Sort By: Post Date | Title | Publish Date
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 23, 2015 0 comments
This year's three-day Capital Audio Fest (CAF) opens on August 28 in Rockville, MD, relatively close to the nation's capitol. In a new, unquestionably friendlier and eminently accessible location, the Hilton Rockville, the show promises, at press time, up to 39 active exhibit rooms, probably more than the 118 "officially listed" brands and exhibitors, and a potential 300+ products.
Filed under
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 20, 2015 12 comments
The California Audio Show may have been smaller than in years past, but its proportion of excellent sounding systems—6 out of 32 or so, if you count exhibit rooms that had more than one system in play—was quite high. For this reason alone, I believe the show offered great value for attendees. And it also offered some great views of San Francisco International Airport, as this shot, taken through my 7th-story hotel window, attests.

Here is the word on show attendance from show organizer, Constantine Soo: The final number is 2300 attendees.

Filed under
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 20, 2015 3 comments
It's a rare day when famed amplifier designer Nelson Pass leaves his bench to deliver a seminar. It's even rarer when that seminar is geared toward consumers rather than what he calls "specialists." In fact, at the start of his talk, Nelson confessed that after almost 50 years building amplifiers, his CAS seminar was his first ever tailored specifically toward consumers.
Filed under
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 19, 2015 12 comments
Yes, boys and girls, there was yet one more distinctly superior system at CAS6. In addition to Bricasti, Elac/Audio Alchemy, and the two systems from AudioVision SF that included a varying combination of Dynaudio/YG Acoustics/Bel Canto Black/Pear Audio/Nordost and more, Michael Woods' Elite Audio Systems of San Francisco Kharma/CH Precision/Viola/Spiral Groove/ Primare/IsoTek and more system blew me away. Adding to his triumph is the fact that, on Thursday evening, a frustrated Michael (pictured on the right next to Kevin Wolff of Vana Ltd. and, on the left, Allen Perkins of Spiral Groove) had told me that he was having a near-impossible time controlling the room.
Filed under
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 19, 2015 0 comments
How to explain this one? At other shows, the most problematic rooms for an exhibitor to control are usually the large rooms on the ground level, where a combination of air walls, air-conditioning ducts, wall composition, and secrets pacts between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (which, in this case, was literally across the street from the Westin SFO) can defeat any and all attempts at good sound. But at both the California Audio Show and the last T.H.E. Show Newport Beach, most of the big rooms on the ground floor produced excellent sound.
Filed under
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 18, 2015 11 comments
Sunday, for Stereophile, began in the larger rooms on the 2nd floor of the Westin SFO. In the first I visited, Pass Labs mated its INT-60 integrated amplifier ($9000) and XP-15 phono preamp ($3800) with an SP10 Mk.II turntable fitted with a My Sonic Lab Hyper Eminent cartridge, Oppo BDP-105, YG Carmel 2 loudspeakers ($26,300/pair), and a mixture of ART, Sound Source, homemade, and stock power cables. Pass Labs' signature midrange was gorgeous, and the sense of air supreme.
Filed under
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 17, 2015 2 comments
I wish I could tell you about the Linn system in this room, but both times I tried to enter, Steven Lester was in the middle of a long rap. Lester's video components always provide some of the most fun and unexpected treats at a show, and usually result in packed rooms. That was certainly the case the first time I came by.
Filed under
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 17, 2015 1 comments
Mexico's most distinguished audio manufacturer, Margules Audio, demmed a system at CAS6 headlined by the Margules U280-SC 25th-Anniversary, stereo tube amplifier ($5399). The midrange was warm and wonderful—just what the doctor ordered, in fact. Despite a little brightness on top, and a bit of shallowness on bottom, the set-up was supremely musical and capable of conveying joyful, delicate beauty with panache. That, my friends, means a whole lot in my book.
Filed under
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 16, 2015 14 comments
"Do you two have a bodyguard?" I asked Elac speaker designer Andrew Jones (right) and equally legendary Audio Alchemy electronics designer Peter Madnick (left) upon hearing the tremendous sound pouring forth from their bargain system ($5500 including custom-made music server and cabling). "If you don't, you'd be wise to consider hiring one. Given the virtually illegal amount of warmth, bass, and full-range sound you're getting from those tiny little speakers and that sub, I wouldn't be surprised if at least one high-priced manufacturer is tempted to do you in, lest you give the lie to the assertion that higher prices equate with better sound."
Filed under
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Aug 15, 2015 19 comments
One of the highlights of Day One at CAS was the room put together by Bricasti. The opening track in Brian Zolner of Bricasti's sensational salvo may have been drawn from, God help us, the soundtrack to Alien 3, but the midrange was gorgeous, and the dynamic range immense. Simply immense. This Bricasti and friends system exhibited the largest dynamic range sweeps of any system I recall hearing in a standard-size hotel room.

Pages

X
Enter your Stereophile.com username.
Enter the password that accompanies your username.
Loading