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Lone Star Audio Fest 2010
Lone Star Audio Fest 2010 Show Report
Text By John Semrad And Photo's Copyright Clay Grier


  The Lone Star Audio Fest 2010 was held the weekend of May 14th at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Dallas, Texas. The show this year was bigger and better than ever with no less than twenty-four rooms. Each year the show has grown and improved and certainly ranks as the best value for the buck for exhibitors not to mention that there is no charge for visitors. In the largish Lewisville room, Danny Richie of GR Research and Gary Dodd of Dodd Audio showed off their beautifully crafted and well presented system. 

Music was sourced from an Apple computer feeding a dB Audio Labs Tranquility USB DAC into Gary's popular one-tube battery-powered line stage which can accommodate any 12A series nine-pin tube. This line stage is available with a variety of wood species for the faceplate and it is sold as a kit as well. The Dodd amplifier is hybrid class-A with a rated output of 400wpc using early Hitachi mosfet output transistors driven by 5687 twin triodes. Also in use was a small battery powered class-D amp. All electronics that weren't battery-powered were plugged into the Dodd all-passive Balanced Power System.

The speakers are Danny's Super V open baffle design which use modified P Audio 12" co-axial drivers with a pair of powered servo subs on the bottom. Danny Richie is a local speaker designer with a good number of successful designs under his belt. On static display was a beautiful version of the Dodd line stage featuring a Macassar ebony faceplate and remote control.

Continuing on into room 201 found more equipment from Dodd Audio, GR Research and dB Audio Labs. In this set-up, the source was the same as in the Lewisville Room, sharing also the Dodd line stage and the dB DAC, as well as the Dodd power conditioner. The power conditioner features power factor correction, EMI and RF filtering, no current limiting and no components in series with the line. Different, though, were the GR research V2 open baffle speakers with 8" co-ax drivers and skewed 12" powered woofers in the lower half. All speakers feature Danny's proprietary passive crossover designs.

Also different was the interesting battery powered push-pull EL-84 power amp using E88CC/6922 tubes in the front end, designed by Gary. All of the Dodd Electronics equipment have very nicely done quilted maple faceplates.

The dB Tranquility USB DAC is a well built comprehensive design and employs a proprietary chip.

Moving on into the next room found us with Virtue Audio and Carnegie Acoustics.

The front end was the Virtue Piano M1 CD player which uses the TDA1543 DAC. That fed into a Virtue Sensation M901 T-class integrated amplifier. Also shown was the cute little One.2 T-class integrated. Both of these well-built amps can be run from a battery power supply. The third amplifier in the photo is Virtue's ICEBlock M5001 500wpc (4 Ohms). It uses a 12AX7 tube buffer designed by Gary Dodd.

The Carnegie Acoustics speakers are a two-way transmission line designed by none other than Danny Richie. They use proprietary custom woofers with a B&G ribbon up top.

In the next room, Jim Goulding of Touchstone Tweeter Surrounds displayed his 100% natural wool felt tweeter surrounds which eventually found their way onto the speakers built by the Junior Audiophiles from Abilene.

Another young designer named Jason Cobb displayed his innovative extra long excursion subwoofer drivers. His company is called F.s.3 Subwoofer Technology and the design allows large excursion along with increased reliability.

Jason also showed a prototype of his design for an infinitely variable bass reflex box that can be adjusted to match any listening room.


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