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VSAC 2008

Vacuum State of the Art Conference & Show

May 24,25,26, 2008

Just a few visual impressions in the form of available light photos.

.....and some notes on the few sonic impressions that I experienced.

CR_08_2.jpg (132451 bytes) The Craftsman Room.  Very few projects were exhibited.  What really caught my eye was the impressive glass cabinet display of this vacuum tube collection.

Room 331 Exhibitors:

Experience Music
We Listen
Goto Unit

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They're big.  They're horns. The 'amp stand' in the middle powers this speaker setup.  

According to some reports from other attendees, this system had provided a very lively listening session (moving, visceral, exciting) while the tape guru, Charlie King, was there and playing some tapes through it.

While I was there, the sound this rig made was sweet, natural and....... played at low volumes.  There was some digital Beethoven playing. ( I like Ludwig Van, but prefer his music played back via analog or live.)  I would have very much liked to hear this rig at concert loudness levels....and in a room more suitable for this much speaker!  

Audio Note UK Ltd.  and audio Note Kits

AN_08_2.jpg (120521 bytes) click on the thumbnail to view the full sized image.

A nice big room for a rather average looking system.  But this collection of gear really did fill the room with life-like music.

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.....meanwhile, he was loading another reel of tape in the StellaVox.  It's a small 'Nagra-like' reel to reel machine. Someone mentioned that it could play 1 7/8 to 15 ips.  The music I heard was big-band circa 1960 or so. Nobody said who it was that was playing.  I didn't ask.  I hung around for three numbers. Easily, this was the best sounding exhibit that I heard during my visits to the various exhibitor rooms.  There was astoundingly good prat. This system has the 'timing thing' very close to being right.  Foot-tappin, finger-snappin', and at times jaw-dropping, good music.   The speakers and the vacuum tube electronics were Audio Note UK.  They have my attention.

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HeadFi.  Tapes, CD's and 'phones.

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Bottle Head and The Tape Project

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Now here was an interesting room.

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Multi-amps driving many individual speakers that were stacked one on another.  Music played was some cool jazz, via the custom red Technics RS1500.  Volume levels were set too low for me to get any kind of impression of the sound.  

Teres Audio and Merigo Audio shared room #343

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Here's a Teres 265 with the Verus option.  It was spinning a Glen Miller Lp.  There was some good rhythmic 'snap' to the sound coming off this system.  Maybe Chris Brady, the principal at Teres, is on to something with this 'direct coupled' wheel driven turntable of his.  But after coming from the Audio Note room, everything else sounded.......... much less.

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The Vancouver Hilton during VSAC 2008.  Memorial Day weekend, Sunday.  See the red traffic lights to the left?  They weren't necessary.  What little traffic did drive by could have made its way around without them.  Exhibitor participation wasn't nearly as massive as was the 2003 VSAC.  I don't know what conclusions I can draw from what I saw and heard, except that I saw more reel to reel tape decks than I did turntables!  Is this a trend, or is this just a small random sample?  No matter.  The tape sounded very, very good.