Music played through custom Quads from Wayne Picquet of Quads Unlimited in Florida via Dave Slagle's Direct Drive Amp ($36,000 for two amps and two full-range electrostatic speakers) made me shake and sob (there are a bunch of witnesses) . . .
People who speak of running with the big dogs describe the experience as a good thing; I can't imagine why. I'll take the small dogs any old time: They're more characterful, less self-possessed, and just plain friendlier. And among hi-fi shows, Capital Audiofest is the friendliest and most interesting small dog on the porch, and still one of my favorites.
Gary Gill's regional show, which retains its slight and very pleasant DIY vibe, returned to the Washington DC area on August 2830 for its sixth year, and drew respectable numbers of people, especially by the end of the day on Saturday . . .
Fern & Roby make artful-looking, and (to me) an impressive sounding turntable with a 70lb cast-bronze plinth and 35lb bronze platter. I have always believed that most audio gear sounds like what it is made of, how it is made, and what it looks like. I saw their beautiful plinth and I saw their elegant thick paper literature, and I thought, maybe this will be all show and no go. I thought this might be a lifestyle product. Then I saw the Syrinx PU-3 tonearm and remembered how all my Japanese friends admired the PU-3's lively, natural sound.
It didn't take long for me grasp that this 2015 edition of Capital Audiofest was a big moment for the universally admired (and loved) VPI clan. Everywhere I looked, clan patriarch Harry Weisfeld (center in photo) was smiling and telling great stories. Harry gets my Best In Show award for fascinating tales and amazing tutorials (we talked a lot about drag racing in the 1960s and turntable/arm-bearing lubes). His son Mat (peeking over shoulders in the background) and Mat's fiancée Jane win the Best Couple Ever award and I saw them hugging, kissing, and holding up the "Holy Shit!That's My Son and Future Daughter-in-Law" trophy.
It was early Friday morning, and it was quiet, except for the seductive sounds of Alison Krauss floating through the door from the ModWright/Daedalus room. I had never really met Dan Wright but today we got to hang and talk and I was very impressed. While we talked I kept being distracted by the solid but delicate LP sounds of my beloved Alison coming from the Daedalus Poseidon V2 loudspeakers ($16,450/pair) driven by the ModWright KWA 150SE Signature edition power amp ($8995).
This year's three-day Capital Audio Fest (CAF) opens on August 28 in Rockville, MD, relatively close to the nation's capitol. In a new, unquestionably friendlier and eminently accessible location, the Hilton Rockville, the show promises, at press time, up to 39 active exhibit rooms, probably more than the 118 "officially listed" brands and exhibitors, and a potential 300+ products.