T.H.E. Show Newport 2012

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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 06, 2012 0 comments
I have always greatly admired the match of Robert Lee's Acoustic Zen loudspeakers—in this case the wonderful Crescendo loudspeaker ($16,000/pair), a 3-way transmission line design with a horn-loaded ribbon tweeter—with the Triode Corporation electronics imported by Santy Oropel of TWIN Audio Video. Here, the Crescendos formed an especially sonorous alliance with the TRV-CD5SE CD player ($3250), TRX-1 remote controlled tube preamplifier ($3200), and TRX-M845SE monoblock power amplifiers ($22,500/pair).
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.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 06, 2012 2 comments
This system is worth learning about, because it nailed tonalities spot-on. After going room-to-room for three days, I assure you that getting tonality and timbre spot-on is no mean feat. In fact, it's a pretty elusive goal for most components.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 06, 2012 3 comments
During the brief amount of time I spent at CES 2012 in Las Vegas, one of my most impressive acquaintances was with the new Dynaudio Xeo 5 ($4500/pair) floorstander and Dynaudio Xeo 3 ($2300/pair) bookshelf wireless loudspeakers. Sold complete with a wireless transmitter and remote control, these loudspeakers deliver astonishingly good sound without need to spend money on speaker cables and the like.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 06, 2012 0 comments
Gary Katayama of Affordable Audio constructed a system that allowed Randy Bankert's Sonist Concerto loudspeakers ($5895/pair) to show how much sound they can deliver. With apologies for my potentially flawed attempts at deciphering Gary's handwriting, I heard the Baetis Media Server ($2595) and Mach 2 Mac mini (approx. $1000) using Amarra 2.3, Human Audio Table USB–S/PDIF converter ($1000), Bel Canto 3.5 USB DAC ($3500), Audion 300B amplifier ($5500), EAT E-Flat turntable ($6000), and Synergistic Tranquility Base ($1000). The soundstage was impressively big, and the sound warm but overly smooth, to the point of softening the leading edge on Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's glorious mezzo-soprano.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 06, 2012 0 comments
I fell in love with the adorable little system from Chris Sommovigo's The Signal Collection when I heard it play some of Todd Garfinkle's M•A Recordings at AXPONA 2012 in Jacksonville. In Newport Beach the love affair continued.
Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 06, 2012 0 comments
I was pleased to meet Home Theater’s Kim Wilson. If Kim’s not reviewing A/V receivers and preamp/processors, she might be taking lovely photographs of musical instruments, landscapes, city scenes, architecture, and more. During T.H.E. Show Newport, Kim had a small booth near the Atrium pool—not a bad way to spend a sunny weekend. You can see more of her work here.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 06, 2012 1 comments
Although a fair number of woman are now appearing audiophile shows, both as exhibitors and attendees, rare is the woman who attends without her partner/spouse/significant other. Meet Sheri Morgenroth, who founded the Houston Audio Society eight years ago. Currently an engineer by day, and married to a man who cares not about our hobby/passion/obsession, Sheri was fascinated by records at a very early age.
Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 06, 2012 0 comments
John Atkinson reported on B.M.C.’s new Arcadia loudspeaker ($36,300/pair) from January’s CES. But B.M.C.’s Carlos Candeias has already upgraded his design with SpeakON connectors between the outboard crossovers and the speaker cabinets, improved internal wiring, and a revised magnet construction in the midrange drivers. In addition, the speaker’s spikes now screw directly into the speaker’s base for better grounding. The changes come at no additional cost. “We improved the model, but that doesn’t always mean you have to raise the price,” said Candeias.
Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 06, 2012 1 comments
I might have missed the wine tastings, but I did not miss the gourmet food trucks. Like vinyl and nautical-themed clothing, lunch trucks have been making a big comeback. Don’t ask why. Just enjoy it.
Stephen Mejias Posted: Jun 06, 2012 0 comments
Bluebird Music’s Jay Rein was pleased to show the Spendor Classic SP2/3R2 loudspeaker ($4295/pair), which takes the tweeter from Spendor’s SA-1 and combines it with the company’s original BBC technology, construction, and design.

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