Lurch

Lurches 2nd Anniversary South Coast Bake Off, Sunday 18th November, PO19

Recommended Posts

On 16/11/2018 at 13:20, wizmax said:

You obviously haven't traveled from Portsmouth to Chichester or from Chichester to Portsmouth lately Chris, they have re-surfaced it and it is now as smooth as a baby's bottom.

Thank goodness for that. Last trip down that road I think was to/from Littlehampton GC in mid summer and it was like a bull dozer had randomly scraped the top surface off the road.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer
1 hour ago, chrisph said:

Thank goodness for that. Last trip down that road I think was to/from Littlehampton GC in mid summer and it was like a bull dozer had randomly scraped the top surface off the road.

You should have popped in :D 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Write up:

It was a good day - lots of friendly and familiar faces, some of whom I got to know a little better. ( I didnt think I would have been having a discussion about Sir Karl Poppr's 'Conjectures and Refutations', for example..)

Food was excellent - thanks to all those who contributed.

In the main room there were 2 notable new arrivals - a Lector valve CD player (very good as in not sounding like CD), and a MFA Refernce phono stage which is a lot of pound notes (on loan). That was having a noticeable effect.

In the 2nd room the SQ of initial set up exceeded my expectations: we had Brook's Garrard 401/Jelco/AT33PTG into an Ayre Evolution phono and separate pre and then on to my Monarchy monos,and, in turn Rogers LS5s and LS3/5a. It was my first time with the little Rogers and they impressed with their articulation and crispness - the bigger Rogers had more bass, as you would expect, and there wasnt much in it. Once I put both inputs from the phono into the correct sockets (!) we had a good sound.

Then, as planned, we moved out the electronics to make way for Chris's gear but not before his Gallo speakers were given a go driven by the 100w Monarchies - now that was better and a real match. I liked that system.

When Chris's kit came in (T10/P10, his pre, and the Consonance 2a3 amp), the sound lost some coherence and the task was to identify the weakest link(s) to try and get back what we had lost. As we substituted an Ifi phono and then Brook's super little Welborne phono we were getting there but the clincher was going straight into Consonance as a line level integrated and sacrificing the subwoofer amp (which needed Chris's pre to function). A final upgrade was swapping the AT out for Brook's Helicon mono on the Garrard/Jelco. Now we had a good sound that matched the earlier solid state balanced system, but with valves involved.

Also, the Gallo speakers were swapped over with the bass drivers, which are at 90% to the other drivers, facing out instead of firing into each other. This will avoid cancellation. That was a benefit in bass and soundstaging. Dave particularly appreciating that one,

Well done Lurch....a vg edition of your bake off.

Jack NSM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

John, many thanks again for arranging another bake off at your place.  Love the way your system keeps changing and getting better each time I visit.  Somehow you get your hands on bits of kit that I would normally never get a chance of hearing.

Just seen NSM's (Jack) write up which as always is a comprehensive assessment of the day - many thanks Jack.

Enjoyed listening to Saladisfun's (David) Rogers LS3/5A - so much sound from such little speakers.  I missed the chance to listen to Wizzmax's(Robin) larger LS5's in the initial setup so perhaps another day will get the chance to hear them in action. Sounds like Robin had got them for a very good price.

It was a very useful day for me to have my setup playing with the various bits of kit and as stated by Jack the Gallo's driven by the combination of Brook's TT etc.. and Jack's Ayre gear and Monarchs sounded good and was much better than I am achieving at home.  The identification of the weak points in my system has been very helpful and I really appreciate the advice given on the day by some experienced enthusiasts. I am always impressed by the depth of knowledge and willingness to help. Thanks chaps.

Was an interesting session near the end of the day listening to Bigfool1956 (Dave's) streamer that was not streaming, using files on a USB stick, and spotting differences between FLAC and WAV files.  A nice bit of kit, although I cannot recall the details, and very reasonably priced.

Good to catch up with some familiar faces and enjoy the excellent chips and fish fingers.

All in all an excellent day out so many thanks again John for opening up your house.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer

Thanks to John for another interesting and enjoyable bake-off. Unfortunately later to the event than I would have liked, so I missed out on the Rogers fun.

As Chris noted above, the streamer I brought with me was my Pioneer N50a, showing how surprisingly capable a £329 streamer can be when playing WAV files from a USB stick rather than off a network.

John's system is sounding excellent, and the new CD player is a great addition.

Brook's Garrard 401 with Jelco arm and AT33ptg/ii was sounding really good in both rooms, and looking the part in it's lovely plinth. The Gallo speakers impressed me, it's the first time I've heard any Gallos outside of a show, and I was enjoying what I heard, especially after the two speakers were swapped so that the bass drivers faced outwards.

I already know Jack's electronics, and they were a really good match with the Gallos.

All in all I had a great time, and will be back for the next one.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another fascinating day, many thanks John. You have created an excellent formula with your system in the main room and an impressive assortment of contributions from fellow wammers in the playroom.

In the playroom we started by comparing two iterations of the BBC design team circa 1970's sat on John's Atacama stands. Predictably a very similar balance with Robin's LS5 offering another half octave of base, greater efficiency and ability to go louder. My LS3/5a easier to carry to and from the car though. I missed much of the process of refining of Chrisph system which would have been very interesting to me. For some reason I thought it would be fun to get John's Squeezebox up and running. However proved very frustrating as I couldn't get it to talk to the Logitech Media Server I had downloaded onto his laptop. Finally accepted defeat and have taken the Squeezebox home to see if I can add it as a player to my setup. 

In the main room the new vinyl set up sounded more articulate, particularly in the base,  than the valve Lector CD. The discussion on the differences spawned a sub bake off at Johns comparing the Lector with Sony SACD 555es and Robin's Marantz SACD to take place end november. Further report to follow

I did manage a couple of photos of the Gallos in all their nakedness and some of the usual suspects

IMG_20181118_151303733.jpg

IMG_20181118_151242999.jpg

Edited by saladisfun

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer

I echo what has been said above, many thanks to John for hosting another interesting bake off, as always a great mix of kit & good to see familiar faces again.

A word on Johns system first, in the time he has been hosting these gatherings his system has undergone a huge change, with him changing every single item, amazingly all for the better & have great synergy & he now has a formidable sounding system at every level. This months new arrival was his Lector CDP, & very nice it is too, with a sound unlike any CDP I have heard before, very analogue & silky smooth with no hint of things that most vinyl enthusiasts say they don't like about them. Have to give John his due for a dynamic, punchy & silky system, easily the best it has been in the past.

Now, the "playroom". We had a few options kit wise & Jack & I thought it best to start by using some of his kit to provide the basis of a fully balanced system, with my 401/Jelco 750/AT33PTG at the front, with his Ayre Evolution pre-amp, phono stage, & Monarchy class A monoblocks, & out via Robins Rogers LS5/9s. The sound was pretty good but we noticed an anomaly with output down on one channel, swiftly rectified by checking the wiring & noticed a plug in the wrong hole (ooh err). The sound was getting very good indeed, agreed by everyone, & after a time we swapped in David's LA3/5As, tiny little things that Jack & I had no experience of, but boy did they pack a punch, in fact bass was nothing short of amazing for such a physically small speaker in a largish room.

On Chrisph's arrival we put in his Anthony Gallo ref 3 speakers & Puresound P10 phono stage & T10? SUT, along with his Consonance 2A3 valve amp, plus a Gallo amp driving the speakers second bass coil , plus a pre I can't remember sorry. It was sounding okay but we had lost some of the earlier sparkle, & in an effort to get it back we swapped in Dave's (Bigfool57) Ifi, which did go some way to improving things, & then removing the pre-amp & the bass amp & using the Consonance as an integrated saw further improvements. Then we swapped the Ifi out for my Welborne Compleat PS & Partridge SUT, put some Ella & Louis & Miles on with my Helikon Mono cart & things were cooking again. This was a busy day, & Dave now demonstrated his streamer that wasn't being used as a streamer. It was pretty good too, but I confess to not grasping the tech stuff so I will leave that to others who do. I really enjoyed the Gallos, they looked ace & sounded really good too, right up my street really!

At the end of the day we put my 401 into Johns system, because why not, & with it feeding Johns electronics I felt it did very well & sounded sweet, but it had some fine kit behind it so no surprise really.

Can't wait for the next one, until then one or two pictures, apologies for them but the sun was always in the wrong place!

IMGP6781.JPG

IMGP6782.JPG

IMGP6786.JPG

IMGP6787.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Speedracer said:

At the end of the day we put my 401 into Johns system, because why not, & with it feeding Johns electronics I felt it did very well & sounded sweet, but it had some fine kit behind it so no surprise really.

Some great summaries  here but this one is a little understated THE 401 was beautiful on the music first reference phono going into johns mastersound pre and 845 monos  , it got more then a wow from me seduced was more like it .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer

IMGP6790.JPG

IMGP6807.JPG

IMGP6828.JPG

IMGP6803.JPG

IMGP6792.JPG

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer
2 hours ago, GLB said:

Some great summaries  here but this one is a little understated THE 401 was beautiful on the music first reference phono going into johns mastersound pre and 845 monos  , it got more then a wow from me seduced was more like it .

Talking of summaries Chris I did skip over a few things as my post was getting long, there was a lot to get through but I haven't mentioned the Music First PS that John has on loan, probably because of it's price tag & the fact it is probably not staying at Lurch Towers, but there is no doubt it was sensational. Johns Lector is also very very good & lifted his digital side to almost (not quite there IMO) the quality of his vinyl replay, but with the Music First Ref it took off again to reach new heights & brought even more out of his kit.

I must also mention Jacks Monarchy monos; I am a dyed in the wool valvista, as is Jack really, but once warmed up they certainly didn't give much if anything away to valves, smooth but with punch & great dynamics, perfect for what he wanted (they are part of a five way horn system), but also great in his domestic kit. I am also more than a little interested in Chrisphs Gallos, something I had never come across before, so some reading & searching of them is on my list to do now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As always, thanks to John for another great BO the atmosphere was very relaxed with people just enjoying the vibe in both rooms.

Having been at John's when the Lector arrived I was already aware of its abilities but I think that its SQ has improved after it has had the chance to recover from its journey from Italy. As reported above, it does sound very analogue and this was borne out by the several direct comparisons we tried between it and the vinyl front end, there was not a lot in it which considering the price difference - vinyl £16k - CD 4.3k was quite surprising but everyone agreed that they preferred the vinyl although it was in no way a blind test.

The comparison that Jack set up between my Rogers LS5/9s and David's LS3/5as has been mentioned elsewhere and was something I had been looking forward to. Having proudly owned a pair  of LS3/5a s from 1975 to 1998 and having purchased the LS5/9's recently it was interesting to hear the differences which are mainly the  extended bottom end and greater efficiency of the bigger speakers both having a very similar presentation overall in true BBC fashion.

John's system has improved so much  since the first BO 2 years ago, there is nothing left of the original system except his Blue Sound Node, that we didn't listen to, and the addition of the MFA Reference MM phono, albeit temporarily, shows that as it currently stands the system is capable of more but at considerable additional cost to achieve it.

All in all an excellent day the only disappointment being the lack of newcomers to the fold, I look forward to the next event when we will celebrate John's 60th.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer

Robin, I agree with your assessment of yours & Davids speakers, shame we didn't get longer listening to yours once the balance was sorted though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also have watched Lurch's system improve over the last 18 months. When I walked in and was invited to listen to the newly arrived Lector CD player I was genuinely impressed. I didnt know the artist but the sound was first class. Later when the CD versus vinyl was cleverly set up with synchronous switchable presentation I was also very taken with the sound - vinyl edging it with the MFA combo coming in to play. (That was a blind test for me cos I didnt know what was playing.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Super Wammer

That looks like a hell of a day you all had, with some amazing kit all round. Sorry to have missed it (again..)

I would have loved to hear the Lector, Chris's Gallos, Brook's new 401 and that crazy phono stage.

Come to think of it, I haven't had a fish finger in ages.

Hope you are all disgusting as usual.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We missed you too Jamie (again) and disgusting was indeed the word of the day

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.