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POSITIVE FEEDBACK ONLINE - ISSUE 25
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2006 Audio Karma AKFest - Page 3
by John Acton

Paul Kegger's room contained a myriad of new and (mostly) vintage gear, including DCM Time Window speakers and Antique Sound Labs amps on static display. In active use were the ADS L880 speakers, complemented by a Denon DP-62L turntable, EAR 834P phono preamp, modded Dynakit Stereo 70 amp (employing new production 350B tubes), Carver C-9 Sonic Holography Generator and B&K PT3 Series II tuner/preamp. Listening to Kegger's system, I enjoyed myself immensely listening to the Rolling Stones on vinyl, and I had to tear myself away to move on to the next room.

Next, it was onward to Squid Ward's room, where I was greeted by a myriad of vintage and DIY gear, including some very impressive tube amps and preamps designed and built by Douglas Piccard. Pioneer HPM-60 speakers were driven by a 12B4-based preamp and a HY1269-based amp, good for 15-wpc. Per Piccard, the amp utilized a never-before-realized E-linear circuit. Other components included a Heathkit oscilloscope and a Monster Power Conditioner to buttress the sagging hotel AC voltage. In listening to the system, I was struck by the great stage depth and very lifelike vocal presence. On static display was an EL84-based amp utilizing a Dynaco ST-35 circuit.

Moving on, I encountered Punker's room, containing Walsh Model i speakers, Delphi turntable, Blue Circle BC 3 (Mk. I) preamp and Blue Circle BC 26 (Mk. I) amp. While I didn't get to listen long, I thought the system sounded very musical, and I have to commend Punker on his taste in music, as he was playing Yes' "Yours Is No Disgrace."

Next up was NOS Valves. Klipsch LaScala speakers were doing the singing in this room, augmented by add-on midranges and tweeters. Driving the LaScalas was a Juicy Music Blueberry preamp and KT-88-based VRD monoblock amps. Source components consisted of Sota and Music Hall turntables, and a Sony CD changer. NOS Valves' room was another with excellent taste, playing Jethro Tull's This Was, and I was impressed with the systems ability to sound forceful yet refined—relaxed dynamism was this system's strength.

Entering the Salk Signature Sound room, I was immediately drawn to the beautiful Salk loudspeakers, the Veracity HT1 stand mount monitor ($1895 - $2795, depending on finish), and the Veracity HT3 floorstanding speaker ($3895 - $5500, depending on finish with passive crossover; $10,000 with active crossover). Employing top-notch drivers and components, Salk is able to price their products so aggressively by selling direct to consumers. I listened to the larger HT3 speakers driven by a DEQ active crossover and room correction processor and a six-channel ATF amp in a tri-amp configuration. That's right; each individual speaker driver had its own amp. Listening, I heard great air and transparency, with a natural presence and bloom to the midrange. I was very impressed.

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