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Zenfest, an early report. (Read 12279 times)
Terry
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Zenfest, an early report.
10/07/07 at 03:06:25
 

Well I arrived around 11:00am Friday, and left about 2:30pm Saturday, I wish I could have stayed longer.

Anyway the verdict on the mono's is that they are a wonderfull success, the same basic sonic signature of the Select but more punch and detail.  Evidently the regulator helps with transients in that it can help deliver instantaneous voltage and current, kind of like a smart capacitor.  So it was my favorite Decware amplifier of the fest.

We used a CDP that Steve added a tube buffer stage to, I believe it was a Tascam. I found it to sound very nice as good as any CDP I have heard, but the most expensive CDP I have auditioned was only $5K, so I haven't experienced high end digital like Randy.  But it sounded very good to me, I didn't detect any harshness, and when it did finally play one of my CD-R's (It didn't want to the first two I tried) then it sounded really nice playing one of my CD-R's from an LP.

My favorite speaker was this new speaker using two fostex ( I think they were the FE167 drivers). The drivers were arranged in line vertically, the top one had its whizzer modified, and a foam phase plug, the bottom one had its whizzer removed and a new black dust cap installed. The cabinet was about 3' tall, 8" wide by about 14" deep.  On Saturday they disappeared so I don't think I have a pic of them, perhaps someone else does.  The cabinet is a transmission line, ending in a passive radiator.  

The sound is very smooth fairly efficient and a what I liked best has a very lively sound with excellent imaging.  Had I the money and the means these guys would be in my rent-a-car's trunk right now!  These are destined to become a legendary Decware speaker.  Oh I forgot to mention the bass, they have very nice strong clean tight bass, typical of a transmission line.  Steve said that if he recalled correctly the bass goes down to about 28Hz (that is if I recall correctly what he said), and I don't doubt that in the least.  And the imaging, I almost forgot about the imaging, they basically disappear, with good depth and focus, not overly focused to seem unnatural, but the toe in and toe out can help dial in much of the imaging.

I didn't get a chance to hear the Zpod, like I would have liked.  I fell in love with Steve's new ZTpre chassis, it is not only extremely functional it is very cool looking.  He is using the same style chassis for his new home theater amp prototype, five channels using EL34's.  I have pics that I will post when I get back to California after Monday, I also took some video I will eventually post on youtube if it turned out OK.


The People:

I enjoyed ever so much meeting so many fellow Decware enthusiast.  In all everyone was very friendly and made my wife, son, and I feel so very comfortable and welcome.  The food was awesome!! Thanks Devon!!  Like many other fests I have attended and hosted I found I had a great deal in common with so many people, but this one more than any other I have ever attended.

I want to personally thank Steve, and Devon for their hospitality.  I didn't expect for us to basically to  have the run of Steve's shop, it was really cools looking over the assembly benches. Oh and I didn't touch anything, although it was tempting. I got a lot of good ideas on what I could do to better organize my bench, and to make some generic PCB's for test tube circuits.

I will report more later but this hopefully will be a little fix for you all that are anxious to hear about the event. I know in the past after three days had passed I wondered why no one was reporting.  Now I know, everyone must crash from lack of sleep, they were up until 4:00am Saturday morning listening to stuff.

TG
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« Last Edit: 10/07/07 at 15:19:45 by Terry »  
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stevef
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Re: Zenfest, an early report.
Reply #1 - 10/07/07 at 04:17:50
 
Julie and I just returned from Zenfest.  Unfortunatly, I have a couple of meetings on Sunday, which prevented us from enjoying Saturday night FESTivities, or posting in detail tonight.  Sorry.

Of course we had a great time, meeting old and new friends, listening to a lot of new stuff, and just hanging out.

Thank you Steve, DeVon, Bob, and the Decware crew.   We will join in on the forum tomarrow.  To our friends still enjoying the fest, be careful going home...it's big out there.

Steve
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Doorman
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Re: Zenfest, an early report.
Reply #2 - 10/07/07 at 04:57:11
 
Thanks for the report, Terry ,et al. Any approx. dimensions of the above speakers?

                                                                                                           Don
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Terry
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Re: Zenfest, an early report.
Reply #3 - 10/07/07 at 05:27:12
 
Doorman wrote on 10/07/07 at 04:57:11:
Thanks for the report, Terry ,et al. Any approx. dimensions of the above speakers?

                                                                                                           Don


Don,

If you read in my above post I did mention the approximate size of the speakers I talked about 8" wide, by 3' tall, by 14" deep.

Terry
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Re: Zenfest, an early report.
Reply #4 - 10/07/07 at 05:37:53
 
Yup, it's late, definitley time to disconnect!! Embarrassed
(thanks)    Don            
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Young_SC
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Re: Zenfest, an early report.
Reply #5 - 10/07/07 at 05:55:18
 
Doorman wrote on 10/07/07 at 04:57:11:
Thanks for the report, Terry ,et al. Any approx. dimensions of the above speakers?

                                                                                                           Don

I think there were pictures of them from last years 'Fest.
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Terry
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Re: Zenfest, an early report.
Reply #6 - 10/07/07 at 07:42:51
 

One thing I forgot about was on Friday night Steve did a little Home Theater presentation, which included  some stuff from the Blueman group, and a few animie shorts.  It included his Acoustats as front right and left speakers, his corner horns in the rear surrounds, and two book shelf speakers the DM944's I think as a reflecting center channel. It made use of his Optima video projector, along with all tube channels, and the Imperials as subs I think.  I just have one word to discribe the system and the experience, COOL!

TG
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RFZ_Quest
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Re: Zenfest, an early report.
Reply #7 - 10/07/07 at 20:00:46
 
My favorite speaker was this new speaker using two fostex ( I think they were the FE167 drivers). The drivers were arranged in line vertically, the top one had its whizzer modified, and a foam phase plug, the bottom one had its whizzer removed and a new black dust cap installed. The cabinet was about 3' tall, 8" wide by about 14" deep.  On Saturday they disappeared so I don't think I have a pic of them, perhaps someone else does.  The cabinet is a transmission line, ending in a passive radiator.  

Terry,

I believe that the speakers you are referring to are that of the Deckert/Ziegler RETAIL line. If so, what you described seems to be that of the 'KADENCE' models.

I have had a set of these in my system now for almost two years. These are incredible speakers that I personally have deemed among my favorites. They are everything as you described for sure! These are now used as my main speakers, which overall, do everything right from low frequency extension to virtually perfect imaging, with a disclosure of micro detail present in the music that most speakers just do not portray.

The only type of speaker that I've compared to these which are capable of revealing this level of  clarity, detail, and focus, are those of single, full-range drivers such as the DFR-8 in the NFX design. The cylinder type radial designs such as the 1.5's come very close to this degree as well, although they are a very different type of speaker and quite unique within parameters that no other design can approach on the same level.

When considering overall performance factors, that is where the similarity ends. While the NFX for example, produces reference grade imaging qualities with unprecedented ambience while using the modified Fostex DFR-8 drivers, the bass is very limited and falls short in that area with this type of design.

The 'KADENCE' design takes that same 'unrestricted' imaging quality, and produces a superbly controlled bass response which extends effortlessly into the lower frequency registers, usually  not present within typical loudspeakers. The main factor to consider here is that not only is the lower frequency  factor present here in abundance, most importantly is in how it is ‘presented‘. The transmission line design works so very well with a speaker of this type.


One cannot really categorize the radial design among other speaker designs because of the very fact that they are so unique in what they do. There is a major difference between a 360 degree ‘upward’ firing approach, to that of a more traditional ‘forward’ firing driver technique. This alone sets the standard into two totally separate categories which really  hold no similarity in the grand scheme of things.

If you like the presentation of the radial design, but prefer the more traditional forward driver ‘direct’ focus design, the Kadence speaker is perfect for delivering comparable sound qualities with an extension of controlled bass response that leaves nothing to be desired.

I like both types, but I find myself listening to the Kadence designs more often than I do the radials. Room set-up has allot to do with this, as it does take a considerably more balanced set of  room acoustical factors to make the forward firing driver designs perform without the distractions of common room acoustical anomalies.

The radials are more forgiving in that regard. Within a well ‘controlled’ listening environment, the Kadence speaker is simply incredible in it’s ability to present  a well focused  soundstage, with absolute control across the musical spectrum. The layers of detail which flow from these speakers will have you re-experiencing your music with nuances that were very likely unknown in the past. These are ultra revealing like the DFR-8 single full range drivers. This can be good or bad, dependent upon the quality of your source material. Speakers on this level will indeed reveal and expose what your system is really capable or not capable of!

Although I have not personally compared these speakers with the single driver ‘updated’ HDT design, I would speculate that these too would place within this category.

I am in the process of assembling the HDT cabinets with the single driver DFR-8’s and the updated passive radiators. Once these are complete, I will be evaluating their performance against the high standard which the Kadence designs portray. It would be my guess at this time, that the HDT’s will be very similar in regard to performance. However, that remains to be evaluated which I intend to compare these  very different design signatures.

The overall concept of this speaker design captures the best of both worlds and integrates these attributes into a well built, reasonably sized cabinet design which I think is an example of excellent form and function.  One that becomes a reference standard for other designs to be compared.


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buzz
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Re: Zenfest, an early report.
Reply #8 - 10/07/07 at 20:21:22
 
RFZ_Quest wrote on 10/07/07 at 20:00:46:
...The cylinder type radial designs such as the 1.5's come very close to this degree as well,...





I feel that the Radial 1.5 speakers are very polite. But, Terry thought that they lacked definition.   Wink

The dual Fostex were one of the top 3 of the entire show. If I had only heard the new Zen monblocks and these speakers, and nothing else, it would have been worth the 12hr drive. But Steve also suprised us with his Open Baffle speakers! The Imperials matched-up suprising well with them. Eds horns were "A+" as were the new prototype 167e + Radial driver speakers, Even Dave @ Parker Audio brought a pair of fantastic prototype speakers with a fast ribbon tweeter! What a great time!


buzz

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« Last Edit: 10/07/07 at 20:49:39 by buzz »  
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RFZ_Quest
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Re: Zenfest, an early report.
Reply #9 - 10/07/07 at 23:09:38
 
Buzz,

Thanks for the update. Those are the Kadence speakers pictured. Absolutely wonderful speakers to say the least!

It would have been nice to attend but this was just to impractical for me to travel that far and take the time to do it. It is great that the others including yourself did make it. I'm sure that this will give you a much more solid foundation on the design philosophy for Decware and it's products.

I have already been well introduced to the majority of the product line by personal experience, as most of this would have already been common knowledge for me. I would have liked to hear the new 'open-baffle' speakers and the new mono-blocks. That would have been my primary objective other than socializing. The surround channel set-up that Steve is working with also intrigues me, this being something that I am seriously interested in. Was there any mention or demonstration of that?

BTW: The dimensions for the Kadence are: 38" T by 10.5" W by 12" D *(at the top).  They are a slanted design which allows the proper degree of driver alignment within the time response. Therefore, they are deeper at the bottom with a progressive slope upwards. The top peaks at 12" deep.

I use them directly onto the carpet without spikes with excellent results. As far as I'm concerned in my set-up, they are perfect for my tastes. Bass detail is very well controlled, tight, and fast without a trace of bloating or boom. I would never consider adding an additional subwoofer with these as it would be redundant and unnecessary.
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RFZ_Quest
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Re: Zenfest, an early report.
Reply #10 - 10/07/07 at 23:27:42
 
Here is a clear view of the Kadence RETAIL speakes.


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Re: Zenfest, an early report.
Reply #11 - 10/07/07 at 23:54:14
 
Hello,
I have been a 'lurker' for a long time. I am really interested in the Kadence speakers. I think in last years fest, it was told that these speakers will be available soon. But I have not seen them under Decware speakers in the website. Anyone knows where/when they will be available?Thanks

D
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Hotsauce
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Re: Zenfest, an early report.
Reply #12 - 10/08/07 at 00:10:46
 
From the pictures Buzz posted it appears that the RL-3 no longer have the added tweeter.  Or am I missing it?

John C.

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Re: Zenfest, an early report.
Reply #13 - 10/08/07 at 02:16:34
 
John,

That speaker that buzz posted a picture of is a one-off that BobZ built this year before hornfest. I had the pleasure of hearing them there and I think I will be ruined for life if I ever want to hear good sounding speakers again, lol. Those are (to me at least) the sweetest sounding speakers ever.

RFZ quests description of the Kadence speakers is dead on. They do deliver everything so well. I wish I could sit for hours and A/B these two sets and just try to make a decision lol.

Take care,
Robert
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Terry
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Re: Zenfest, an early report.
Reply #14 - 10/08/07 at 03:36:31
 
Yes the speakers I was talking about are the KADENCE.  I don't see them on Decware's site, but if some have had theirs for two years I am beginning to wonder if they are still in the "feeling out the market" phase of their marketing.  I really really liked them, we need more speakers available with this level of quality and detail.  They are very fast speakers, just the kind of sound I like, my speakers are much like  them.  I really liked their bass, deep quick, and I didn't detect any wild frequency dips or bumps.

BTW, I am restricting my comments on this forum purely to Decware products, anything else we listened  to at the fest was suppose to be for the purpose of seeing if and how compatible they were with Decware products of interest.  In all I was very very happy with what I heard at practically every turn, this trip convinced me that Steve is continuing on the road with the type of sonic signature I like and pursue.  I wish I would have brought a few of my components to see how they fit in and worked with various other components.  Validation and confirmation are wonderful things I take away from events like this.  I am not one of those guys that thinks I am hearing something that everyone else should, I question my ears constantly to the point that I am neurotic about it. When I first got there I had to interrupt Randy (In a conversation with someone else, sorry I was so rude.) and ask him to stand in the sweet spot and ask if he heard the same thing I was (The soundstage was pulling to one side for some reason).

At this point as much as I want a friend more local to share audio with, I feel guilty for the amount of good audio friends I have via long distance, no one deserves to be this fortunate, money can't buy things like this, you guys are the greatest!!  

TG
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