Indonesia High End Audio Club (IHEAC) arranges a ‘grand prix’ to encourage DIY community to build and show their best product. There will be several blind test and each session will have 3 winners with different points rewarded. At the end of the year, the highest point accumulated shall be the first winner, etc (just like F1 race which will have the winner at the end of season).

The first session was DAC, which quite interesting as not much DIY touched this part. Probably because it’s not too easy to play with digital circuit.

Not too much photos in this session as most of the contenders are similar (silver or black boring box, without any interesting part to be shown).

Below wass the main stage. We could see Vienna Acoustics Mozart Grand as main speaker.

The amplifier was Air Tight ATM-3 which has 6x 6CA7 each channel producing 55W in Triode or 110W in Ultralinear. Quite convincing to drive most of your speaker choice. It’s vintage appearance also has its own class. Probably you don’t want to hear its price? 😉 Retail price is around US$ 17.000.

Although I believe we could use some higher class source as reference, but as this was DAC contest, then the source better remained at standard level. We left this job to Marantz CD5001.

As preamp, we picked VTL TL 5.5. This 12AX7/12AT7 line stage preamp got quite high reputation for its nice sounding stuff. It has 6 inputs, muting function, and also optional MC/MM Phono Stage (which would cost you around US$ 750 more). The preamp itself costs around US$ 3500.

The first winners was PCM1704 (equipped with PMD100 as Digital Filter), followed by TDA1545 (single chip), and TDA1541 S2 (double crown). I didn’t take any photo as mostly you would only see black and silver box. I didn’t have enough passion to shoot them 🙂

I took another shoot of the ATM-3. Air Tight always has simple, neat, and beautiful design. Just see this plain face plate, but occupied with a very functional bias meter on the center. It has dimmed orange back light which pour an extra wine for vintage lover.