Jonathan Scull Posted: Aug 16, 2013 Published: Nov 01, 1995 0 comments
Things didn't start off auspiciously. I'd been after Symphonic Line's Klaus Bunge for more than a year to send me the Kraft 400 Reference monoblocks. Finally he called. He said he was going to be in town for a few days, and he had with him a pair of what he described as his "traveling" Kraft 400s, which he proposed to leave with me.
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Jonathan Scull Posted: Aug 16, 2013 Published: Nov 01, 1995 1 comments
I'm not sure why, but people tell me things. Maybe it's because they realize I listen. They reveal themselves, sometimes in charming and unexpected ways. So I was almost prepared for my three-way conference call with the designer of the Symphonic Line Kraft 400 power amplifier, Rolf Gemein, in Germany and Indianapolis-based importer/distributor Klaus Bunge. I started by asking Rolf about his design philosophy . . .
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 15, 2013 35 comments
The fourth California Audio Show had just come to an end, but from the vigor with which the Music Lovers Audio staff launched into take down (above), it could have just as well been set-up day. Perhaps some of their energy reserves arose from the fact that attendance seemed significantly lighter than anticipated, even on Saturday.

Why have I devoted so much time and energy to writing up rooms at what was essentially a modestly sized regional show? To my way of thinking, exhibitors, both newbies and industry regulars, invested so much time and energy into making a good showing at CAS that I owe it to them to help get the word out far beyond the limited number of attendees.

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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 15, 2013 0 comments
Hey, we were in earthquake country, the land from which Carole King may have received inspiration to write, "I Feel the Earth Move Under my Feet." Then again, she could have received equal inspiration from the Von Schweikert VR-100 XS 4-piece loudspeaker system ($140,000/pair). Paired with the debut of Raven Audio's Silhouette monoblock amplifiers ($12,995/pair) and Reference Silhouette preamplifier ($12,995), it sure inspired me with its ability to move air with musicality.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 15, 2013 3 comments
There's nothing like highlighted text from Stereophile brother Art Dudley to get a fellow writer's attention. Then again, so do the Burwell & Sons Homage Series loudspeakers ($80,000/pair), whose price will tempt many vintage horn lovers to burn a hole their pockets.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 14, 2013 16 comments
This front view of the Music Lovers Audio/Musical Surroundings room gives but a hint of the huge, expansive, amazingly coherent, air-filled, three-dimensional soundstage of this system. My hands-down "Best of Show," the room was dominated by dominated by Wilson Audio Alexia loudspeakers ($48,500–$50,000/pair, depending upon finish)—another pair of Alexias now resides at John Atkinson's home for review—and Spectral Audio DMA-400RS monoblock amplifiers ($28,000/pair). Peter McGrath of Wilson Audio (left) and Hugh Fountain of Music Lovers Audio (right), as well as Garth Leerer of Musical Surroundings, deserve kudos for their set-up prowess.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 14, 2013 9 comments
While I didn't reach anywhere near the altitude of the planes leaving SFO's runways, I was finally making headway on the Westin's 3rd floor. The home of many of CAS' exhibits, it got even homier when I entered the room sponsored by Pass Labs. Pass rarely if ever makes an appearance at a consumer show, but with no dealer in the greater Bay Area—the closest is Reno Hi-Fi, which happily arranges in-home demos for CA consumers—the company's Desmond Harrington and Kent English finally decided to let "local" consumers hear why so many critics rave about Pass products.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 14, 2013 1 comments
I've previously praised EnigmAcoustics' Sopranino self-polarizing electrostatic supertweeter ($3690/pair), which I first encountered at T.H.E. Show Newport Beach. The Sopranino claims a flat response to beyond 40kHz and fully passive operation without the need of external bias. Here I heard a pair of Sopraninos in two different configurations. . .
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 14, 2013 1 comments
Far more beckoned on the lobby level, but you can only keep them down on the farm so long. Eventually, the lure of unexplored territory pulled this Cancer crab out of the questionable security of his shell onto the wilds of the Westin's second floor. There I encountered the wildest of them all, Sean Casey (above), spinning platters in the Zu Audio room.
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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 13, 2013 13 comments
Time to settle into deeper listening. We'll spend a bit of time in Loggie Audio's second room, built around Ypsilon and (TEAC) Esoteric electronics and the equally excellent YG Acoustics Sonja 1.2 loudspeakers ($72,800/pair), not only because it sounded so good, but also because it presented the US debut of what may very well prove to be a major cable line.


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