Fest 2015 Diary

9th Annual CarverFest Sep 9-23
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Robert R
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Fest 2015 Diary

Post by Robert R » Thu Sep 10, 2015 9:21 am

Very busy times. Assembled all the stuff to take to the Fest on Sunday. Crammed it all into the truck on Monday, everything that would fit. Drove 640 miles on Tuesday then put a just-repaired small engine into a 50+ year-old mower and cut weeds, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Up first thing again Tuesday and drove the last 290 miles to the Fest in 4:20 - the little truck is running great. Unloaded from 12:25 until 2:45 - just made it before the rain began. Just about finished arranging everything and hooking up the Mk IV Silvers, and SteveK arrived , around 5:45. We went for groceries while the just-rewoofered Silvers loop-played an organ track with lots of bass - break in time...

On the way back spotted Harry and Mark, still unloading. Went in and Mark endowed us immediately with the Carverfest CD, something that he produces every year. Harry only seems to have brought about 10 Carver subwoofers. When we left to go eat the groceries it very kindly rained like hell on us.

Back at Two we listened to a few things, and the Mk IVs sound very good, just running on my HR-772 so far. The big Hsu sub-woofer will need placement tweaking, but my back said (quite unmistakably) that it's bedtime.

Wed. AM - took a ride around to see who's here. Some are, but none awake yet. No car in sight at Cabin Five, though Al and Melody have arrived, I'm told. Maybe went shopping. There is a car at Six, but I don't think any festers are booked there this year. At Seven Eddie was sitting on his sofa, but I didn't knock - he was snoozing, looking like maybe he spent the night just like that. And of course Bob and Peggy are on Pacific time, besides having spent the last day at the tender mercies of the airlines. So I tiptoed away. Couldn't tell if anybody at Cabin 8, though Ed should be here, someplace. Nine is waiting for Martin - not here yet. 10 is Mark and Harry, and I know Harry is a full day behind on the sleeping, so I went on. Cars at 11, but, shamefully, those are not Carverfest people. At Cabin 12, Ray and Dave are here, but I know they both arrived quite late, and they'll be snoozing for a while yet. And the James gang is not here yet.

I'm still pretty groggy myself, but suddenly I remember there is now a cabin 3, and that's maybe where the Frenchman Connection is. So I'll take a little trip there now, to see how George and Janice are doing. Later today we'll hook up Steve's M-500t Mk II and see if we can melt anything.

RobertR
"You know what folks? I'm happy."

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Robert R
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Re: Fest 2015 Diary

Post by Robert R » Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:53 am

Written from memory, Friday AM:

Nobody at Cabin 3, so I went on up to 7. Eddie awake this time, and talking on the phone to Doug, who is getting better, though still in some pain from a rib injury or some such problem. After that call, Eddie and I did a bit of catching up, and then Peggy appears, to haul some coffee to Bob. A cup or two later Bob finally emerges, and we all talk about this and that while Eddie gradually hooks up his system - smaller Ohm speakers this year, with the Black Beauty amps, Sunfire and a lot of other top rate stuff, including a bewildering bunch of Douglas cables. Never did hear it - the setup is a long, complex process.

I head down the hill, though I'm still bypassing Cabin 12, where Ray and Dave's respective vehicles sit, but no sign that they have recovered from their long drives. And I note that James is not here yet.
Dave's 'respective vehicle' deserves a lot of respect - besides belonging to a highly respected driver, it contains over $6000 worth of drivers.

Still have not seen Al/Melody or George/Janice. But when I get back to my cabin, they've been there, and Harry, too - five components are there waiting for me, with little notes describing symptoms.
I get into a couple of these, and about this time along comes Ed (sea) with three more! Really missing Greg, Jenny, and the distortion analyzer that comes with them, in no particular order.
Sea didn't stay long, and I got back into diagnosis mode.

Some time during the early afternoon got a call from James, who still hasn't left home but is about to. Holdup due to his falling out with the powder-coating guys. They bottom line sounds like if they are going to do the kind of high-quality job James is looking for, there will be too much delay in getting to it - they are quite busy, it seems, and we are just little customers, not big ones. So James got on the phone and found a place up here, in Asheville, who say they will do right away, and right - on Friday. He's planning to drop all 600 pieces of aluminum off there, come on to the cabins, and later go back over for the finished metal. So we can expect a delay in the issuing of the kits, but hopefully not more than another day or two. On the positive side, James estimates that builders can put their kits together in one afternoon. I'm never as optimistic as he, but it's certainly not a big job.

Still playing with stuff - an SD/A-390 of Al's, when Steve finally gets back from the train ride. So now I get into his little Fest amp, which when we hook it up is oscillating badly, though on a scope it seemed to look OK. Turns out this one was originally wired for mono use, and when converted back to two channels the ground wire to one input got omitted. So one channel's input only got grounded back through the preamp or whatever was driving the thing. That, and/or the intimate nearness of the input wire to the speaker output wire, was somehow making it unstable. This sort of problem has been observed before in these - tube circuits are a lot fussier about wire location and shielding; with SS you can get away with stuff that just won't do with tubes.

After getting the Fest amp at least playable (further analysis will require Greg's test equipment), we hooked up Steve's M-500t and ran the crap out of it into the Mk IV Silvers, and it did very well. I suppose it, like all of these, is a candidate for eventual recapping and maybe modding, but there seems to be no hurry - it's kicking out a lot of clean power. To me, why anybody would mess with little underpowered tube amps when something like this amp is available is a question I can't begin to answer.

After a little supper, drove up the hill again, and this time I spotted George, and he and Janice and I ended up at Cabin Five, with Al, Melody, and two very playful blondes, of the retriever persuasion. More catching up - music can wait for another time.

Back home and Steve is reading, but I soon put an end to that - more loud M-500t listening. Then we both crashed.
"You know what folks? I'm happy."

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Re: Fest 2015 Diary

Post by TNRabbit » Fri Sep 11, 2015 2:26 pm

Thank you for the play-by-play, Robert!
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From FrankieD's lips to your ears: Sunfire - a quiet box of endless power.

Sunfire TG-IV/400~7 Amp
Carver SD/A-360 CDP
Benchmark DAC-1
Sony SACD/DVD-A
Active bi-amp: Ashly XR-1001 & 2 Rane PEQ-15s
Main: HotRodded AL-IIIs
Sub: Klipsch RT-12d
Center: Sunfire CRS-3c
Surround: Sunfire CRS-3 (x 2)

OconeeOrange wrote:"Gary likes to play it 'loud' as do I. His system begs you turn it up until you die"

RIP WIlliam B. Dibble, 1948-2012. I'll miss you my friend.

trav0810
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Re: Fest 2015 Diary

Post by trav0810 » Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:14 pm

Thanks Robert! Can't wait to get there. This is going to be a LONG week until I can head down!

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Martin1970
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Re: Fest 2015 Diary

Post by Martin1970 » Fri Sep 11, 2015 6:15 pm

These are great reading for those of us on the outside waiting to get there.

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Don
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Re: Fest 2015 Diary

Post by Don » Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:20 pm

Thanks for keeping us up to date.
To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.
— Thomas Paine


"Try not to become a man of success, but rather a man of value" Albert Einstein

"Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them". Charlie Reese

"The problems we face today exist because the people who work for a living are outnumbered by those who vote for a living." Brad Shurett


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RIP BILL D. RIP WRABBIT

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Robert R
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Re: Fest 2015 Diary

Post by Robert R » Fri Sep 11, 2015 8:26 pm

Friday, Sept. 11 -

AM - Went with Steve to the little Farmer's Market in Bryson and bought a few things. Then we visited Eddie and Peggy and Bob on the way back. Watched Bob running Eddie's computer - that's always fun - makes me feel like I'm almost competent by comparison.

Spent the PM at the cabin, where I struggled with sea's CT-6 that has a bit of DC but very little of anything else in its output. Steve surfed, read, and relaxed, and at some point Ray (Magnaryder)
dropped by and invited us to supper, so at 6 we're off to Cabin 12. When Ray cooks only a damn fool stays away; none of the seventeen people here at this point did.
News on the James Gang is that they are on the way, but won't make it until the middle of the night. They will find the leftovers, including carrot cake that is mortally sinful.

I'm about worn out, so to bed and headphone listening by 9:00.

Latest flash on the Garskas is they are in rain, going through Cincinnati.
Looking forward to them and the rest of the folks getting here.

RR
"You know what folks? I'm happy."

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Re: Fest 2015 Diary

Post by Robert R » Sun Sep 13, 2015 9:19 am

Woke up way before daylight Saturday, fiddled on the computer, and then it seems I drifted back to dreamland. Came out of it as I gazed upward and saw Greg on the balcony, carrying stuff in - they got here around 8AM, I guess, driving though constant rain, all the way.

Finally got up and out, and by then SteveK had gone to some local attraction, and Greg and Jenny had gone for breakfast and groceries. So I took a walk, all the way around the cabins, up and down the hills, looking for anybody who was awake. Found that the James Gang had arrived overnight, but didn't approach that cabin - probably they are all asleep. Finally made it back without a word with anybody, but after a bit the Garskas returned with tons of foodstuff, and the day got underway. Greg went right to setting up his bench, and plunged into a very traumatized C-11. I went up and visited at Cabin 12, where most were awake, and messing with the speaker kits, though they'd gotten in at 5AM.
Later on back to Cabin 2, where Greg is still working, and Steve is still out seeing the sights.

At some point Alex Sauter came by, flying his drone. Then Eddie and Bob showed up, and everybody chatted, nibbled this and that, but no music was played at all. After they left Greg got going on the repairs again; we checked out Al's latest - a very early M-4.0t, export model, which clips at over 400 wpc. A little bit of upgrading, and it was ready for return.

At some point Steve was back and I hooked up Greg's TFM-75 to the Silver MK IVs, with the Hsu 15" sub, and we tried to destroy the fuses. Greg found that the clipping warning on the 75 really does work; all in all I'd say there is absolutely nothing wrong with that amp. Somehow our ears and the fuses survived.

Greg was so tired he didn't want to go to bed - still messing with a CT-6, which now runs with one sick switching IC removed. Finally, we all crashed.
"You know what folks? I'm happy."

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Re: Fest 2015 Diary

Post by Robert R » Tue Sep 15, 2015 12:21 am

Last two days mostly spent repairing stuff, though my working efficiency is lousy, due to a variety of factors, including poor schematics, poor lighting, lack of parts, and several recurring attacks of stupid...

Wonderful and bounteous shrimp supper at Cabin 8 Sunday evening, thanks to Randi and Ed (sea). Afterwards, with the temperature dropping, yours truly went home and crawled into bed - by morning it was 42 outside. First time ever for most of us to test out our cabin heating systems. The sunshine was about 100% all day, so the chill didn't last.
First thing Monday went and met the Old Texas Dog, who had arrived around dark on Sunday night.

Eddie and Bob came by Monday afternoon and we all chatted on diverse subjects, mostly not audio-related, though Bob expressed an interest in revisiting the Amazings to tweak them into even further perfection. Pretty unbelievable guy.

Hear BrianT has made it - will look him up tomorrow. And today, Monday, was the day for James to try and get the speakers powder-coated, so will also check into the outcome of that tomorrow.

RR
"You know what folks? I'm happy."

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Re: Fest 2015 Diary

Post by Robert R » Wed Sep 16, 2015 6:39 am

Tuesday - More repair work here, and visits to cabins 10 and 12. Met BrianT at 10 (though he's staying in Five) - he''s been getting around quite a bit lately - all over North America it seems, wearing out a few planes.

Mid-afternoon-into-evening session with Bob and Eddie, and OTD and Susan, and SteveK, and Greg and Jenny, a summation of which is offered elsewhere. Then well after dark Bob, Eddie, Greg and I went up to Cabin 12 and watched as some of the half-ton of freshly powder-coated aluminum parts for the new speakers got unloaded and packed for shipment, with Alex doing all the work as we all yacked, as is frequently the case. As it got cooler, we all wimped out and faded away, leaving the Sauters to stay up working heaven knows how late.

Rumor has it that that dwatted Wabbit has awived, though where he's digging in is not being made public, it seems.

More big arrivals looked for today - the whole Treehouse gang is about due - Don, Wayne, Eric. And looking for Martin to get into Cabin Nine, with a do-do load of goodies.

RR
"You know what folks? I'm happy."

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Re: Fest 2015 Diary

Post by TNRabbit » Wed Sep 16, 2015 9:00 am

FYI--the Rabbit is in cabin 8~
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From FrankieD's lips to your ears: Sunfire - a quiet box of endless power.

Sunfire TG-IV/400~7 Amp
Carver SD/A-360 CDP
Benchmark DAC-1
Sony SACD/DVD-A
Active bi-amp: Ashly XR-1001 & 2 Rane PEQ-15s
Main: HotRodded AL-IIIs
Sub: Klipsch RT-12d
Center: Sunfire CRS-3c
Surround: Sunfire CRS-3 (x 2)

OconeeOrange wrote:"Gary likes to play it 'loud' as do I. His system begs you turn it up until you die"

RIP WIlliam B. Dibble, 1948-2012. I'll miss you my friend.

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Re: Fest 2015 Diary

Post by Shortcake » Wed Sep 23, 2015 7:59 am

Rumor has it that Cabin 10 has been the only cabin to make Robert R blush and he left without having a piece of ass...

Waiting for a diary recap RobertR

Hugs and safe travels home.
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ― Plato

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Robert R
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Re: Fest 2015 Diary

Post by Robert R » Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:56 am

Cabin 10 could make a corpse blush, but I was more embarrassed about not being able to finish Harry's amp. Happens every year - there just isn't enough time.

As for the Diary, when the shorter-term attendees arrived, there was the same problem - not enough time, to catch up with everybody, to continue on the repairs, to put together the first kit that James released and finish the written instructions, and to try and figure out what, where, and how regarding several parts in the kits that I never heard anything about. The written instructions are fairly decent now, for the builders who are just starting on theirs, but at first there was no way they were correct or complete.

Some people prefer pictorial instructions, or video. But many prefer written, and that was what I tried to provide. Another week and they would have been ready and near-perfect, but we all did the best we could.
"You know what folks? I'm happy."

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Re: Fest 2015 Diary

Post by oldtexasdog » Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:51 pm

Robert--I have not figured out weather you are the grease or the glue at Carver Fest? Maybe some of both! You greet-Welcome-implement-and instigate (in the best way) you know everything that's happening and put folks on the right track to have a good time. It would not have been as great for Susan and I not having had the pleasure meeting you!!
But all that stuff takes a lot of effort and time. Hope you had as good a time as Susan and I did!
Thanks
OTD
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