SPEAKER FORUMS >> Betsy Open Baffle >> Caintuck Audio Fest Redux

Message started by Randy in Caintuck on 09/01/16 at 22:13:57

Title: Caintuck Audio Fest Redux
Post by Randy in Caintuck on 09/01/16 at 22:13:57

Several years ago, I hosted a gathering of audio buffs and music lovers at my home in Pendleton County Kentucky.  There were about 35 attendees from several states all across the country ….. many of them brought some of their audio equipment to share. We had a nice variety of amplifiers and loudspeakers and used my CEC top loading belt drive CD transport and Camelot Uther DAC for a front end.

Several of the attendees were well known members of the “cottage” audio industry and audio forums.

Several attendees brought food and beverages and it was a highly enjoyable long weekend of listening to music and discussing things audio related.

In February of this year, I opened a small storefront in Alexandria, Kentucky featuring my line of custom built open baffle loudspeakers, digital and analog front end equipment and several lines of amplifiers as well as some of the superb Stockfisch CDs and LPs.

I had modest expectations for the success of this venture since brick and mortar audio stores have fallen out of favor in most areas of the United States ….. but, this was something that was on my “bucket list” of things to do after retiring from the IT industry in December of 2015.
My expectations have pretty much been dead on.  The vast majority of folks who poke their heads through the door of my storefront have been looking for car audio, home theater, electronics repair and one very nice lady who asked if I gave music lessons. I explained to her that I play guitar just well enough to know that I can’t do it for a living …..

I guess the flashing “Music” sign in the front window was misinterpreted …..

Interestingly enough, the internet sales of my open baffle speakers have been brisk ….. most of my customers being on the east and west coasts of the US, a few of the western states and internationally.

So ….. it appears that January 31st of 2016 will be the last day of operation at the storefront unless things take a major and unexpected turnaround in the next five months.
As a last hurrah, it seems like a good idea to have a get together to commemorate the original Caintuck Audio Fest ….. and to have the event at my storefront location.

The early part of the month of November is usually pretty pleasant for travel in this part of the country and I plan to have the event the first weekend of November.
Friday through Sunday ….. November 4th, 5th and 6th.

It will be a good opportunity to hear my open baffle speakers in a good listening room with a variety of front end equipment and amplifiers. Attendees will be welcome to bring their own gear to experience how it works with my speakers ….. as well as how loudspeakers they currently own work with the variety of amplifiers featured at the storefront ..... including the excellent Decware SE84UFO and Rachael.

Light refreshments will be provided …..

I will have the doors open at 9:00 AM on Friday and they will remain open until the last straggler makes his or her exit on Sunday …..

Discounts will be given on all of the products on hand at the storefront.
A list of some of the items available can be found here.

There will also be a nice selection of my open baffle speakers in various finishes.

I just LOVE audio road trips and hope that others share my enthusiasm.
Hoping to see as many folks as possible on one or all of the days of the Fest …..
Lodging accommodations are available within a few miles of the storefront.

The storefront address and contact information can be found on my website.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Happy listening,

Title: Re: Caintuck Audio Fest Redux
Post by TubeNube on 09/02/16 at 09:38:58

Hey Randy,

Randy here from WA state (aka TubeNube - altho I guess I should choose another handle after almost 8 years in this hobby). Let me b the first to congratulate you on "scratching that first retirement itch". I have followed your posts with interest, and with hope for your success. If it took trying the brick and mortar storefront experiment to show you that the way is an online-only business, so b it. You seem to have enough of an appealing product line to offer on the inet that you shouldn't have a problem. One thing that I would suggest (if u are not already doing it) is to list a few well-recorded tracks for people to try with lower-powered amplification. I feel that this is a "make it or break it" component of the true-to-the-music type of systems that we all love. As an example, I would cite "Everywhere" (track 1) from Pink Martini's "Hey Eugene" cd. (OK, well, that whole cd is well recorded). I'm guessing that some of the audiophile wizards from this site can offer more suggestions of recordings that pop w/low wattage systems.
Good luck, and take care Randy,
Randy (a little redundant?)

Title: Re: Caintuck Audio Fest Redux
Post by Randy in Caintuck on 09/02/16 at 13:49:29

Hi Randy,

Thanks for the words of encouragement .....

At the bottom of my website home page, there is a link to some of my "recommended music". I must admit that with everything else going on it is way overdue for updating. Not everything in those recommendations is a top shelf recording, quality-wise ..... so I appreciate your suggestion and think it's a good one..

I also have a page on my website that deals with commonly asked questions about the Betsy baffles and a few additional thoughts.
As part of that information I state that the Betsy baffles are not designed for "head banger" type listening. Not that there's anything wrong with head bangers, but the area where the Betsy baffles really shine is with well recorded music played at sane listening levels.
I like to think of it as "private concert" listening ..... and with an excellent amplifier like a Decware and a good recording, the Betsy baffles will produce a private concert in the listening room.

As soon as I have a few spare minutes, I will certainly be adding your suggestion to the website ..... a few favorite recordings have already popped into my noggin .....

Best wishes,

The other Randy

Title: Re: Caintuck Audio Fest Redux
Post by Randy in Caintuck on 10/25/16 at 04:03:28

Just a reminder that the Caintuck Fest is about 10 days away .....

At this point, I have no idea what the turnout will be like ..... but it would be great to meet as many of the Decware Audio Forum posters and lurkers as possible.
Truthfully, those of us who are die hard audio buffs and take their music seriously are a fairly small community.
I wish that there was an audio event within a six hour drive or so every month. I would be at most of them .....

If you missed the Zen Fest in Peoria because of circumstances beyond your control, this would be an opportunity to hear Decware amplifiers in a good room with some nice front end equipment and speakers.

Getting together with a group of kindred spirits, listening to music on high quality gear and being introduced to some new artists and tunes is very high on my list of things that put a big smile on my face .....

There are a couple of nice hotels withing a few minutes of my storefront.

Happy listening,


Title: Re: Caintuck Audio Fest Redux
Post by Randy in Caintuck on 11/07/16 at 14:38:39

The Caintuck Audio Fest has come and gone .....

The good news is that is was a rousing success .....

What a great bunch of folks who share a passion for the wonderful hobby of enjoying music .....

Saturday was a nonstop whirlwind of good sounding gear populating the system in the main listening room while my good buddy Rob from Columbus, Ohio kept things lively in the smaller secondary listening room.

To make things even better, the guest list included Steve and DeVon from Decware Audio, Jerry of Spud Kit fame and Derek, the maker of the Flea Watt chip amplifiers ..... all under one roof and enjoying each others company.

I really was hoping to take lots of photos, but everything went by so quickly that I only remembered to take a few .....

In addition to those attending, Darrel and Diana from Hawthorne Audio and Ed Schilling from the Hornshoppe emailed and phoned in their regards but were unable to attend due to prior commitments.

We did use a flashlight that Ed gave me as a gift at the 2016 Hornshoppe Fest to provide light for swapping cables behind the equipment rack .....

There was a lot of very cool audio gear brought by the attendees, including a fine sounding push-pull amp created by two brothers who live in Chicago. I first met them at the Decware Zen Fest and it was a treat to have them in Caintuck along with their father and several other family members.
The push-pull amp really lit up the Betsy baffles and we had some life sized pipe organ pushing out the walls of the listening room when that amp was in the system .....

I "borrowed" an idea from something Steve set up at the 2016 Zen Fest. He implemented some low pass filters with the SO Imperials that allowed him to run them in parallel with the main speakers from the same amplifier. I did the same thing using a pair of open baffles with Eminence Alpha 15" drivers and the results were even better than I had hoped for. They made a very nice "foundation" for the Betsy baffles and my hat is off to Steve for the great idea.  

The enjoyment I experienced on Saturday made every penny spent over the past few months to maintain the storefront well worth it.

My heartfelt thanks to everyone who attended and all of those who were unable to make it but were there in spirit.

I wish that we all lived a little closer together and could do this on a regular basis. From the lively conversations among those in attendance, it was obvious that we all share a common bond in our love of music and high quality audio.

Looking forward to the Decware Zen Fest 2017 .....

Happy listening,


Title: Re: Caintuck Audio Fest Redux
Post by maddog07 on 11/07/16 at 16:15:49

thought about you several times over the weekend Randy - wish I could have made it.  Sounds like it was an overwhelming success.

Title: Re: Caintuck Audio Fest Redux
Post by chrisby on 11/07/16 at 22:57:45

Randy - please check your PM box


Title: Re: Caintuck Audio Fest Redux
Post by Randy in Caintuck on 11/08/16 at 13:40:18

Hi Mike,

I thought about you as well .....
The Fest would have been even better with you among the audio crazies.
I'm still recovering from our Saturday night listening session at the Zen Fest 2016 .....

Good times .....

Hi Chris,

I got your PM and sent a response .....

Best wishes,


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