Author Topic: A Visit with Bryan - Wow  (Read 9447 times)

Offline ozmillsy

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Re: A Visit with Bryan - Wow
« Reply #20 on: April 29, 2012, 08:38:52 PM »
Big news rab.   Be patient, a buyer will come along.   You've got to capture the build process as you go, so we can all share in the joy of your journey.    :D
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: A Visit with Bryan - Wow
« Reply #21 on: April 29, 2012, 09:49:01 PM »
I first heard Bryan's system last year during the Melbourne audio show and was completely blown away by the sound, to the extent that i couldn't sleep that night at all. I lusted after his system, but felt it was just too tweaky and time consuming for someone like me with a demanding job and a young family, and resigned myself to being content with just the memory. ('tis better to have heard and lost ...?)

So just this week I heard the latest incarnation, which is even better than the one I heard last year, apparently by a significant margin. I can safely say this is the best sound reproduction I have ever heard in my life. Yes, i have heard better imaging, and horns might not be the best choice for reproducing the true small scale of single musicians. BUT: on every other level, the sound this system makes is, to my ears, essentially flawless - and this is playing redbook! The dynamics, tonality, timbre, bandwidth, and sheer life of the music are just laid out in front of you in a way that is somehow absolutely astounding in its presence, but in a modest, natural way in the sense that the sound seems to just be 'there', without fanfare or theatrics... the coherence is astounding. Bryan's highly tuned ears may well be able to pick some flaws in the reproduction, but seriously I really have the feeling that the limitations are nearly all in the recordings. The sound is seamless, top-to-bottom. You might expect those arrays of 15" drivers would be too much of a good thing, but they are not: without question the best bass reproduction I have ever heard. And that plasma tweeter is similarly natural. I understand that Bryan has worked long and hard in his audio journey, and the results speak for themselves: Bryan is a true master of the highest order.

The best thing of all? I communicated my disappointment that I would never be able to have a system anything his, or even one with horns, due to my living conditions, but Bryan has convinced me that it is possible. So that very night as i lay awake (again!), unable to turn my mind to anything else, I decided to sell my entire system and go horns and single-ended amplification, with Bryan's help. Sadly, funds are tight, so I can't take the first step without first selling off my Lenehan Audio ML3s, and I expect they will take a while to sell in the current economic climate. I am trying hard to contain my excitement, but it's very hard!!!

- rab
Well Rab, I have been telling you for a while now, without a killerdac it does not happen,  you believe me now don't you.

Offline rab

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Re: A Visit with Bryan - Wow
« Reply #22 on: April 30, 2012, 09:33:17 PM »
Thanks guys. Wish me luck, it's going to be a fun journey (if i can sell my stuff %#^@&^^*^).

- rab

Offline springcreek

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Re: A Visit with Bryan - Wow
« Reply #23 on: May 04, 2012, 09:19:04 AM »
Good luck Rab. Not sure if I want to hear Bryan's system or not. Not sure I can afford it :O)

Offline rab

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More Visits with Bryan - Wow^n
« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2012, 10:54:48 PM »
About 2 weeks ago I visited Bryan again. He was very excited because he had made some substantial improvements since my last visit, including a better DAC chip, better parts in his Tram 2 preamp, and all-new audiophile-grade parts in the crossover. So I went over with great anticipation, but as I listened, I couldn't help feeling that something just wasn't quite right with the sound. There wasn't any one thing I could definitely point to, but somehow the seamlessness wasn't there any more; the bass seemed almost a little overpowering, and there was a slight hardness to the midrange at times. But I felt very unsure about this, and said nothing to Bryan at the time, in particular because he played almost exclusively recordings that were unfamiliar to me and were certainly not 'audiophile'-quality recordings (i.e., he was playing great music)!

I found the visit a bit unsettling, particularly as I had previously decided to follow Bryan down almost the same path, and I couldn't help wondering if the magic in his system might be lost forever. For me, the key is that - for the first time - i realised i was intellectualising the sound while i listened. On previous visits, I would do that only very briefly, in astonishment at the lack of any sonic defects, and then just immerse myself in the music, the performance, the emotion. Bryan's system had always spoken to my heart, and on this visit that just was not happening. My guess was the brand new crossover parts, which had just been put in the day before. Or was it just that I was extremely tired that night?

I am pleased to report that I visited again on Sunday (with rawl99 and a friend of his), and the magic is back big-time! I am struggling to recall now exactly what further changes had been made. One was that he changed the direction of current flow through the crossover inductors, but I think there may have also been some further changes to the preamp, and clearly there had been substantial run-in time. Regardless, the system was sounding even better than I had ever heard it before. It was a happy moment for me. Rawl99's friend is also an audiophile and was amazed. He commented that he had installed an extremely expensive high-end system with Wilson Grand Slamm speakers, but that system could not match the sound quality of Bryan's system..

If that wasn't enough, Stevenvalve and Rawl99 had a theory that the sound might be improved if they removed one of the two Freed oil chokes from the DAC power supply, the idea being that the current flowing through the two chokes was too low, being well under spec for these inductors. So some surgery was done with the soldering iron and we sat back and listened. I was astonished: it was immediately apparent that the sound was better. With the single choke, the speakers now disappeared for the first time, and the depth of imaging improved. Also, as much as I love horn speakers, I generally feel that they are not always the best thing for a small acoustic solo performance because the scale is always so large. With the single choke, we listened to a few solo and small scale performances. Somehow the scale seemed much more natural now, and quite intimate. For me, this is a huge plus, as I love solo performances.

I later heard that the next day rawl99 also replaced some wire and the output connectors in the DAC, and that even further gains were achieved. I confess I find it hard to imagine how the sound could get much better than it was already. Quite astonishing. Where can Bryan possibly go next? This is an end-game system if ever there was one.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2012, 08:23:06 PM by rab »

Offline YoungSC

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Re: A Visit with Bryan - Wow
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2012, 01:37:58 PM »
.....
So who wants a series of build posts on my horns??

Lansche Plasma Guy

Still yes  :)

Offline gamve

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Re: A Visit with Bryan - Wow
« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2012, 04:07:01 PM »
Yes please Bryan

Offline springcreek

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Re: A Visit with Bryan - Wow
« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2012, 08:59:47 AM »
Yep love to see some pics  ;D

Offline maniac phil

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Re: A Visit with Bryan - Wow
« Reply #28 on: September 11, 2012, 04:25:01 PM »
Interesting to see pic of Le Trio Joubrain Trio's As Far cd, I picked up their previous cd last year for $5 just on spec at Readings' warehouse sale. Excellent album, saw them at Womadelaide last March, they're even better live!
Here's another great sounding oud album worth hunting down Rabih Abou-Khalil: Journey to the Centre of an Egg
www.enjarecords.com/cd.php?nr=ENJ-9479

regards Ian