T.H.E. Show 2023

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 15, 2023  |  0 comments
In a brand déjà vu with High End by Oz, Ken Boyce's Cake Audio of San Clemente showed Lansche 5.2 "singing flame" loudspeakers with their plasma tweeter ($55,000/pair in either white or piano black), different Vitus components, and Albedo cabling. Room dimension and acoustics were different, of course, but both exhibitors had to cope with the challenges of air walls and sonic bleedthrough.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 14, 2023  |  6 comments
I usually forego seminars and the like in favor of covering more active demos shows. But when Acora Acoustics announced, "A Very Special Listening Event with Joe Harley at T.H.E. Show," I decided to indulge in Saturday afternoon's tour of historic Blue Note reissues.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 14, 2023  |  7 comments
To the few trolls who frequently post on this website:

If you think high-end audio is dead, you haven't met designer Nick Tarnofsky (above), a touring guitarist and engineer with an Instagram presence who is in his second year of selling Black Ocean Audio speakers direct. This man is savvy enough to have set up an enigmatic display outside his room—a piece of driftwood with a light on it—to lure people in.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 14, 2023  |  0 comments
YG Acoustics' very fine-sounding midrange unit contributed to the lovely sound on YG Acoustics' Ascent loudspeaker ($19,800/pair). Easier to drive than the Colorado company's larger models, it uses the same drivers as in the Carmel and Hailey loudspeakers, but with a new waveguide on the tweeter.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 14, 2023  |  0 comments
Alma Music & Audio has recently gone bi-coastal, adding Alma East in Sterling, VA to its flagship Alma West store in San Diego. In one of their several rooms at the show, the dealership showcased Boenicke Audio's W8 SE loudspeaker in Walnut finish ($16,500/pair). I've always been intrigued by these unique solid-wood speakers, whose internal chambers are carved out by a CNC machine.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 14, 2023  |  0 comments
You can always count on the amazing Steven Norber to come up with something intriguing. In this case, it was the brand new Dhyana two-way quasi line-array loudspeaker ($19,500/pair). With a 30mm tweeter and four 152.4mm woofers, the speaker claims a frequency range of 28Hz–23kHz, a nominal impedance of 8 ohms, and a sensitivity of 88.5dB.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 14, 2023  |  1 comments
Tonian Labs was one of several smaller companies at T.H.E. Show that depend on direct sales and a few dealers to get their products to the public. I'm glad I encountered them again, because their Oriaco G6 loudspeaker ($4500/pair) united with a Denon 70Wpc integrated and Marantz CD player to deliver very clear and colorful sound.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 14, 2023  |  0 comments
This year, Sunil Merchant's Sunny's Components occupied a single room at T.H.E. Show in which to turn the spotlight on CH Precision's less expensive but hardly bargain basement 1 series. CH Precision's powerhouse line-up, shown below without the optional power supplies that can beef up performance, consisted of the CH Precision M1.1 stereo amplifier ($54,000), L1 stereo preamplifier ($34,500), P1 phono stage ($31,000 and up), C1.2 D/A processor ($36,000 and up) with 16× upsampling, and D1.5 SACD/CD/MQA transport/player ($41,000 and up).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 14, 2023  |  3 comments
When I bumped into long-time industry member Alan Kafton of Audio Excellence/The Cable Cooker, he urged to check out a new loudspeaker company, Songer Audio of Portland, OR, on the third floor. It seems I missed the company when its founder, former software engineer Ken Songer, premiered his speakers at last year's Pacific Audio Fest outside Seattle.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 13, 2023  |  1 comments
One could only be impressed with the amount of air delivered by a cramped set-up in which TAD standmounts stood so close to each other and everything else. The sound was notably warm with excellent bass.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 12, 2023  |  6 comments
Scott Walker Audio united with Soulution and Von Schweikert Audio to present the show premiere of the new active Von Schweikert VR-55 MkII SE loudspeaker in fabulous McLaren Volcano Orange finish ($85,000/pair). The latest successor to the original VR-55, which was designed by the late Albert Von Schweikert and released in 2014, this 3-wayspeaker with beryllium- and ceramic-diaphragm drivers contains significant crossover improvements and technology trickled down from Von Schweikert Audio's top Ultra model.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 12, 2023  |  0 comments
Synergistic Research had the opportunity to display its magic in the first of five rooms sponsored by Scott Walker Audio. There were at least six new Synergistic Research products in the room: the Network Router UEF ($2995), UEF Ethernet and USB Performance Enhancers ($295), Master Fuses ($595 each), Galileo Active Ground Block MkII ($7995), Master Tuning Modules for use, I believe, with cables ($425/each), and, on static display, Active Ground Block SX ($2995). Add in at least Synergistic Research power conditioning products, headed by the Synergistic Research Galileo PowerCell SX ($27,995); six acoustic room treatment products; four racks and shelves, headed by the Synergistic Research Tranquility Rack ($24,995); another grounding product; and six different cables, the most expensive of which was the SRX Interconnect ($12,995, presumably for the pair). Add that all up, and you had quite the Synergistic Research lineup.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 12, 2023  |  0 comments
Ozan Turan and Dave Weintraub of High End by Oz may pretty consistently rotate components between shows, but one element remains constant: sonic excellence. At T.H.E. Show 2023, it was time for Lansche 7.2 loudspeakers ($110,000/pair in Macassar Ebony finish), Thrax Heros MkII class-A hybrid monoblocks ($47,000/pair) and other Thrax components, United Home Audio's R2R Ultima5 tape deck with outboard power supply ($38,000), and Albedo Silver Metamorphosis Signature monocrystal cabling to shine.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 11, 2023  |  0 comments
Together, distributor Philip O'Hanlon of S. CA-based On a Higher Note (OAHN) and Neil Strickland of British Audio Guys, a dealership in Sherman Oaks that specializes in British brands, set up an extremely pleasing and musical system. While O'Hanlon cued up tracks, Strickland was available to explain to showgoers the ins and outs/whys and wherefores of Graham Audio loudspeakers, which he used extensively as a BBC engineer.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 10, 2023  |  1 comments
Located by itself in the Orange County Hilton’s Dana Point room, half-obscured beyond a display of several luxury cars, Joseph Cali System Design's Gryphon Audio Design System put on a show all its own. That it sounded as good as it did in a hotel space formerly occupied by a hair salon—hair salons are hardly prized for their acoustics—was a near miracle. Everything from recording studio Gobos and ASC Tube Traps to Vicoustic Diffusers and black draping (covering floor-to-ceiling glass windows) was employed to deliver sound that, if at all bettered at T.H.E. Show, will have to be sensational and then some.

That's another way of saying that Joseph Cali (left in photo) and Rune Skov (right), had every reason to be proud of their accomplishment.