18 Apr 2003

Dan's and Crew's Report for a Weekend trip to Los Angeles, Dan Reporting.

I've been interested in buying a "45" Single Ended Triode tube amplifier. With an average power of 2 watts per channel, I need to evaluate high efficiency speakers. I found the Pi speaker forum on the Audio Asylum and asked the owner, Wayne Parham which speakers might be best suited to a very low power amp. He suggested I listen to the 4 Pi Theater Series, rated at 101 dB @1watt/meter. I posted two messages on the Pi forum to see if anyone in the Phoenix/Southwest area would be interested in letting me visit and spend some time listening. Rich Drysdale in Anaheim California answered and invited me to his house. I accepted and scheduled a round trip from Phoenix to LAX. I arrived at 10 AM and drove away from the rental car agency in a 2003 Mustang. I had no problems taking the 105 east to the 605 north and finally the 5 south to Anaheim. I expected to see signs everywhere advertising Disneyland and ended up driving to sunny, scenic, San Clemente. It's a beautiful city. Unfortunately it's a "few" miles south of Anaheim. So, with my cell phone and Rich's help, I got to his house around noon where his family made me feel completely at home.

I brought a selection of CDs including Dead can Dance, Mark Isham, Oystein Sevag and others. Rich built a pair of beautiful looking "Billie" 300B MonoBlock amps sold by diyhifisupply.com and a Bottlehead Foreplay pre-amplifier. My first impression of the 4Pi's reminded me of a large pair of Klipsch Heresys. The speakers are much larger than I'd expected. At the time, they were still unfinished MDF. They've since been veneered and look super clean as seen below. We played some Rammstein and they get LOUD with excellent high and low frequency output. They may be the ultimate speakers for rock music. Rich also built a set of speakers with Radio Shack 40-1197 drivers mounted in PVC pipe, a pair with Jordan JX92s drivers and what I called the "shipping crates" with Fostex FE103 drivers mounted in 8 foot tall cabinets. The Billies sound Very nice with all the speakers.


We listened to music for about 2 hours with the 4Pi's and Jordans, then drove to Ford Electronics in Buena Park owned by Rich's friend Scott. He took us on a tour of the warehouse. They stock tubes, cable, and almost anything else you could use for DIY projects. We stayed and talked for several hours. I bought 4 RCA 6BG6G tubes and Rich found several Amperex 6DJ8's. We went back to the house and played with the speakers until almost 10 pm. I finally got tired and went to my room at the Red Roof Inn near Disneyland.

Saturday morning, after breakfast with Rich and his wife Stephanie, we went to visit Bruce Edgar at his shop in Gardena. I e-mailed him 2 weeks before and he invited us over to visit. He'd just returned from the MAF in Lima Ohio and was assembling a pair of his "Titans" when we arrived. The assembly/listening room is approximately 25 feet square. Bruce used Cyrus Brenneman's "Cavalier" SET amp to power the speakers. Unfortunately I didn't get a complete inventory of the other components used. As expected the Titans sound excellent. Ultra detailed and a deep soundstage. At home, I have a 12' by 10' rectangular room for my system. The Titans need a larger room to work well. We rolled in a pair of SlimLines (100 dB @1watt/meter) and readjusted everything to simulate a smaller area. After 25 minutes, I ordered a pair. It just had to be done... We spent over 4 hours talking to Bruce about music, speaker design and more. I also invited him to visit with the Cactus Tube group here in Phoenix. He accepted, so we'll see when he can schedule some free time to visit us.


..... Home again .....

We intended to drive over to C&H Sales in Pasadena to see their inventory of oil caps, etc. but ran out of time. I drove back to LAX at 6 PM left at 8:30 and arrived back in Phoenix 55 minutes later where Mi Amore Kelly met me. Many thanks to Rich and his family for letting me invade their house and hang out in L.A.

Note from VoltSecond: We had two short notice trips to L.A. in April. I couldn't make either. Dan was nice enough to put a report together on his trip.