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Ken Micallef  |  Nov 15, 2023  |  0 comments

All man hands were on deck for the US debut of the Italian-made Riviera Labs AFM 100 monoblock power amplifiers, brought to the show by Riviera Labs President of Sales and Marketing Silvio Delfino and Tone Imports' Jonathan Halpern. Also in attendance was Wadax SA's Brandon Lauer and Bending Wave/Göbel Loudspeakers distributor Elliot Goldman.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 15, 2023  |  3 comments

Hanging at the bar at the Hilton Twinbrook, one hears stories of audio deals gone bad, an actor absconding with a $500,000 system to an unknown Mexican destination, or sordid tales of a peeved player spiting bile at an unknowing colleague. Then there's show organizer Gary Gill, whose upbeat, generous persona is a prime contributor to the success of the Capital Audiofest.

Another valued player, who possesses a sense of inner calm I wish I could generate, is Valve Amplification Company President Kevin Hayes, one of our industry's good guys since his company's founding in 1990.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 13, 2023  |  1 comments

Not content to consistently produce some of the best sounding rooms at CAF year after year, Harry and Mat Weisfield changed up almost all their ancillary gear from 2022, but the sound remained fantastic.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 13, 2023  |  0 comments

Always a friendly face, yay, a calming presence as I crawl through show halls, Technics' Bill Voss was on hand to play music and talk shop in a space hosted by Overture Ultimate Home Theater Electronics of Wilmington, Delaware.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 13, 2023  |  0 comments

On A Higher Note’s Philip O’Hanlon is typically seen at shows playing unusual records while entertaining attendees with his charming storytelling and Irish brogue. This was something different.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 12, 2023  |  0 comments

If you're a fan of my Stereophile scribble, you know I don't consider myself a fan of stuff like DSP processing, digital amplification, spatial reconstruction, or active room correction—all of which play an important role with Bill Dudleston’s Legacy Audio loudspeakers.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 12, 2023  |  0 comments

Ampsandsound is perhaps best known for his amplifiers made to drive either headphones or loudspeakers. (See for example Herb Reichert's Gramophone Dreams #47.) At this show, however, Ampsandsound manufacturer/designer Justin Weber was showing his Arches monoblocks ($50,000/pair), which put out up to 65W each with KT-88 tubes or 85W each with KT-150 tubes.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 11, 2023  |  0 comments

The Hear This room included products from Von Schweikert Audio, WestminsterLab, Lampizator, Small Green Computer, Sonore, and MasterBuilt.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 11, 2023  |  5 comments

Can you judge an exhibitor's products by the music he plays? Perhaps not, but when I walk into a room playing "Hotel California," that mad percussion ditty "Music for Bang, Baa-Room and Harp," 90s grunge (footnote 1), or God No! Jazz at the Pawnshop, it's all I can do to stay put and not scream.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 10, 2023  |  4 comments

A dependable first stop for any show attendee, Jeffrey Catalano’s High Water Sound room got down to business and quick. Offering a similar system to last year's but with new Cessaro Horn Acoustics’ Wagner II Horn Speakers ($65,000/pair), the system had considerable jump and force paired to a liquid midrange and absolutely clean, nearly medicinal, certainly soul-enriching highs.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 10, 2023  |  2 comments

I have yet to hear a pair of Joseph Audio speakers I didn't marvel at. That includes the small-in-size but huge-of-sound Pulsar2 Graphene standmounts ($9999/pair) in a room commanded by Rogue Audio. I left the room saying "Crazy! Crazy" to Rogue’s Nick Fitzsimmons and Bill Magerman, but before then I sat in dumbstruck silence.

Stereophile Staff  |  Nov 10, 2023  |  6 comments

Gryphon’s highly anticipated Diablo 333 Integrated Amplifier will make its North American dealer debut on Thursday 16 November, 11am–6pm, at The Sound Environment in Omaha, Nebraska.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 10, 2023  |  0 comments

In room 801, David Cope of Old Forge Audio, in conjunction with Phonographe Distribution, played a joyous-sounding system that included my and Herb Reichert's current favorite loudspeaker).

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 10, 2023  |  2 comments

Presenting the new GoldenEar T66 floorstanding speakers ($6900/pair in Gloss Black, $7200/pair in Santa Barbara Red), Ken Forsythe (AudioQuest), aided and abetted by Chet Pelkowski and Chris Volk (both from GoldenEar), got down and dirty, and insisted I join in. I did!

Stereophile Staff  |  Oct 27, 2023  |  23 comments

Saturday November 4th, 10am–4pm. Listening sessions and open house at Audio Element's Carlsbad location: 5235 Avenida Encinas Suite A, Carlsbad, California. In attendance will be representatives of Cardas Audio, Dan D’Agostino, dCS Audio, Musical Surroundings, Transparent Audio, VTL Amplifiers, and Wilson Audio Specialties.