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The Vacuum Tube State of the Art Conference 2008 found itself licensed from founder Dan 'Doc Bottlehead' Schmalle and his wife Eileen by new organizers Carolyn and Michael Kilfoil. Our man Stephæn was there to imbibe the good vibes, revolt against the solid state and capture some atmosphere with his camera.

The venue was the Vancouver/WA Hilton a quarter hour from the Portland/OR airport.

"The Experience Music room hosted by Jeffrey Jackson and US Goto Unit importer Ming Su was the place to hang and duly won the People's Choice Award for best sound of the show. It was certainly a lot of fun.

"The Dixie Bottleheads rolled up en masse after a trip across the country. Wonderful and brilliant people. They first stopped in Salt Lake City and picked up Josh Stippich and his dad Dave Adams among others clansmen of the Utah mob. Then they all drove into Vancouver and set up the room. There are some (obviously) after-hours shots included. Nipper was looking much more composed earlier in the day.

"I just got home. Had trouble with e-mail at the hotel so I'm only dumping pictures to your inbox. Too tired to narrate, not sure where this is going at the moment so perhaps a photo collage?"

That was our man's comment affixed to a group of three image-filled e-mails that arrived on my desk the day following the show's final curtain call. So here's the crop of images from this group, with more pix promised as sleep does its restorative work on Stephæn's deep fried brain...

The hotel's lobby
The Samsung room TVs cleverly displayed all manner of show-related propaganda

Michael LeFavre's MagneQuest/Peerless magnetics were offered at 10% off regular catalog pricing for the predominantly DIY crowd attending this event.

Chip Winston from Cable Research Lab to left showing off a stand-up sign of his wares.

Chris Bobiak of Daline fame and Planet10HiFi [above] showed an Onken-loaded Fostex widebander in a bamboo enclosure with applied EnABL treatment patterns on the driver cone to break up standing-wave propagation on the transducer.

Dan Wright of ModWright and Kevin Haskins of DIYCable teamed up in a joint exhibit. Contrary to Kevin's company name, cable isn't all he offers. His lineup nowadays includes the Exodus range of Hypex amplifiers; Face Audio amplifiers; power products; loudspeaker and subwoofer kits; and all manner of audio-related parts [below].

Dennis and Brien Fraker hosted the Serious Stereo room, here standing in front of the Serious Stereo transmission-line Great Plains Audio/Altec-Lansing model 604H-equipped loudspeaker which runs a 15" coaxial driver with a 1" compression tweeter (a 38lbs assembly just for the transducer) with Siltech G3 and G5 hookup wiring [two below].

Dan Schmalle of Bottlehead, as previewed here, showed a very ambitious complete system whose final completion preceded the show by just days. Or hours.

The Experience Music system
Jeffrey Jackson and Ming Su