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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Basspig's 2nd Annual Meet

I attended Mark "Basspig" Weiss's 2nd Annual B.A.S.S. meetup this year and had a great time, despite being a little under the weather with a headache and being late to arrive. He wrote a great summary of events so I won't type a redundant article, but I'll leave you with a reprint and some brief comments. I will add that there were also some interesting discussions on vinyl. Mark played back some digitally recorded demos of a how a laser turntable sounds vs. a standard electromechanical turntable. This later spurred some research on laser turntables and "high fidelity" records. Vinyl is a whole other world to learn about. While interesting, Its not something I'm going to get into. I do know one thing. I love the overhead Mark's system has and always enjoy hearing it. I have not heard any other system that has this powerful finesse. It reminds me of practitioners of Chen style Tai Chi who's art is calm and flowing but also deadly fast when needed. If there is one thing I'm reminded of that I need to do to my own system, it is to increase the displacement capability by several orders of magnitude. What a difference this makes, even at low volume levels. Stay tuned!

Mark's summary is as follows..

As with last year, our B.A.S.S. Meet was a great success!

Thank you to all who attended and brought so many great food items as well!

The main audio/video demo featured my Blu-ray productions of the Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra with Alex Beyer, performing Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No 3 in D minor, then the GBS performing Rachmaninoff's Symphony No 2 in E minor, (selected movements), then Allison Eldredge with the Boston Classical Orchestra, performing Saint-saens Concerto for Violoncello in A minor, then the Zambelli Ultimate Fireworks Blu-ray that I had the pleasure to capture from the launch pad, then I played a track from a Japanese soundtrack "The Weathering Continent" as a 2-channel Sonic Holography demo. Next up was a demonstration of the dbx 500 Subharmonic Synthesizer. For this demo, I used appropriate material lacking in fundamental bass (Average White Band "Pick Up the Pieces") and then gave an example of the absurd Bass Pig effect when you use it with Reggae music that DOES have some bass.

We took a break at the buffet and then returned to the Lab portion of the day where I demonstrated Bell Labs' new tri-tone test for Transient Intermodulation Distortion. We tested a Sansui AU-9500 against a Lepai 2020 amplifier. The results were colorful and interesting. The test setup consisted of three Tektronix SG5010 precision audio oscillators, outputting 10.05KHz, 9KHz and 20KHz, respectively, summed into a resistor network which fed each of the audio amps under test. I also performed traditional THD and SMPTE/DIN IMD testing. The Sansui easily tromped the Lepai on traditional tests, with ultra-low .028% THD, but the tables were turned when the tri-tone tests were performed, with the Lepai being an order of magnitude lower in TIM distortion than the Sansui.

And finally, I fired up the HP 8568B spectrum analyzer, connected to an outdoor antenna, and displayed the spectral mask of several FM stations, some with and without IBOC (In Band On Channel) or HD Radio digital transmission, discussing the effects on DX listening with the presence of the wider digital sidebands.

Our last guest showed a BD of Baraka on our big screen, which provided a colorful and sometimes disturbing look at life around the world, focused mainly around Asia.All in all, a positive experience, many questions and positive comments.