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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jul 07, 2012 3 comments
Just nine days after Independence Day, the third annual Capital Audiofest unfurls its banner with the hope of life, liberty, and good sound for all. Scheduled for July 13–15 in the three-story Crowne Plaza Hotel in Rockville, MD, the show promises up to 40 exhibit rooms stocked with enough high-quality equipment to send Paul Revere galloping from port to post declaring, "The Audiophiles Are Coming!"

For a one-man effort that began with 14 or 15 rooms in a Rockville mansion, the Capital Audiofest has grown considerably in its short existence. An idea birthed at a party—a group of well-lubricated audiophiles, meeting for their annual post-CES bash at the home of Ijaz Kahn, sat around lamenting that there hadn't been an audio show in DC since the 1980s, and when they had finally sobered up, exactly one, Gary Gill, pictured above at last year's Show, found himself committed to following through–the Capital Audiofest has expanded into a major show that will draw upwards of 1500 eager attendees from as far as Canada, Florida, and the Midwest.

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Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 17, 2012 14 comments
At Montreal's Salon Son et Image earlier this year, Peter McGrath of Wilson Audio (left in photo) found the pairing of the company's Sophia 3 loudspeaker ($18,000/pair) and VTL's MB-185 Series III, EL-34-based monoblocks ($15,000/pair) and VTL TL-5.5 preamp w/phono ($10,500) so felicitous that he proposed that he and VTL's Luke Manley (right in photo) revisit the coupling in the US. The opportunity arose at Music Lovers Audio in Berkeley, California, where a public afternoon demo on June 9, 2012 drew a large group of audiophiles who packed two large showrooms at the prestigious, well-appointed store.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 09, 2012 1 comments
This was a very special show. It was a joy to be there.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 09, 2012 0 comments
It may seem strange to introduce a huge show report—actually my final blog, since, in time-honored biblical fashion, the last shall always be first in the blogisphere —with a photo of a Bentley Mulsanne (over $400,000). But inside this gorgeously outfitted automobile, a machine that even closes its doors for you should you be too occupied trading stocks via iPhone to pull the handle, is a custom-enhanced sound system by Reus Systems of Orange. (It was part of the exotic car exhibition that was part of T.H.E. Show.)
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 09, 2012 2 comments
Oh, Santa. Santa Baby. Dear Santa Baby. Please make that a Reference Line Combination D ($259,700 total). I won't even ask you to sit on my lap, if only you and Rudolph bring me a pair of MBL 101E Mk.II Radialstrahler speakers, along with an MBL 1621 A CD transport, 1611 F D/A converter, 6010 D preamplifier, and 9011 power amplifier. In snow white, please, just as in the photo. This same Combo platter received my hands up and down "Best of Show" at AXPONA 2012 in Jacksonville. Here it sounded almost as good.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 09, 2012 0 comments
Scaena's imposing systems never fail to provide one of the highlights of the Show experience. Once the flashing light show on the VAC tube equipment was turned off, I was able to settle in and enjoy sensational sound through the Scaena Spiritus 3.6 System with Trifecta subwoofers ($130,000), VAC Statement 450 monoblock amplifiers ($78,000, presumably for the pair), VAC Signature MK2a preamp with phono option ($19,500), Audience Adept aR-12-TSS power conditioner ($10,000) and, for analog, the Kronos counter-rotating dual platter turntable ($28,000) with Graham Phantom Supreme 12" arm ($6000), Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement cartridge ($15,000), and Audio Research Ref phono 2 ($11,995).
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 09, 2012 2 comments
"Whoa!" said self to self upon entering the KT Audio Imports room. This display is so dazzling, how can I begin to take it all in?

Arrayed before me were the Triangle Art Referent turntable ($13,990); GamuT CD3 ($6500); NAT Audio Magma 160W amplifiers ($45,000/pair), Symmetrical dual balanced preamplifier ($8700), Signature battery phono stage ($7800); Eventus Audio Nebula loudspeakers ($65,000/pair), and Wireworld cabling. Not playing were the Triangle Art Signature turntable ($9990), NAT Single Integrated ($7800), and NAT Magnastotat battery preamplifier ($17,490). Some of this, as well as two other Eventus loudspeakers, was off to the side.

Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 09, 2012 0 comments
As someone who reviews speakers infrequently, and usually listens to floorstanders, I find the world of mini-monitors and bookshelf speakers confusing. There are so many different price points for the latter, with a pair of monitors listing for under $300 somehow meriting the same adjectives (at least from some reviewers) as those that cost 10, 20, and 30 times more. With FritzSpeakers, however, I have no question about quality.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 09, 2012 0 comments
Tucked in back of the FritzSpeakers room was a display from eNetFusion's Fusion Plinths. As explained by company owner Sunil, the company's made-to-order plinths are precision crafted to your turntable using exotic woods.
Jason Victor Serinus Posted: Jun 09, 2012 0 comments
Audioengine, which made a deservedly major mark a few years back with its perfect-for-desktop-computers, self-powered loudspeakers, has just issued the W3 as a replacement for the W1 ($149, I believe). A plug-and-play "premium wireless audio adapter" designed to move computer audio around your home or office, it can transmit 16-bit signals to up to three receivers ($89 for a receiver kit) via a closed 802.11 network. (Those desiring to send 24-bit signals can opt for the D2.) Also fairly new are the Audioengine 5+ powered loudspeakers ($399 and up).

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