NY Audio Show 2013

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Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 17, 2013 0 comments
Mat Weisfield was ultra-stoked to tell me about VPI's new 3D-printed tonearm. I'll let Art do the explaining, but when I heard the VPI room, images were rock solid and full-bodied through the 3D printed tonearm and nascent VPI Classic Direct. A turntable created out of happenstance, when the chassis for the planned direct-drive Vanquish was not ready for the show, they stuck the Vanquish parts into a Classic chassis and the VPI Classic Direct (approximately $20-25k) was born. Resourceful, those VPI fellas.
Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 17, 2013 0 comments
The intriguing sonics and gorgeous décor of Gideon Schwartz’s Audio Arts room were easily noticed by anyone who entered. Just in front of me, a little boy took pictures with his iPhone of the imposing yet luxurious Zellaton Studio Reference One loudspeakers ($52,750/pair). Schwartz’s room, the Chairman’s Office as indicated by New York Palace signs, used to be the office for hotel inheritor and tyrant manager Leona Helmsley. Dusty multi-colored hard-bound books lined the dark mahogany shelves next to daintily painted ceramic pots centered by the wonderfully symmetrical American-crafted Audio Strata racks.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Apr 17, 2013 0 comments
A second, smaller Innovative Audio room held a system made of Wilson Audio’s Sasha W/P loudspeakers ($27,900/pair); Lamm M1.2 Reference hybrid monoblocks ($24, 190/pair); VTL TL-7.5 Series III Reference preamplifier ($20,000) and TP-6.5 Signature phono preamp ($10,500 with moving-coil step-up transformer); Spiral Groove SG2 turntable ($21,000, with Centroid tonearm) and Lyra Kleos MC cartridge ($3000); Transparent cables, power conditioning, and AC cords; and Finite Element Pagode racks and supports.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Apr 17, 2013 1 comments
Michael Fremer entertains a packed house with an in-depth discussion on various pressings of the Beach Boys’ classic album, Pet Sounds. The event was co-hosted by Classic Album Sundays’ Colleen Murphy. For more info on Mikey’s seminars, visit AnalogPlanet.com.
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Art Dudley Posted: Apr 17, 2013 0 comments
Tentatively named the JMW-3D (the suffix refers to the modeling technology used to create its high-tech tooling), VPI's new one-piece tonearm wand/headshell/bearing housing is molded from epoxy resin, which promises to resist sound-coloring resonances while remaining comparatively immune to the problem of energy storage. Although pricing has yet to be determined, VPI's Harry Weisfeld suggests that the arm may be expensive at first, although he hopes that prices may moderate as the production process itself becomes less expensive. The new arm is seen here on a prototype of the VPI Classic Direct, a direct-drive turntable based on the Classic chassis (projected price: ca $20,000).
Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 17, 2013 1 comments
JPS Labs leaps into the world of headphones with the Abyss: a highly customizable head-gripping $5495 listening device. More info on these intense cans be found on their website.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Apr 17, 2013 0 comments
Dupuy Acoustique, a brand relatively new to me, gave an effective demonstration of its Daisy Reflector ($995; patent pending), first seen at SSI in Montreal—a “phase-restoration device,” whose internal cabinetry and foam have been computer-modeled and CNC-machined for optimal performance.
Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 17, 2013 0 comments
The YG Kipod loudspeakers powered by Veloce amplification were clean, dynamic, and suggested the right level of stickiness to brass.

But you didn’t hear it from me. I asked JA on Sunday: "What's the best sound you've heard so far today?" Here's what he said:

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Apr 17, 2013 1 comments
While there were many exciting cost-no-object systems on display, the New York Audio Show was also home to refreshingly small and simple systems that nevertheless offered exceptional performance.

KEF’s beautiful LS50 loudspeakers ($1500/pair) were partnered with Audio Electronics’ Constellation tube preamp ($1495), Hercules power amp ($1895), and Lightning DAC ($1295). Wireworld provided the cabling. The music, which came from a laptop, sounded forceful, dynamic, colorful, and present.

If I could have taken home any system from the New York Audio Show, it would have been this one.

Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 17, 2013 7 comments
I saw her first in the Clue room. She exited at the same time as random bald man #72. Were they together? I’m not sure, but the dangerously punchy sound was not helping my listening fatigue. I left. She walked into the Audio Doctor’s KEF Blade display. Should I follow her? That would be weird.

A gentleman from Music First Audio started talking to me and pointing at my camera: “We have a colorful preamp for you to take pictures of.”

“No thanks.”

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Art Dudley Posted: Apr 17, 2013 0 comments
As an unabashed fan of amplifiers that use EL34 output tubes in Ultralinear circuits—an output architecture that, to my ears, almost always sounds colorful, well-textured, and believably lush—I was delighted that, in the VPI suite, a trio (!) of Joseph Audio Pearl loudspeakers were powered by a trio (!) of Citation 2 monoblock amplifiers from VAS Audio ($3000/pair—which, I guess, translates into $4500 for three). The Citation 2, which offers 50Wpc in Ultralinear but can also be switched to triode mode for 25Wpc, also uses 12AX7 and 12AU7 small-signal tubes, plus a 5AR4 rectifier, and its specially wound output transformers are said to be vacuum-potted.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Apr 17, 2013 1 comments
Music Hall’s Roy Hall was excited about his new a15.3 integrated amplifier and matching c-dac15.3 CD player/DAC combo. Just as any good integrated amplifier should, the 50Wpc a15.3 includes a headphone output, front-panel mini-jack input, moving-magnet phono stage, and remote control. The one-box c-dac15.3 combines a three-input (optical, coax, USB-B) Wolfson DAC section with a CD player, itself based around a Burr-Brown 24-bit/192kHz-capable DAC. Build quality seemed excellent. Each unit will sell for $549. Music Hall just keeps churning out interesting, affordable products. I’ll look forward to learning more about these units later this year.
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Art Dudley Posted: Apr 17, 2013 5 comments
Let's just come out and say it: loudspeaker designer Jeff Joseph, of Joseph Audio, always makes a good sound, and his system's performance at this venue was no exception: organic, open, natural, un-spectacular, un-bombastic, and just plain lovely. The speakers in question were the Joseph Audio Pulsars ($7000/pair), driven by a Unison Unico 50 amplifier ($1450), fed by a Lynx Hilo D/A converter (street price: $2500) and a laptop equipped with Channel D's Pure Music software ($129). Cables were by Cardas.
Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 17, 2013 1 comments
Peter Ledermann of Soundsmith is a nice guy, I promise.

The Reception Hall was teaming with audiophiles and exhibitors expressing hellos and chatting about gear and music. Here’s a look:

Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 17, 2013 0 comments
Canned jazz: that inoffensive blend of 80s synths, smooth sax, and punchy bass guitar. There was a lot of this at the New York Audio Show.

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