T.H.E. Show Newport 2012

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John Atkinson Posted: Jun 07, 2012 0 comments
So said the flyer drawing attention to Room 1022 at the Hilton. Intrigued, I went in, to see two pairs of Acoustic Zen Adagio mounted side-by-side, driven by an inexpensive Samsung DVD player and a Rotel amplifier. The sound was good rather than great, but considering the sub-optimal arrangement —side-by-side speakers with widely spaced pairs of tweeter, no acoustic treatment, very inexpensive ancillaries, etc —the sound was very much better than I was expecting, with precise stereo imaging. It turned out that the speakers' interaction with the room was optimized with a digital-signal processing unit, but no further details were forthcoming.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 07, 2012 1 comments
This Wyred 4 Sound system pleasantly surprised me. It was solid on rock, yet capable of conveying the delicacy and detail of Antonio Lysy’s wonderful recording of Ginastera’s Triste (Yarlung Records).
Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 07, 2012 0 comments
This couple is happy because they're at T.H.E. Show Newport.
Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 07, 2012 0 comments
Inconspicuous but attractive, the Chapman T-8 Mk.II loudspeaker ($9995/pair) holds a 1” silk-dome tweeter, 5.5” midrange unit, and a 10” woofer beneath its black grille cloth.
John Atkinson Posted: Jun 07, 2012 0 comments
Closing the live program Sunday at the Atrium Hotel was a concert by Audra Lee, daughter of the LA&OC Audio Society's Bob Levi. Leading a rocking trio, with a woman drummer, Audra belted her way through rock standards, including Huey Lewis's "The Power of Love." You can get a free download of Audra's single "I'm All In" here. Audra's debut album will be available in July from iTunes.
Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 07, 2012 3 comments
Jeffrey Catalano’s High Water Sound room was so hidden, tucked away at the end of a shadowy corridor, that posters were tacked to the Atrium walls, reminding showgoers to stop by.

I had wondered how anyone could possibly find their way there, so I was taken aback when I walked into a packed house of bobbing heads and stomping feet. But I shouldn’t have been surprised: Audiophiles have a way of finding great music.

Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 07, 2012 0 comments
As fate would have it, on my third attempt to enter the Venice Audio Suite—intense conversation made the other passes futile—Mark Waldrep of AIX Records/iTrax had brought in some of his hi-res files for store proprietor Peter Selesnick to hear. The room was quiet, and for good reason: the sound was too beautiful to talk over.
John Atkinson Posted: Jun 07, 2012 1 comments
I first heard the Zesto Andros PS1 phono stage ($3900) at the 2011 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest and was impressed by what I heard. The Andros was being used in the One World Audio room in the Hilton, with a Lindemann amplifier driving speakers from Voce Audio, a name new to me. The Voce UA-3 is a large floorstander using a ring-radiator tweeter recessed behind a short horn. Source was a 1978 Luxman PD-444 turntable fitted with a TriPlanar arm and a Lyra Kleos cartridge. Cabling was all WyWires. The sound of bass player Stanley Clarke's acoustic 2009 album, Jazz in the Garden, with Hiromi on piano and Lenny White on drums, had excellent dynamics but was overall a little mellow.
Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 07, 2012 0 comments
I walked into Muddy Waters. Folk Singer. But there was nothing muddy about it. The clarity, in fact, was intense. Muddy’s voice was big and present, full of texture; his guitar was similarly powerful.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 06, 2012 1 comments
Finally I had a chance to hear the loudspeakers lauded by Stereophile equipment reviewers, the Voxativ Ampeggio Signature by Schimmel ($32,500/pair). This single-driver, ultra-sensitive speaker headlined an excellent line-up from Alfred Kainz's highend-electronics, Inc. that led me to write in my notes, "Beautiful. Remarkably close to natural sound. The highs are wonderful, especially the cymbals."
Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 06, 2012 2 comments
Jason Smith of Babyjdrums Classic Vinyl and Audio had tons of classical LPs for sale, almost all in pristine condition (many were even sealed), and at bargain basement prices. Smith also sells hi-fi out of his home; his brands include PTE, Musical Surroundings, Denon, Soundsmith, and Synergistic Research. And he’s a drummer, on tour this summer with the Albert Lee Band.
Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 06, 2012 0 comments
And, for those who weren’t brave enough for Tornado Potato or Rolling Sushi, the Aura restaurant and bar proved the perfect place to see and be seen, to mingle, to catch up on business, or to simply enjoy food and drink.
Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 06, 2012 2 comments
John Atkinson reported on Don Keele’s unusual constant-directivity CBT36 loudspeaker from last year’s Rocky Mountain Audiofest. At T.H.E. Show Newport, Keele and Marshall Kay, president of Audio Artistry, purposefully created an “economy system” (an iPad running Media Monkey, Benchmark DAC1, Crown preamp, ATI amplifier, Behringer DSP processor) to show how well the speaker could perform under sub-optimal conditions.
Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 06, 2012 0 comments
T.H.E. Show Newport was also home to a car show and wine tasting, held each day in the Hilton Courtyard. I must have missed the wine, but I did see this awesome little guy—a BMW Isetta, I think—from the collection of Upscale Audio’s Kevin Deal.

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