Capital AudioFest 2011

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John Atkinson  |  Jul 09, 2011  |  0 comments
One of the first rooms I went into was that featuring products from The Signal Collection, the distribution company run by the affable Chris Sommovigo (right). Also in the room was Todd Garfinkel of M•A Recordings (left), who was using Chris's system to play the masters of some of his excellent-sounding recordings. (I mentioned below that M•A had made a sampler CD to be given ever attendee.) The speaker featured in the photo is the M3 Mk3 ($6499/pair) from Swedish manufacturer Transmission Audio, a floorstanding sibling of the standmounted M1i Ribbon Mini I had auditioned at the Atlanta Axpona last April. The M3 used two of the metal-cne woofers developed by Bo Bengtsson and Ted Jordan. Each woofer is loaded differently to give a two-a-half-way design. The crossover to the ribbon tweeter is set at 3kHz.

With the speakers driven by Klimo Tine class-A tube monoblocks ($8999/pair), a Klimo Merlino preamp ($6699), hooked up with Stereolab interconnects and speakers cables, I listened to some of Todd's DSD masters played back on his Korg MR2000 recorder, as well as a Red Book WAV file of a track from M•A's well-regarded Calamus: The Splendor of Al Andalus. Despite competing noise from a live band playing in an adjacent ballroom, the sound was open, and clear., with a wide soundstage.

John Atkinson  |  Jul 09, 2011  |  0 comments
The second Capital AudioFest, sponsored by Carnegie Acoustics, takes place this weekend at the Rockville, Maryland Crowne Plaza, pictured here in Friday evening's rainstorm. On show are 61 brands in 28 rooms and I will be reporting live—well, as live as possible considering that when I am in a room listening to a system, I am not blogging and vice versa—from the show.

Hours are 11am–7pm, Saturday July 9, and 11am–6pm, Sunday July 10. A raffle is being held at 6pm on both days, and every attendee receives a free sampler CD from M•A Recordings. There will also be a swapmeet on Sunday morning starting at 8am. Details can be found at