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Decfest Fall Ritual (Read 1320 times)
Palomino
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Decfest Fall Ritual
09/20/22 at 16:59:13
 
I’m getting ready for Decfest again this year.  I don’t remember my first one but I think this is year 8 or 9.  It’s become a part of my fall ritual which involves dropping my boat off at my brother’s farm for winter storage, lunch with my folks, seeing some friends in Bloomington and then heading to East Peoria for the fest.

I start out by making some playlists that exhibit certain characteristics in music like soundstage, bass, female vocal, etc.  I’m on Tidal so I hope Steve still subscribes.  As a backup, I may throw some tunes on a thumb drive.

Then I put together my list of gear I want to hear.  This year, my main component is the 300b amp.  I’m also interested to see if Steve and/or Randy have incorporated any of the new Lii Audio drivers in their OBs.  I am interested in a new DAC so I will be listening carefully to what Steve has in his main rig and talking to people about their DACs.  I also want to see what Bob has done with the latest iteration of the HR-1s.

On the way to the fest, I stream the live feed and listen to begin getting in the Zen mode.

Upon arrival, it usually is pretty random sequence of events, but I know a good number of people, so I typically catch up with them before heading into one of the listening areas.  I’ve made some good friends over the years and its good to see them again.

Then there is that first beer – I love when you open it, the bottle top falls down and sticks to the huge speaker magnet right below it.  That’s more or less the official start of the fest for me.

Usually there are 4 or 5 people I need to talk to before I make it into the listening room.  About an hour later, I pop my head into the listening room to see what rig is playing and then if I am interested, I patiently wait in back until a seat opens up.

Next, it’s a toss up.  Go to hear what Randy or Bob has playing in the small room or go to the workshop to slobber over Steve’s woodworking tools and hang out.

Dinner is next.  Last year, Lite Foot Dan and I made pizzas in my portable oven and we are going to repeat again this year on Saturday night.  This time we will have another oven or two going so we can pump them out faster.

In the evening, its more of the same until its time to sit around the bonfire.  Usually by this time, the BS is at a fever pitch.  Following the bonfire, I waddle back to my van and go to sleep.

Breakfast with the guys is another part of the ritual, but sometimes I go into the listening room early to listen to music I pick out on gear I want to hear before heading home.

Anyway,  I am looking forward to seeing people and hope its another great fest.  Good people, good food, good music.  After two of the fests, I have come home and immediately put in an amp order.  Trying to resist this year.
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Tony
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #1 - 09/20/22 at 17:38:11
 

Palomino mentioned above:

...I think this is year 8 or 9

That is quite a Decware attendance history! Could it be a record?

For those of us that have not yet attended Decfest, I imagined listening to amps, speakers, etc., would be central, but I had not thought of the pleasure of meeting people one engaged with via the forum over the past months and years. It adds another dimension.

I am looking forward to your future posts on this event.
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Palomino
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #2 - 09/20/22 at 17:49:50
 
I think there are people that have come to every fest.  And yes, it a very social event.  You can learn a lot from everyone, especially Steve
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Kamran
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #3 - 09/20/22 at 22:15:50
 
Great post Palomino.  Looking forward to meeting you (and others) and trying out your pizza!
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Dominick
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #4 - 09/22/22 at 06:52:47
 
Unfortunately I will not be able to make this Decfest but I have enjoyed watching and listening to the live feed for the past seven or eight years.  I have made several friends through the forum that it was finally nice to meet with in person at the fest.

Tony… it is a very social event and always a great time.  I can still remember Eric’s (Lonely Raven) high octane freshly ground coffee that kept me going.  I shared a nice listening session with Palamino in the open air outdoor shed before it became Steve’s wood shop and countless hours on the main couch with Hockenisskid and Ziggy.  Steve was great full enough to offer me a cigar from his humidor that I enjoyed outside while listening to Donnie’s DIY BT speaker made  from a PVC or cement tube ( I forget).

For those who cannot attend….The live feed is great to hear music from artists that I was not familiar with, and then add to my favorites collection on Tidal and Qobuz.

Dom


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Palomino
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #5 - 09/22/22 at 11:22:22
 
Dom, I forgot to mention the benefit of picking up some new music.  

I always have Shazam at the ready to look up a tune to add to my collection. I actually have playlists for several years with the songs I liked the most. You don’t always get a good signal in the main room but it does work.

I don’t think Steve does this anymore but people also used to bring their own gear to listen to.
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Kamran
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #6 - 09/22/22 at 16:29:23
 
Coffee and Pizza—I may never leave the premises!

It’s funny, after reading your post yesterday, I was thinking to have my Shazam app at the ready to pick up on some new music to add to my playlist as well.

Just to get an idea, how easy is it to request switching to different amps and speakers?  Does the main listening room more or less stay on the same gear and you have to go to another listening room to audition other gear?  For example, I want to listen to both the Decware Zen Master baffles as well as Randy’s OB speakers.  Similarly, I want to evaluate multiple amps including the SE84UFO25, the new Rachael, and obviously Sarah.  Trying to determine the best way to navigate it.
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #7 - 09/22/22 at 16:59:31
 

Randy's open baffles will have their own room just like last year.  That will be running non stop all three days.

The main room will have Sarah on one end connected to the large open baffles and occasionally the House Speakers, DNA610's, Lii Song Glory.  Also on that end is the Zen TORII Mono's, My personal older white pair.  Sources for this end are digital streaming via Qobuz, and reel to reel tape.

The other end of the room will feature the UFO25, my vinyl rig (ZP3), reel to reel tape machine, digital streaming via Qobuz, CD, and this is where we will swap in different amplifiers / preamps.  Speakers are the new T6 bookshelf, the new HDT Silver 8's, DNA's, Z15M baffles, ERRx, Trapezium, HR2's,     DM945's, Corner Horns, Omegas, and anything else I neglected to mention.

We may also set up a headphone rig using the CSP3 or Taboo MK4 somewhere with it's own source where you can sit down and listen to headphones.

Steve



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Palomino
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #8 - 09/22/22 at 17:02:12
 
Edit: See above

I don't know how it will be this year, but last year there was the main listening room, which you see in Steve's video and a smaller separate building/listening room where Randy and Bob had their speakers.

Generally is a cooperative effort to get to hear the gear you want to hear.  Steve swaps out equipment but there are some guys that have been at the fest for years that also assist in this task as well.

Generally I listen to the current setup a bit once I enter the room, then ask the guys in the room if you could listen to X spearker or X amp.  If you get the nod, Steve or one of his merry men will swap in the gear.  Everyone tries to help everyone hear what they want to hear.

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Kamran
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #9 - 09/22/22 at 20:33:57
 
Thanks, this is super helpful Steve and Palomino!
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Palomino
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #10 - 09/22/22 at 21:32:04
 
Also, there are name badges that you can write your screen name on.  If you do, we'll be on the lookout for you.

A lot of times if you let people know what you want to hear, they will let you know in case you are outside.  Like last year, I wanted to hear the Silver 10's in the Lii Audio cabinets and somebody came outside and said they are setting them up so I went in.

My first year I came late and was all amped up and anxious.  I had a good feeling about Decware and was on a MISSION!  One of the guys rotated through the amps and speakers for me and I slowly caught the Zen vibe.  And yes, I came home and ordered an amp.
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #11 - 09/22/22 at 22:38:29
 
I started thinking about how long I've been coming to the 'Fest and if my calculations are correct, I've been there every year since '11(except for the Covid year).

I always like to start out by going into the main listening room for a short listening session, just to get my good "listening ear" up to speed!

Then I become a social butterfly and talk to folks all about the grounds.
Last year I also had to check out Randy's little "Love Shack" and of course Steve's droolworthy shop.

I do remember the year I took my garbage can boom box and played it tool loudly outside in front of the main listening room and someone came out to admonish me for boomin' over the music inside!

Every year I make sure that I have the first Friday in October off just for the 'Fest.

Palomino mentioned the name tags, I just use mine from 2016 over and over. I use the Decware lanyard every work day to display my work badge. Flying the Decware flag daily.
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Kamran
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #12 - 09/22/22 at 23:55:07
 
Name tags is a great idea—will certainly make it easier to spot folks and be spotted.

Two weeks until my flight leaves for Chicago!
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Dominick
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #13 - 09/23/22 at 05:29:27
 
Let’s not forget the beer lanyard that allows you to carry your favorite brew around your neck.  Still to this day my friends who come over request it.  

Even though I will not be going… I make it as realistic as possible with me being home.  I throw on my Decware shirt, use my beer lanyard, send the video feed to my big screen TV and play the audio feed through my Decware amp.  I can remember the days when the video feed used to roll all night and it was great to watch guys listen to music at 3 o’clock in the morning while I was at work.  Now I believe the video feed cuts off at midnight.

I have a request for Steve.  Is there any way you could make available again the old Decware T-shirts that have the circuitry wiring on the front of the T shirt.  My current Decware shirt is beat up, and I could really use a new one.  

Dom
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Palomino
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #14 - 09/23/22 at 12:42:59
 
I'd buy that shirt.

And many Decfest highlights over the years, but the garbage can boom box was certainly one of them.

Another was when Steve hooked up the corner bass cabinets (forget their name) and ran them with only a tiny Zen (maybe monoblocks).

And another was when Steve put in his OTL amp.  That was amazing.
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Kamran
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #15 - 09/23/22 at 13:38:23
 
+2 for the t-shirt

The 3 am listening time caught me off-guard.  Aren’t there hours each day when the listening area is available for use or does it run 24/7 during Decfest?
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #16 - 09/23/22 at 16:23:57
 
The fest runs 24/7 although by 3 am it is down to just a few : )
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #17 - 09/26/22 at 19:05:15
 
Sometimes it is only me from 2:30 to 4:30AM. Grin
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #18 - 09/27/22 at 10:18:55
 
For those of us who can't go, could we have the Decfest 2022 Out of Body Award (amp + speaker combo) based on the most vocal, or drunkest, or longest-sitting/listening persons at the gathering? This would be for the amp+combo that makes people leap to their feet and yell, "Wait a minute! WTF?!" Doesn't have to be systematic or objective.
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #19 - 09/27/22 at 11:33:04
 
I almost got a chance to crash in on Steve’s place last Friday. We were driving back from a really really(I mean really) great trip in Utah’s canyons on Interstate 80 at Davenport when the driver(not me) took a wrong turn down 74! My group of cyclist know about my passion for audio but not too many details. After the wrong turn and clamor by others of the miss course, I offered to let us continue to Peoria and listen to some great audio gear. That was rejected after noting Steve’s need for a fair notice to audition Decware products and the fact that we been on the road for over 24 hours with a desire to get home. BTW, I offered to drive thru Chicago’s interstate rat nest construction that the driver was most likely subconsciously trying to avoid by dropping to interstate 70. It went well after the 16 mile discourse.

Looking forward to the 7th!

John
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #20 - 09/27/22 at 15:19:21
 
Dominick, Palomino, I would definitely buy that shirt!
Even though I can not attend, that would be a Solid, worth having!

Where do I click?
Smiley
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Dominick
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #21 - 09/27/22 at 15:59:03
 
Same Old DD…. When I had attended Decfest I had asked Steve about other types of T-shirts besides the  traditional Decware T-shirt.  That’s when he mentioned about the amp circuit T-shirt from back in the day.  I guess if enough people requested the T-shirt he would consider running the print.  

Steve….if this materializes please post it somewhere so members can order it.  

Dom

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Kamran
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #22 - 09/27/22 at 16:19:07
 
T-10 days!

John, hope you had a great trip to Utah! What time are you getting to Peoria on the 7th? I recall you wanting to check out the coffee place that was recommended by another member. I’d be up for lunch as well.
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #23 - 09/27/22 at 20:31:57
 
Kamran,
It is a nine hour drive for me. Indianapolis might cause an additional hour delay because of construction. I plan on leaving at 3am friday. With luck a noon arrival is possible. If so, I'll give you a call when arriving. Waze might keep me on track for noon Smiley
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Kamran
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #24 - 09/28/22 at 00:46:34
 
Understood.  I am arriving in Chicago on the 6th and staying overnight in Naperville.  Will head over to Peoria by 10 am on the 7th, which should get me there just after 12 pm.  You can contact me on the day off and we can coordinate more closely then. Considering the 9 hr drive, let’s get you fed and caffeinated before the fun starts!
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #25 - 09/28/22 at 00:51:57
 
Kamran, I am minutes from Naperville in Lisle.  I'd have to clear it with high command, but might be fun to see what you think of my system.
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #26 - 09/28/22 at 01:13:33
 
Agreed! I know you will be driving to Peoria as well so don’t want to inconvenience you or high command but I’m up for it if we can make it work prior to 10 am as I want to hit the road by then.
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #27 - 09/30/22 at 04:15:14
 
So yesterday, in my haste to get the new production Gold Lion KT77’s in to my Dennis Had Inspire amp, I took off the RCA 807’s and un-attached the adapter without removing the top plate cap cover off first.  The result—it snapped of the top plate cap right off the tube.  I’ve heard it can be soldered back on but I am not that technical nor do I have a soldering iron.  I was going to try calling some local techs but then, it just hit me.  I’m going to be at Decware HQ next week, where there will be not only soldering irons, but plenty of ppl skilled enough to perform surgery on this tube. Anyone at Decfest or the Decware crew willing to lend a hand?

Kamran
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #28 - 09/30/22 at 10:21:43
 
Kamran,

Most likely can be soldered. How much wire is coming out of the top of the tube?

I'll bet the Decware crew will be happy in their new roles of hosts for us...or still working on that backlog Smiley

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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #29 - 09/30/22 at 13:43:47
 
John,  I attached the picture so it is more clear.  I think there is enough wire to work with but I’m no expert.

[url] RCA 807 without plate cap by Tube Dad, on Flickr[/url]
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #30 - 09/30/22 at 14:58:44
 
Looks like an easy fix. I'll bring an iron, a little solder and epoxy and it will be good as new.
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #31 - 09/30/22 at 15:30:16
 
Awesome—thanks John!
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #32 - 09/30/22 at 15:34:54
 
The 6th would be a possibility if you are interested.  I head to Bloomington on the 7th.
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #33 - 09/30/22 at 18:18:48
 
Palomino, my flight arrives at 7 p.m. on the 6 th and after I take into account car rental and dinner, I anticipate getting to the hotel in Lisle near Naperville, around 10ish. While I’ll be still up for it, I reckon it’s going to be too late for a weeknight?

Kamran
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Donnie
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #34 - 10/02/22 at 18:59:29
 
Well I just booked my hotel room for Friday night.

I'll be there Friday afternoon or be out $175 for my non refundable room!

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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #35 - 10/02/22 at 19:33:50
 
Yeah sorry Kamran.  Too late.  See you at the fest!
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #36 - 10/02/22 at 19:41:21
 
Booked my room for Saturday night. Plan on camping Friday night to spend some time in the wee hours of Saturday listening!
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #37 - 10/03/22 at 03:53:14
 
I figured Palomino.  No worries.  Great to hear all the confirmations.  Looking forward to meeting all you guys this Friday!
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #38 - Yesterday at 17:11:43
 
Just a heads up for everyone coming this weekend.

Bundle up, a cold front is going to be hitting us. Highs in the mid 50's to low 60's and the lows in the mid 30's.

Wear you audiophile approved longjohns.
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #39 - Yesterday at 17:56:05
 
Thanks Donnie. I have some that really remove the veil.
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #40 - Yesterday at 20:11:38
 
Anyone know when the live feed starts for us homeboys?
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Re: Decfest Fall Ritual
Reply #41 - Today at 01:02:22
 
Thanks for the heads-up Donnie.  Will be packin some layers…

Just found out that there’s a Diana Krall concert in Chicago the day before. Had I known, I might have caught an earlier flight.  Oh well…we are going to bring the concert to Peoria!
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