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DECFEST 2017 REPORT (Read 7343 times)
Steve Deckert
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DECFEST 2017 REPORT
06/05/17 at 20:58:51
 
INFORMATION is HERE:

http://www.decware.com/newsite/zenfestcam.html

Reports and impressions are in the later half of this thread!

Steve
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« Last Edit: 10/12/17 at 01:25:41 by Steve Deckert »  
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jpv
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #1 - 06/05/17 at 23:47:46
 
What days is it going to be on?
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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #2 - 06/06/17 at 06:55:30
 
I have GOT to get out there this year...
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #3 - 06/12/17 at 21:25:50
 

I'm definitely in this year for sure. Not sure I'll be able to talk friends into coming down here though, but I'm in for sure!
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #4 - 06/13/17 at 03:11:57
 
The first full weekend in the month of October is Friday, October 6th through Sunday, October 9th.
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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #5 - 06/13/17 at 06:44:33
 
I think you meant Sunday, October 8th.  ;)
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #6 - 06/14/17 at 04:17:39
 
Yeah Jeff, my birthday, October 8th!
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Steve Deckert
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #7 - 06/14/17 at 04:41:59
 
I have a real good vibe about this year... and no plan whatsoever. Considering the sub theme of UFO's which we all thought were real... this year it could be alien pods... sorry meaningless babble for those not in the know. Check the DECWARE UFO video at the top of the forum and watch all the videos to the end which was last years fest. Please consider attending.

-Steve
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #8 - 06/14/17 at 17:30:05
 
Man I'd love to hear a superzen hooked up to the new Omega's.....I'm already saving $$
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Steve Deckert
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #9 - 07/10/17 at 05:04:51
 

The new Omegas with 2 watts per channel will be one of the "NEW" attractions at this years fest that will no doubt get a lot of attention. The last gentleman who heard the combo during a listening session was a caught a little off guard by their performance.  I recall he wanted to know if I had a sub hidden somewhere, which I didn't.



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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #10 - 07/20/17 at 16:27:24
 

Just bumping so this is fresh in my mind.
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #11 - 07/21/17 at 04:03:14
 
So Fresh in the mind!!!!!   I can't wait till October.  Dang I hope to have my listening room organized by then.  I had the fantastic fortune of purchasing 10 pair of P1324s.  I always leave Steve's listening room wishing to have a situation similar to that.  Now I just have to research, organize, and construct.  At any rate, I can't wait to see everyone again.  I do love it so Wink
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #12 - 08/07/17 at 22:36:06
 
I will be attending.  Its become a ritual for me.  I'm interested in the Omegas and hopefully Steve will have the TEAC dac going.
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #13 - 08/08/17 at 04:07:30
 
I made my reservations yesterday. Always a great time Smiley
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Steve Deckert
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #14 - 08/09/17 at 06:00:27
 
Listening to our modified TEAC DAC every day since I first posted about it, and couldn't be happier.  It just has a great sound.  I feel like heard it for the first time tonight actually because I used it with the TORII and the Corner Horns.  Just over the top good, it's official now... it's as good as the ZDSD which is saying a lot.  Watch for it on the site soon.

Steve
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Steve Deckert
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #15 - 08/24/17 at 01:11:05
 

I am improving the listening room acoustics again as I have tried to do every year.  Last year was very noticeable and this year will be impossible to miss.  It's going to be nice to hear what happens this year!

I have the entire room and all the gear emptied out at the moment so you know something serious is going on.

See you all on the 6th, 7th or 8th or ideally all three days!

Steve
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Steve Deckert
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #16 - 08/24/17 at 01:22:28
 

I also understand Randy from Caintuck Audio will be showing a new pair of "Betsy" open baffle speakers this year, That makes at least three new speakers to listen to.  Omega's and the new Betsy's plus I will be getting reactions to the FRX Radial prototypes I often refer to as "EGGS".

Steve
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #17 - 08/24/17 at 02:59:49
 
Well, it sounds like I picked a great year to come for my maiden Decfest voyage.  Flight and hotel booked!  All day/night Friday and Saturday I will be.  

I am really looking forward to this....
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #18 - 08/28/17 at 20:43:51
 

I should probably book my hotel as well - though I've often thought about just camping in the trees with my hammock. Having my hotel room comped is often the deciding factor.  ;)
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #19 - 08/29/17 at 21:05:08
 
I'll be in a van down by the river...
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #20 - 08/30/17 at 18:41:06
 
What is the closest airport, by the way?

Best,

Alper
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #21 - 08/30/17 at 18:44:57
 
Peoria, Illinois (pretty close).  Bloomington, Il (~1 hour) and Chicago O'Hare or Midway (~2 hours).
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #22 - 08/30/17 at 21:47:25
 
Thanks, Palomino.

Best,

Alper
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #23 - 09/04/17 at 19:11:23
 
It is kind of funny, several of my hobbies are on the same weekend at the same place! It will be kind of a overdose of fun in the Peoria area on the 6th, 7th, and 8th of October. Funhogging!
I will be able to spend my mornings and early afternoons at the Peoria Motorcycle Club at a Moto Trial and the evenings at the 'Fest!
I'm semi-thinking about maybe dragging my OB's up to see how they sound in Steve's "Room of Doom".
Looking forward to having too much fun.
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #24 - 09/05/17 at 19:28:28
 
........will their be a live feed again this year?
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Steve Deckert
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #25 - 09/06/17 at 02:08:14
 
Yes, we plan to have a live feed this year just as before : )

http://www.decware.com/newsite/zenfestcam.html

Steve
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« Last Edit: 09/10/17 at 02:11:16 by Steve Deckert »  
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Steve Deckert
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #26 - 10/02/17 at 06:10:08
 
Here is a sneak listen to this years room.



https://decware.wistia.com/medias/92a9t2sked

See you here!

Steve

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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #27 - 10/03/17 at 03:42:47
 
I'm coming to DECFEST this year for the first time in 4 years.
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #28 - 10/03/17 at 04:01:36
 
My first venture out there as well and I'm sure glad I didn't choose to pass this year up!  It sounds like it'll be the Fests of all Fests - aka...  Epic!!
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #29 - 10/05/17 at 14:15:07
 
The clock is ticking down!
I have a room reserved for Friday night and have been working extra hours this week just so that I can have the day off.
So it looks like a early Friday afternoon arrival, with rain gear, in my car(boring). I have a reservation with friends for dinner at a real nice steakhouse Friday night and a motorcycle race Saturday(in the mud). Too much of a good thing this weekend! Funhogging!
I'm looking forward to seeing everyone at the Decware intergalactic headquarters.
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #30 - 10/06/17 at 15:56:59
 
To all those at the show. Enjoy!!
The rest of us will be tuning in.
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #31 - 10/06/17 at 16:25:29
 
I'm leaving home in about a hour or two.
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #32 - 10/07/17 at 02:41:16
 
Hello everybody. Chris Kote here tuning in to the live stream.
Give me a shout and a wave I might see you. The audio sounds great both in the house and in the big garage system. Be great to get a post on some of the tunes you guys are playing.
Missing you folks!
Chris
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #33 - 10/07/17 at 17:30:01
 
I am not getting the side/chat arrow on my feed?
Anyone experiencing the same who can amend the problem?
thx, Ace
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #34 - 10/08/17 at 19:47:10
 
Hope everyone is having a great time there this year! Maybe next year Dan and I will make our way up!
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #35 - 10/11/17 at 01:40:28
 
Is it too early to ask for a report of the festival?
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Re: DECFEST 2017
Reply #36 - 10/11/17 at 12:24:40
 
Decware re-opens today. Looking forward to hearing about the radial eggs Smiley
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Decfest 2017- CDApS View
Reply #37 - 10/08/17 at 15:56:32
 
Thanks again to Steve and Devon for all the prep work and hosting again this year.  It’s a bit of an undertaking to host this kind of event and I appreciate it.

I was able to spend only a short time at Decfest this year but still got to touch base with a number of people and hear most of what I wanted to hear.  Most of my comments are based on the time I spent alone in the room early Saturday morning when I was alone or with just a couple of other people.

Room – Steve had the best soundstaging I have heard in my 5 or so years attending the fest.  Great depth and seamless front-to-back soundstaging on the vinyl end of the room.  He’s done a number of tweaks to the room, but I think he said he attributed the soundstaging to the addition of the carpet which helped with the floor reflections.  I left wondering how I could introduce that seamlessness to my room.

Amps – this year I had the most difficulty determining which amp was playing.  Usually, I am able to at least tell which “class” of amp is playing like Zen/Rachael or Torii/ZMA.  Not this year.  I attribute this to the transformers Steve has in the DACs.   A couple of times I walked into the room and had to do a double take to realize that a Zen amp was filling the room.  This was Wow moment #1 for me.  If you have a DAC with XLR outputs, a Zbit will rock your world, especially if you have a lower watt Decware amp.

Speakers – I enjoyed them all, but a few comments about each that I spent quality time with:

Omegas – clear, crisp, articulate.  Great quality sound about them.  I did not find them too unforgiving to detract from the music, which was my fear going in.  Compared to other speakers I heard just before and after, I did find them a little bass shy, but very adequate in this department.

Eggs – Spooky good soundstaging.  The best I have heard.  Instruments float in the 3D space.  Wow moment #2.  I can see why Steve is going down this road.  Good bass on these speakers.  Steve said he was using the bass cabinet from the old ERR which is a little bigger.  I did find on some songs that they sounded a bit like if you cupped your hands around your mouth when you are singing.  A little tunnel effect.  Steve pointed out that I may not have had them positioned correctly.  He said you need to be able to see through the slot that surrounds most of the egg from front to back to get the full effect.  When I returned home and watched the live feed, I heard none of this tunnel effect.  The mic’s are positioned above so maybe that has something to do with it.

HR-1s – Like last year, I liked these speakers.  They introduced none of the box sound I hear since going down the OB path.

Betsy’s – I am an OB guy, so I always look forward to hearing these speakers.  So much for so little is the best way to describe them.  This year Randy brought a few new flavors – all in his traditional tombstone baffle:

Flavor 1: 8” Betsy whizzer driver over 8” Betsy whizzerless driver.  I didn’t know they made a whizzerless Besty, but they do.  Randy had this crossed at 100hz via a coil.  Delightful sound on the music that Randy played.  Big, big soundstage.  Articulate and fast.  Bass shy, but that can be remedied in a few low cost ways.

Flavor 2: 8” Betsy whizzer driver over 10” eminence driver, crossed via an inductor (?).   A different sound, but this did add some of the bass back to the mix.  Same soundstage, very good articulation, but not quite as fast.  A pretty good tradeoff to me.

Flavor 3:  AMT tweeter (parts express) over a 8” Betsy whizzerless crossed at 12K.  Randy also had jumpers to introduce the 10” Emminence to the mix.  A 3 way in two different baffles.  Definitely Wow moment #3 for me.  Made a big soundstage bigger and introduced some very smooth air to every song.  I definitely left the room thinking I had to figure out how to incorporate that tweeter to one of my builds.

In general, if you are “broke but sincere” as Randy says, these speakers are stupid good for the money.  Even if you aren’t broke…  If I had to do it all over again, a Zbit, a UFO Zen and some of Randy’s OBs would be the route I’d go.  

So less than 24 hours but at least 3 wow moments which Steve and crew seem to pull out of their hats each year.  Oh and honorable mention to Jeff’s coffee.  Great taste and very smooth.  PM me your your web site!

I had to leave before I heard any tape and Steve’s prototype mono blocks.  I am on the tape tour so I will hear some tape and maybe next year Steve will have the monos in full production.  


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Re: Decfest 2017- CDApS View
Reply #38 - 10/08/17 at 17:45:21
 
Like Palomino, I first and foremost want to thank Steve and Devon immensely for their hospitality.  Top to bottom, I had one hell of a good time.  We were fed well, from food to music, and there was an ample supply of tasty brews to keep us listening hours on hours.  The time flew, and that always happens when you are having a blast.  

I wasn’t sure what to expect going in as this was my first Decfest.  Upon arrival, I was promptly greeted and made to feel right at home.  Music was already flowing, so I quickly found the listening room after a quick peek around, and there my journey began.  The theme was comprised of great music, great equipment, and great conversation.  A real bonus was being able to put a face and personality to many of the fellow forum members here, which was awesome.  

And of course, getting a chance to chat with Steve about audio stuff - and life stuff - was a real hoot. I have to come back next year as the conversation was too good and ended too quickly.  I had a ton of laughs and learned a lot during these two days.  Stellar time, Steve!

Between Steve and Lite Foot Dan (aka “Chef Dan”), my stomach muscles are sore from laughing so much.  Thanks for the scrumptious Chicken Marsala Dan. So tasty!

And Randy (From Caintuck), it was such a pleasure to meet you and spend a great deal of time inside and outside of the listening room chatting it up.  It was definitely one of my highlights.  I was also fortunate to audition your new creations, especially those one-of-a-kind Bubinga (African Rosewood) Betsy’s.  Guys, if you are even remotely considering the Betsy’s, do yourself a favor and ask Randy about the Bubinga’s.  I have a pair of Besty’s in finished plywood, and these sounded slightly different – a bit more resolute.  The wood is incredible dense, heavy, and GORGEOUS!  

Being my first Decfest, everything was new and exciting so I will hit just the high points in a follow up post once I've had time to gather my thoughts – and get some sleep!    

Last but not least, thanks for the props Palomino!  It was fun talking audio and coffee with you.  A PM to your inbox with a Decfest discount code is coming Smiley
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Re: Decfest 2017- CDApS View
Reply #39 - 10/08/17 at 18:44:12
 
Ok, I'll chime in.
As always the entire Decware crew was more than accommodating, food and drink was flowing freely!
I am happy that everyone there put up with some of my stranger choices in music, Ry Cooder movie scores and a 12 + minute Wilco song comes mostly to mind.
As always it is so nice to see friendly familiar and new faces.
I listened to several different combos of speakers and amplification.
The Omega's were so fast, but just slightly edgy for my ears.
HR-1's sound so good to me, I have no idea of why I haven't bought a pair beyond that I am so happy with my Ob's. I need to rectify the fact that there are none in my house.
The Monoliths also sound so good, the HiVi tweeters are so special.
I just want to say thanks to everyone and that if the creek don't rise or the cattle don't get out I'll see ya all next year.
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Re: Decfest 2017- CDApS View
Reply #40 - 10/09/17 at 16:36:23
 


Greetings everyone .....

I'm not sure if there will be another "official" Decware Fest 2017 thread, but this seems like a good place to share a few thoughts until that thread surfaces .....

First, the event was a grand success as always ..... wonderful people, refreshments, audio gear and music.
Many thanks to the Deckert family and crew for all the hard work that goes into making this happen every year.
There is a saying painted on the walls of the Bob Evans restaurant chain locations ..... " we treat friends like family and strangers like friends".
The same is very much true of every Decware Fest I have attended .....

The listening room was gorgeous and the new carpeting changed the sonic signature of the room quite a bit. It took a bit of time for me to wrap my head around the change, but after doing so I was very impressed with the sound.

The amplifiers all sounded top shelf as usual and since I am already familiar with the Decware speaker line I will only comment on the two items that are new to me ..... the "Eggs" and the Omegas.
The "Eggs" are still a prototype and may have some minor (or major) changes in the future, but I can say at this point that they provide one of the deepest images that I have ever heard ..... very impressive.
The Omegas were a very pleasant surprise.
In my opinion, they worked better with some amplifiers than others, but were consistently quick, open sounding and musical with the well recorded CDs I brought with me. They produced a lot of tuneful bass for such small drivers and are easily one of the best commercial speakers I have heard in a long time.
Since Steve Deckert is impressed with them, I expected them to be good ..... and they are.

I saved some of the best for last .....

It is always a huge treat for me to spend some time with the many music lovers and audio buffs that I have been privileged to meet at the Decware Fests over the years and I was so happy to see so many in attendance again this year.
There were a few missing (such as Chris) and I hope to see him in 2018.
There were several new attendees I was happy to meet and to be able to put some names and faces together.

I was especially happy to see that Jeff of Arabica was able to make the trip all the way from California ..... for a long time I have felt that we have known each other for years and I never expected to be able to meet him in person.
BTW ..... his coffee is absolutely superb .....

What a great experience it was to be able to spend several days with a group of "musical kindred spirits" ..... my only regret is that most of us live so far apart .....

Looking forward to Zen Fest 2018 .....

Happy listening,
Randy  
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Re: Decfest 2017- CDApS View
Reply #41 - 10/09/17 at 16:43:54
 

Another great Decfest!  I've made 4 in a row now I think! Thanks so much for hosting Steve and Devon!  It was great seeing everyone again, and the days just flew by! I got there early Friday and Saturday and I was blown away by how it was suddenly dark. No wonder I was so tired.

The carpet really changed the sound of the room - which is also proof to me that it's complete BS that we forget how something sounds so quickly. I think those studies are a bit off. I could hear the difference in the room before I even realized the *why*.  Each year Steve seems to get the room a little mo-betta.

This year I liked the flip-side again (the side with the Imperial SO) - though I didn't like the preamp driving the little monoblocks so hard. I didn't realize that was the issue till after Bob started tweaking knobs and everyone in the room had this look like Oh Crap, what happened! Sudden big changes is quality (for good or bad) certainly sends a ripple through the room. LOL.  Seriously though, I love the room filling bass a 2 watt amp can get with those Imperial SO - again, I'm tempted to build a set.

I missed out on hearing Randy's Betsy with the AMT drivers - I should have pushed my way into the room and given them a try, but other people were doing their thing, and they don't get to Decware as often as I do, so I try not to take over the room much.

I also enjoyed playing DJ again this year, but I really had trouble reading the room, knowing if people wanted to just sample tunes or hear whole songs. Besides that, I really need to come up with new demo tunes. LOL

I'm already looking forward to next Decfest, development of the new monoblocks, eggs, and the 25th anniversary Zen amp (whenever that will be).

Oh, and here is my *Duh Moment* - realizing that Jeff who brought that awesome coffee screen name is "Jeff of Arabica". I can be so slow sometimes. Dude, hook a brother up! I need to put in an order! My Aeropress ran empty this weekend!


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Re: Decfest 2017- CDApS View
Reply #42 - 10/11/17 at 14:58:19
 
I'm still thinking about those Imperial SOs - I just don't need another project, nor have the money for one right now...unless I got help from other CDApS members....

I could see a Decware Imperial SO tour in Chicago. LOL
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« Last Edit: 10/11/17 at 14:59:54 by Lonely Raven »  
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Re: Decfest 2017- CDApS View
Reply #43 - 10/11/17 at 17:21:20
 
I have pondered building the Imperials myself. I even have room in my listening room for two. It is such a crazy plan that it might just work.
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Re: DECFEST 2017 REPORT
Reply #44 - 10/12/17 at 01:35:15
 
DeVon, Myself, and the entire Decware crew would like to thank everyone who attended this years fest!  When people take the time to drive or fly halfway around the country just to listen to our gear or say hi, it tells us we are still on target and what we do is appreciated... how many people have a job a like that!  We're so blessed.

I have some short video clips from the fest I'll post here soon, tonight I'm still sleep deprived so I'm going to hit it early.  

Thank you!

Steve
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Re: DECFEST 2017 REPORT
Reply #45 - 10/12/17 at 20:43:27
 
Can anyone weigh in on the new monos?  When I tuned into the live feed I am pretty sure I saw them in operation.  

I wanted to hear them but ran out of time and had to take off.
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Re: DECFEST 2017 REPORT
Reply #46 - 10/13/17 at 02:26:53
 
It was a great Decfest, my third. I can echo the comments of others and give my most humble thanks to our gracious hosts.
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Re: DECFEST 2017 REPORT
Reply #47 - 10/15/17 at 21:15:07
 
Hi again!

While I saved a couple hours of video from the feed, in putting it together I realized that the audio was more or less ruined for some unknown reason... laden with fake reverb and reduced bit rates. Just another side effect of the age of digital adolescence that we all live in. I know the feed didn't sound that way, and the pre-fest video I did of the egg speakers did not sound that way either.

I decided not to complete the video as it just isn't representative of the fest and would be more misleading than informative since it sounded like crap and only ever showed about 10 people at any one time despite the some 70 that attended. So I will try to describe the event instead.

I think it was Saturday that I held out until 7:30 P.M. to have a beer. Remarkably I was the last man out the door as Randy and I closed it down around 3:00 A.M. or so. Without realizing it I drank beer for 8 hours. It became painfully realized the following morning however : )

As result of being extra happy, I broke out the "top secret" stuff starting with the 6C33C mono's that I look forward to putting into production this Spring. After that I brought out the 6C33C OTL amp that few have ever heard and it easily handled the late night hours into a variety of speakers.

Over the three days we flipped the room many times as we listened to the Omega's, the ZOB's, the Imperial SO's, all of Randy's open baffle speakers, the HR-1's, DNA's and ERRx's. Additionally the DM947's aka Monoliths were played quite a bit.

The only speakers that I don't believe were played were the HDT's and I blame myself for that. I should have hooked them up to remind everyone how good they still are after 15 years of trying to be dethroned by all the other single driver designs!

Both Friday and Saturday saw a fair amount of rain which had no effect on the listening room or the activities in general. The only thing that didn't happen as a result is the well loved annual bond fire that we like to have.

Dan cooked a simply amazing dinner on Saturday for everyone and we are eternally grateful for that!  Also Dave, a local audiophile, brought some very good chili, excellent wine, and 5 CD's of audiophile test tracks that were immensely enjoyed!

The new ZDAC2 aka Decware modified Teac DSD DAC fed the ZTPRE which in turn drove all the various amplifiers on the main end of the room, while the ZCD240 handled the other end with no preamp involved.  

The ZROCK2 was used periodically at both ends of the room all three days but on bypass most of the time so as to not make everything sound better than it really is.

We also listened to Ed Pong's (UltraAnalogue Recordings) reel to reel tapes and spun a fair amount of vinyl this year which was nice.

In the build room, was a classic SE84UFO driving a double stack of Sansui speakers... that's 4 - 15 inch woofers, 8 midranges, and 8 tweeters total which comes in at over 100dB efficiency.

In the office area we set up our headphone rigs, using the CSP3 and the TABOO MK4 to drive a variety of great headphones including the ZMF Ori, Eikon, and Atticus.

Everything worked perfectly and sounded great, which is my main technical concern each year. This year I created a scalar wave generator to confuse Father Murphy into visiting the wrong address.  It worked perfectly.




So until next year, happy listening and remember, we do listening appointments all year long so you don't need to wait until next October to visit!  In fact during the winter months I even book appointments on the weekends.

Thanks to everyone!

Steve


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Re: DECFEST 2017 REPORT
Reply #48 - 10/16/17 at 00:29:52
 
Cool Steve. I look forward to the 6C33C Mono's next Spring/Summer 18.
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Re: DECFEST 2017 REPORT
Reply #49 - 10/16/17 at 03:03:30
 
I forgot to mention that someone left a high capacity Li-ion battery with a universal charger here next to the front door.  If it happened to be someone reading this, please let us know and we'll send it to you!

Thanks,

Steve
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