NY Audio Show 2013

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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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Stephen Mejias Posted: Apr 16, 2013 3 comments
In the Headzones room, Astell & Kern’s Owen Kwon introduced me to his company’s sexy little AK100 hi-rez portable music player ($699).

The AK100 is good-looking, powerful, and versatile:

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Apr 16, 2013 0 comments
Cardas’ Andy Regan enthusiastically introduced me to his company’s EM5813 Model 2 in-ear monitor ($425; a more efficient, but less refined Model 1 version costs $325). The EM stands for “ear mirror,” as the device was designed to mirror the human ear system; the numbers 5813 are part of the Fibonacci Sequence, which remains integral to all Cardas designs.
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Art Dudley Posted: Apr 16, 2013 0 comments
In one of three NYAS rooms sponsored by the Manhattan dealer Rhapsody Music & Cinema, a pair of Vivid G3 Giya loudspeakers ($40,000/pair) sounded colorful, spacious, and well-textured with a pair of mono amps ($15,000) and a line-level preamp ($10,000) from the new Dutch company Mola Mola. (The company’s chief designer, late of Philips BV, is said to be the originator of “universal Class-D.”) Digital files supplied by Vivid’s and Mola Mola’s distributor, the reliable Philip O’Hanlon—he never fails to make my Top Five list of people who bring the best music to the show—were played on Luxman’s DSD-friendly DA06 converter ($6000).
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Art Dudley Posted: Apr 16, 2013 0 comments
I've noted the typically spacious, airy sound of Reimyo electronics at previous shows, and at NYAS 2013 the brand followed suit. Playing through a pair of Combak Audio's single-driver Bravo loudspeakers (ca $8000/pair), themselves supported by Combak Dinosaur stands ($4000/pair not including feet, the latter represented by options too numerous to list here), the Reimyo gear did a lovely job with the classic Fritz Reiner/Chicago Symphony Orchestra Scheherazade. (NB: The astonishing trumpeter on that 1960 recording, Bud Herseth, died only days ago.) Reimyo products in use included the CDT-777 CD transport (ca $12,000), the CAT-777 preamp (ca $20,000), and the KAP-777 monoblock amplifiers ($27,000/pair). I was given to understand that Wynn Audio, which sponsored this room, now distributes Reimyo and Combak in the US.
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Art Dudley Posted: Apr 16, 2013 0 comments
At NYAS 2013, I was more impressed with the French Waterfall loudspeakers than at previous shows. Their Victoria Evo model ($7000 per pair) sounded clear and articulate in the second of two Audio Doctor rooms, demonstrated with an Auralic Vega D/A converter ($3495), Manley 300B preamplifier ($5795), and Aragon 8008 amplifier ($4400); judging from the smiles all around, Dave Lalin of Audio Doctor and Nadine Chaix Dewell and Cedric Aubriot of Waterfall would agree.
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Art Dudley Posted: Apr 16, 2013 1 comments
The Audio Note Corporation of Japan—which offers products under the surname of that company's founder, the late Hiruyasu Kondo—has, in recent years, flown so far under the radar that some feared they were defunct. Now the leaders of Kondo have rededicated themselves to this market, with Rhapsody Music & Cinema as their new US distributor.
Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 16, 2013 0 comments
rrill Wettasingh of Merrill Audio says his class-D Veritas Monoblock amplifiers are "not for tube lovers." The crimson or black chassis is made of a solid 60lb billet of aluminum. Allowing only spade connection for the "best and biggest" sound, these 400 watt (8 ohms) power-houses seek "audio purity" rather than coloration, according to Wettasingh.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Apr 16, 2013 2 comments
Wow. In the NYAS's always-busy Headzone area, I was extremely impressed by the sound of an AIFF file of Paul Simon’s “Diamonds On the Soles of Her Shoes” played from a MacBook, sent through Meridian’s pretty little Explorer USB DAC ($299), and then to Bowers & Wilkins’ handsome and comfortable P5 headphones ($299). Sponsored by Innovative Audio, this is the kind of sweet, functional, real-world system that is guaranteed to attract more people to the world of high-fidelity sound.
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Art Dudley Posted: Apr 16, 2013 0 comments
Raidho D1 loudspeakers from Denmark ($20,000/pair), Merrill Veritas amplifiers from Colorado ($12,000/pair), a Kondo G-70 line-level preamplifier from Japan ($35,000), and a Pi Greco Sinfonia CD player from Italy ($15,000) managed to get along nicely in one of the Rhapsody Music and Cinema rooms.
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Art Dudley Posted: Apr 16, 2013 0 comments
"Glad," a jazz-tinged instrumental by the English band Traffic, sounded great on a Gamut-intensive system from Woodbridge Stereo. Therein, the enormous Gamut S-9 loudspeakers ($101,999/pair in optional ash finish) were impressive, but I enjoyed even more the Gamut S-5 speakers ($30,000/pair), which did a nice job with the song's propulsive, almost Motown-esque beat. Other gear in the system included the Gamut D 150 integrated amplifier ($11,700), Pass Labs XP25 phono preamplifier (ca $10,000), and a prototype version of VPI's forthcoming Vanquish direct-drive turntable (price TBD), with VPI's similarly prototypical epoxy-resin JMW tonearm and a Soundsmith moving-iron phono cartridge. Very nice stuff.
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Art Dudley Posted: Apr 16, 2013 1 comments
Audio Doctor also demonstrated a relatively affordable (there goes that bar of soap again) Euro-fi system, with Waterfall Hurricane loudspeakers ($1600/pair), an Electrocompaniet 6DS integrated amplifier ($7500, offstage), and an Electrocompaniet EMC-1UP Red Book CD player ($7290).
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Art Dudley Posted: Apr 16, 2013 1 comments
Once hailed as the most expensive amplifier in domestic audio—a distinction that has long since passed by the wayside, even when one accounts for inflation—the legendary Audio Note (Japan) Ongaku was put through its paces in the Kondo room. Though designed as an integrated amp—its stereo pair of 211 tubes, run single-ended, offer 27Wpc—this Ongaku was being used as a power amplifier, by means of its direct inputs. Pricing information was unavailable at the time of my visit.

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