NY Audio Show 2013

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Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 16, 2013 0 comments
Few hi-fi brands seem to have the omnipresence in the consumer electric goods market as MartinLogan, likely because of their affordable prices and non-invasive aesthetics. Yet, I’ve never gotten a chance to hear them, only see them inside a Best Buy. I found a Grateful Dead Dick’s Picks from 5/22/77 in Pembroke Pines, Florida in their stack of CDs.
Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 16, 2013 0 comments
At last year's NYAS, the Audio Note room had been a musical joy and learning experience. After a brief hello to music lover, photographer, and Audio Note exhibitor David Cope, we got straight to business with music listening. First on the Audio Note TT Two Deluxe turntable ($3500) was Las Guitarras De Sergio y Eduardo Abreu, where the brothers perform the music of Bach, Scarlatti, Albeniz, and more. Having played this record at least fifteen times in the past four weeks, I noticed immediately that the soundstage was imbalanced. Both guitars were too far to the left, but I refrained from comment.
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Art Dudley Posted: Apr 16, 2013 1 comments
Andy Regan of Cardas Audio saw me near the 10th-floor elevators and asked, "Do you have an iPod or an iPhone?" I said that I did, and Andy handed me a leather pouch upon which the Cardas logo had been printed. Inside was an obviously well-made pair of earbuds. "Give 'em a try."
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Art Dudley Posted: Apr 16, 2013 0 comments
Among the smaller systems I heard at NYAS, this nears the top of my list: the Resonessence Labs Invicta D/A converter ($3990), driving the Music First Audio Baby Reference preamplifier ($6990; see Sam Tellig’s rave in the October 2012 issue), the Wells Audio Innamorata power amp ($6000), and most recognizably, Audio Space’s BBC-approved version of the classic (imagine that word in gold leaf) LS-3/5a monitor (only $1790/pair) and SW-1a woofer towers ($1190), with cable by Audience. This setup had exceptional drive and impact: qualities I associate with good transformers, of which the passive Music First preamp has an abundance.
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Art Dudley Posted: Apr 16, 2013 0 comments
Heard at the NYAS with a Leben CS600 integrated amplifier and an Arcam CD73 CD player, the smartly styled desktop loudspeakers from Well Rounded Sound impressed me far more than at previous shows. Their standard Corgi model ($799/pair), used in parallel with a pair of their passive Woof 4 woofers ($399 each) were surprisingly engaging on the Jimmy Cobb Quartet's Jazz in the Key of Blue: explicit without being bright, with decent color and impact. At NYAS 2013, Well Rounded also debuted two new models: the Jack Terrier SE ($349/pair, shown on the left) and the Corgi Mini ($399/pair, shown on the right).
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Apr 16, 2013 0 comments
Bob Sattin—the Bob in Bob’s Devices—introduced his new Step-Up Transformer/VPI Interface Box ($1650), “specially created to improve the performance of a VPI turntable when used with a low-output moving-coil cartridge.”
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Apr 16, 2013 4 comments
Dan Clark’s MrSpeakers Mad Dog headphone ($299) starts as a Fostex T50RP, but adds extremely comfortable lamb-leather ear pads, a leather “comfort strap,” revised 3.5mm and 7mm headphone jacks, and modifications to the headphone cups and driver surfaces.

Clark’s goal was to make a closed-back headphone that would perform well at home and on the go. He says that additional upgrades can be made easily over time, so that customers can “treat each purchase as an investment.”

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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.
Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 15, 2013 0 comments
Simplifi Audio room would be a priority on my first day since I missed them entirely last year where they apparently kicked much booty. Hosted by the amicable duo of Daniel Weiss of Weiss Audio and Tim Ryan of Simplifi Audio, a San Diego-based distributor, their large room was devoted to three different systems that were demoed throughout the weekend. The one I heard and pictured above is the Klangwerk Ella 2-way active speaker system ($7,495) fed by the Weiss DAC202 ($6966) and Weiss MAN301 Network Player ($9083; $12,262 with internal DAC), and Integrita Audiophile Music Server (approximately $6000).
Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 15, 2013 0 comments
Rear shot of the Burmester 909 stereo amplifier ($73,495).

Last year, Burmester relegated their loudspeakers and amplifiers to the grand ballroom of the Waldorf=Astoria, which made their gear easy to see but less accessible to listen to in a concentrated setting. At the New York Palace, Rutherford Audio, the North American distributor for Burmester, hosted their own listening room on the fourth floor with a diverse range of music ranging from Verdi to Infected Mushroom.

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Art Dudley Posted: Apr 15, 2013 0 comments
In one of two rooms sponsored by New Jersey dealer Audio Doctor, Jay Rein of distributor Bluebird Music demonstrated an impressive system comprising KEF Blade loudspeakers ($30,000/pair), Chord SPM 14000 Mk.II mono amplifiers ($86,000/pair), the Chord CPA 8000 Reference preamp ($45,000), a Manley Steelhead phono preamp ($8000), and the Kronos turntable (starting at $32,000)—a combination on which Neil Young’s Comes a Time album sounded so good, I can scarcely wait to hear it again when I get home. While there I also enjoyed some music files—appropriately, my friend Michael Lavorgna of Audiostream.com had the seat next to mine—courtesy of the Chord DSX-1000 ($13,000), a music streamer that incorporates the same company’s well-received QBD 76 D/A converter.
Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 15, 2013 2 comments
My first stop on Day One was just around the corner from the pressroom: Ciamara’s big-time system with the massive TAD Reference One loudspeakers ($80,000/pair). Ciamara’s young and passionate Chairman and CEO Sanjay Patel welcomed me with a smile. Patel established his New York City shop five years ago by hiring a team of engineers to focus their efforts on the craft of high-end audio home installations.
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Stephen Mejias Posted: Apr 15, 2013 1 comments
Another encouraging sign of the times: At the New York Audio Show, I met several pairs of fathers and sons.

People ask me over and over: How do we get more young people involved in the hi-fi hobby?

Ariel Bitran Posted: Apr 15, 2013 1 comments
Innovative Audio Video Showrooms, a New York City hi-fi gallery hosted two rooms this year: one room with an ultimate-truth to recording digital playback system and the ultra-smooth analog room.

Scott Haggart, a passionate Innovative employee and expert hi-fi demo deliverer was in the midst of a presentation upon my arrival. Haggart treats his work with serious care, and as anyone who has experienced one of his demos can attest to, he guides the listeners patiently through the exact gear that they are listening to and details about the music, a skill not many exhibitors at this hi-fi show demonstrated.

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