13. BrianB

    BrianB AK Vendor Emeritus Moderator

    Grand Rapids, Michigan
    I've been talking up Blue Circle gear here for the past couple of years, and was glad to finally get the chance to show off some of Gilbert's creations to AKers directly (with Gilbert's help, of course!).

    An interesting observation: While Blue Circle is primarily known for their tube preamps and hybrid amps, we only brought some of Blue Circle's solid state gear to the show - and the folks who seemed to appreciate it most were more often than not dedicated tube-o-philes...

    :) :) :)
  14. BrianB

    BrianB AK Vendor Emeritus Moderator

    Grand Rapids, Michigan
    Well, the only thing worse than a thin wussy is a fat wussy.

    Yes, please DO give me a call - whoever you are, I want your money! :D
  15. Kegger

    Kegger R.I.P. 1/12/1966 - 6/1/2017 Super Mod Subscriber

    Sorry to be so late with my response.

    Like many others have said there where so many ways to make a good
    system at the fest. I saw a lot I liked and met a lot of cool people.
    I have a very bad memory for peoples names and so that is unfortunite
    for me as I don't know many of the people I met. Sorry guy's.

    (styler) "Kegger (love that Back in Baroque!)"
    Glad you and many others liked my ac/dc classical, cool stuff to say the least.


    (echowars) "The little DoZ Class-A amp acquitted itself nicely. On Tim's
    speaks (damned if I remember what they are...someone refresh
    my memory) they had a nice synergy, but we also wired up some
    Klipsch bookshelf speaks, and the vocals took on a very believable
    quality. I'm pleased, but I didn't get a chance to try it on dgwojo's
    Altec's like I wanted. Oh well..."

    Just in case you wanted the model # of those klipsch speakers they were
    RB35's and I thought they sounded really good on your amp. Great bass!
    Thanks for checkin out the My 300B amp was nice to see how flat it is.


    Picked up the sherwood tube reciever from "I hope I got the name right"
    Squidweb? And it"s in really nice shape.
    Anyone have a copy of the manual/schematic 8000 MK IV ?

    Good time guys, great gear!

    Craig thanks for letting me know!
  16. EchoWars

    EchoWars Hiding in Honduras

    Kansas City
    Thanks for the post Kegger...could not remember what those Klipsch's were. Sorry we couldn't check your amp more accurately with the line voltage problems and all, but at least we got a good idea of the basics...

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