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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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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.
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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
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.

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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 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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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
“To limit yourself to just vinyl,” says Audioarts’ Gideon Schwartz, “would be ridiculous.”

It’s not that Schwartz doesn’t like vinyl—several LPs were scattered about the beautiful demo room, said to have been the office of Leona Helmsley—but he simply believes that a good system should work well with all music formats, and more, should sound good in many different rooms.

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Stephen Mejias Posted: Apr 16, 2013 1 comments
I was pleased to learn that Sennheiser has plans to expand its fashion-conscious Momentum line to include at least two new, lower-priced models.
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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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