Triode Festival 2000 -- Arhus, Denmark


Thanks so many times to all you good human beings , for making it such a success...

All people were so posetive, nice and helpful.

I have never, ever, been at a audio show, with such a vibrating and warmth spirit , hanging over the place... Everybody was helping one another, and amplifiers, turntables and speakers, just flew in and out of the rooms...

Boy , what a weekend.. :-)

On the behalf of my family - the staff, and myself, I will like to thank you all for being such good people, and bringing all that good spirit to Denmark.

-- Same time , same place next year... Thats a promise :-)


Our Host Kurt Steffensen (foreground)

photo: Rick Francis

<clik on the little picture to get a bigger one>


Manfred Huber and Kurt Steffensen at the Eriksminde Efterskole

photo: Rick Francis

I returned from Arhus last evening and I guess it will take me quite some time to recharge my batteries. Boy was that an experience!

Getting up at about 8.30 am every morning. Having a really great time during the day with meeting people, talking, attending lectures/workshops, having great meals, more talking, tweaking gear, searching for more Beer and clip leads. The fun continues into the night, at 2am you are tired and you know you have to go to bed. But you are in a fever, you simply can not stop it. It has to continue. At about 3am to 5am you are exhausted and fall into your bed. Looking out of the window you can see the twilight of the upcoming day. Only a few hours and the fun will continue...

Beer and Aligator clips are a great diet!

I want to thank Kurt and his family once again for the terrific job they did. I hope we will all meet again next year!


What this meeting was all about... DIY !!!! -- Bjorn on soldering iron -- Kurt's Micro Seiki on the table

photo: Jim de Kort

Set up an experimental system just to see if things worked. It was clear that we needed more gain, so I opened up my preamp again and changed it to choke loading... left to right... Mattijs de Vries, Guido Tent, Remco Stoutjesdijk, Bjorn Aaholm

photo: Jim de Kort

Our setup on day two... with Guido's AudioNote speakers, Guidos modified Philips drive and his DAC, Hartmut's Scheu turntable with Rega/Ortofon MC10 (Kurt's Micro had some problems) a Thorhauge MC stepup, Mattijs RIAA, Remco's microprocessor controlled preamp as linestage, Jim's AV5 amps (KC3 driver).

photo: Jim de Kort

Timo Christ:

I and Manfred had the first system running. We used Surt and his EC8020 alternatingly with his tubed Cara CD Player on Tannoy 15'' Super Gold speakers. sounded just fine. Surt had better bass and less treble (imp.) which i liked better. Evening meal with Manfred, Jeremy and their families. Long night talking with the joes.

Jeremy's 2A3 "free lunch" with the tannoys. FI super X 2A3 amp on Tannoys, fine. Treble not as sharp as w EC8020.

Thomas Meyer's RIAA, Tannoys with invisible speaker cable.

Hartmut's demonstration : Scheu TT Acrylic platter. Comprehensive explanation of the Scheu and comparison to other TTs.
Manfred: async motor can not oscillate. Demo of Scheu + Thomas RIAA, EC8020, Tannoys: excellent. Definitely different sounding compared to CD on the same system. It really sounds more analog, keeping in mind that the real world IS analog. Really enjoyed this session with music by Thomas M. -- very natural and fun. After some more listening I think this is the best sound of the show so far.

One of Jim de Kort's AV5 mono-blocks next to Hartmut Quaschik's excellent Schue turntable

photo: Jim de Kort

Lecture by Hartmut about Kaneda Pre. Demo w same speaker, amp, TT. After Hartmut explained that this was about transistors all but three people left the room :-(( !

Oris 150, Bass: 8 x 17cm per channel*, Guido's modified TEAC CD Player, sounds nice. lacking in the bass. Fantastic mid/treble integration and dynamics in this range. Not harsh, no edge. Same system as on the Tannoys: Oris more lifelike and dynamic but worse bass.

SE OPTs by Michal Ulbrich, with Jeremy's 2A3. Most gorgeous looking OPTs I have ever seen!

Silver foil cables noticeably better than Allen's simpler design (center conductor, ptfe tube, braid).

Kurts DECCA: excellent on his Tannoys!

Cable Workshop with Allen, worked with Guido. Interesting insights to cable development and production.

Ortofon Tech surprisingly recommends Tripath amps.

Magnificator horn system: very nice bass/mid integration, though not very low bass. Problem : 3-way drivers too far apart.

Lecture by Thomas Dunker and Kurt, use current amps with high output Z. No distorted back EMF feedback.

Fantastic slide show, very nice photographs, skillful arrangement and nice rock music selection.

Rick's 417 0.5w parafeed on Guido's Audionote speakers 89dB. No worries.

Listening session with my hybrid. Allen : neat! No bad comments, cool light effects

Sadly the TDA2050 didn' work, distortion appeared when right volume was turned up.

I noticed some people have very narrow ideas of systems, they are very selective. I like the spontaeous approach much more like "no problem lets hook it up and see if it goes up in smoke". This is fun, the other
way it is dreadful work. It is no matter if a tried system does not work, it actually happened to me, but at least we gave it a shot and were relaxed about it, not tense as some other guys.

Guido Tent's PS filtering seminar: second cap big, smaller choke, higher dcr => damping.

PSU workshop

My hybrid Surt used for the bass on the Tannoy+Altec system. Nice bass. The hybrid does surprisingly well covering below 1khz considering it is only a 5 watt amp. There were no complaints about it and Mattjies and Jim seemed to like it. They asked me to put it in the system.

Remco and I tried to set up the AKSA with my PSU but it didn't work, most likely because we had only half the recommended supply voltage.

These are just my notes straight out of my palmtop computer (I hope I didn't annoy anyone by scrabbling on it all the time).
Maybe you can make sense of it - maybe not.

Hartmut Quaschik:

Hartmut Q. on turntables (holding a Scheu platter)

photo: Rick Francis

Friday evening:
When we heard in Auditorium 1 with Kurt's Tannoys 15 inch, Thomas Mayer's vinyl savor (described later), Jeremy's 2A3 with Michael Ulbrich's XFRs, my Scheu, and it was extremely good.
Saturday afternoon:
Per Winfield from Ortofon presented their Jubilee cartridge. We had a listening in Bernhard's player (described later). Well, I didn't like the sound too much, it was too hifi, too less music and involvement. I liked his player with the Rohmann cartridge better, which gave a more beefy, substantial sound.

The Munich Joe mafia (including non-Joe Dietmar Hampel, who has a three way full horn system with digital crossover) was interested in matching things for the most interesting sound of the show. We thought that Bert Doppenberg's Lowther in Oris in Auditorium 6 was the most promising. The Oris was helped by active woofers (8 pcs. 7 inch* polyprop drivers as a line source each channel). As my turntable was busy in Auditorium 1 with the Tannoys, Bernhard Kistner's DIY turntable (he made it 10 years ago when he was a student in construction engineering - Bernhard, forgive me if details are slightly off) with SME V and Ortofon Rohmann has been there as primary source - we all are into vinyl, aren't we ;-) We had some very good preamps like Allen Wright's double super-reg'ed Real Time Preamp and Thomas Mayer's phono stage "vinyl savor" comprising EC8020 tubes and passive LCR RIAA. Power amps have been Allen's symmetrical EL34 power amp, Manfred Huber's EC8020 tiny power amp, Jeremy Epstein's 2A3 power (which have been connected to the astonishingly big output XFRs of Michael Ulbrich from Berlin). We finally settled to the vinyl saver as preamp and Manfred's tiny amp for treble and Jeremy's 2A3 for the bass. In fact, I never heard a 2A3 power amp of that quality. So, the above was the top combo for the Munich triode mafia. Pitifully, I had only a short listening on that system, because in the evening I was discussing in a group in the cafe area of the school.

Same Auditorium, Saturday midnight to Sunday morning 0500:
When Christian Rintelen brought his Ortofon SPU modified by Andreoli,
we put it into the Kurt's Fidelity FR66S on a separated mount and adjusted it to play on Bernhard's player. I liked this system best, because I am after a more comfortable, substantial presentation than after the most detailed and correct. The others said to me that the combo with SME V/Ortofon Rohmann has been better
in their opinion. OK, tastes are different.

Some said the best sound of the show was either Kurt's Tannoy plus Jeremy's 2A3 plus Thomas Mayer's vinyl savor
plus my Scheu/full monty Rega/Ortofon MC10 running in Auditorium 1 or Bert's Lowther/Oris/Subwoofer plus Manfred's tiny amp plus Jeremy's 2A3 plus Thomas Mayer's vinyl savor plus Bernhard's DIY turntable/SME V/Rohmann.


  1. My Scheu turntable was equipped with a full blown RB250, having Eclectic Audio cabling, VTA adapter, counter weight and a steel rear stub from the RB300. Cartridge was an Ortofon MC10 - from about 1980, which I got NOS this year.

Manfred Huber's lovely single EC8020 (per channel) Amplifier with its shunt regulated power supply just behind

photo: Rick Francis

Bjorn listening to our setup on day three (amost have it right ;)

photo: Jim de Kort

Bjorn Aaholm: We got Kurt's 15" Tannoys running and my 26 preamp was back in the system. This was not surprisingly quite a bit better than with the small Audio Notes in this big room. We experimented quite a bit with the reflex ports of the large Tannoy cabinets though, as the bass was very boomy and no tight at all. Cardboard ports and stuffing helped. The Altecs were not yet playing, as one of the drivers had a not yet solved problem (loud scratchy sounds) and we still needed a highpass filter and we had trouble making this due to a very limited amount of parts.

Kurt with his 15" Tannoys -- the PC case under the table is the power supply for Timo's Surt -- grills were put on the floor to
tweak the reflections a bit

photo: Rick Francis

The Tannoy's and Altec horns. Notice the large paper-in-oil on top of the horns.
This was to keep them from tipping over and falling off the cabinets :)))

photo: Jim de Kort

We finally got it playing right on the last day of the festival. Kurt up front visibly enjoying himself (great sight!!!)

photo: Jim de Kort

Bjorn: Altecs playing (above)... The Tannoys were now playing in concert woth Timo Christ's hybrid amp crossed over somewhere in the neighbourhood of 1KHz. Great fun to have the system playing, but there were several obvious problems. The crossover we finally managed to make for the Altecs was not optimal and the Tannoys did not integrate very well with the Altecs, they were simply too slow and still boomy. A lot of tuning could be done with Mattijs active lowpass crossover, and on some recordings we had REALLY good sound, but when the music had much energy in the wrong frequency areas things sounded just plain bad. We later tried Kurt's Decca 845 amp for the Tannoys and that helped a lot, it had much more control over the large drivers in the reflex box. This picture was taking while playing some music that this system liked, as you can see on Kurt's face - smiling all the way up to his ears...

*Bert Doppenberg:

The Oris 150 horns used at the festival were not painted which makes them sound a little bit like plastic. If painted, this character is completely gone...

Bert Doppenberg (right) with his Oris 150 horns

photo: Rick Francis

The used drivers were Lowther PM4A magnets with the new AER diaphragms (just one week old!). The subs had 8 SEAS P17RCY (7 inch) drivers each channel modificated with an extra magnet glued at the back of each driver. The sub was only half finished (the design is based on an aircolumn of 3 meter length (on
the festival only half of this column was present) due the lack of time...the gain was 3dB down and therefore a bit out of balance. I couldn't find capacitors and resistors to change the filter to correct this for the big demonstration room.

Guido Tent on proper grounding

photo: Rick Francis

Mattijs finaly came up with a high-pass filter using the three parts we actually DID have with us :) It took him two long nights to get it right... He was so desperate he even thought of salvaging parts from the TV that was hanging from the wall, but we had to stop him !

photo: Jim de Kort

Guido lecturing (close-up)

photo: Rick Francis

Guidos's DAC

photo: Rick Francis

David Tan and Thomas Mayer

photo: Rick Francis

Late night paperwork on the highpass filter for the Altecs... We had so few part values which almost made shorts in Mattijs brain...

left to right: Mattijs de Vries, Allen Wright, Guido Tent, Remco Stoutjesdijk, Bjørn Aaholm

photo: Jim de Kort

More Pictures -->

Links to other Triode Festival* pages:

Manfred Huber

Aaholm Audio

Kim Bay Schmidt Pederson

* these are were i pinched all these pictures ;^)

thanx guys

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