High Water mark

The same qualities I strive for in my system at home—a sense of touch and drive, rich sonic textures and colors, musical momentum and flow—seem often to be abundant in the systems put together by the New York-based distributor and retailer High Water Sound. Given that, and the fact that HWS proprietor Jeff Catalano has superb taste in music, I was sad when the time came to leave this room and move on.

For this, their first time exhibiting at SSI, High Water Sound played a system comprising the lovely Thöress Systems 845 single-ended mono amps ($14,000/pair, and pictured above), plus Thöress preamp ($9000), TRON Seven GT phono preamp ($18,000), TW-Acustic GT turntable ($9,500) with two TW 10.5 tonearms ($5500 each), and Miyajima Labs Shilabe cartridge ($3000). This isn’t a cheap system, by any means, but to hear it play Bonnie Prince Billy’s new album, The Wonder Show of the World (LP, Drag City DC 2012) was to fall in love.

Alan Tomlinson's picture

Many Germanic languages use umlauts(those two dots that appear above certain vowels). If an author has the desire to spread knowledge, rather than ignorance, he or she would be well-advised to either copy umlauts directly when they are utilized or to transliterate them. There is no such thing as an ubermensch, for example; but the word übermensch or uebermensch, does exist(although in German it would, as a noun, be capitalized).

We now return you to your regular programming.


Alan Tomlinson

deckeda's picture

If an author has the desire to spread knowledge, rather than ignorance

There does exist another possibility, that neither extreme is true.

John Atkinson's picture

If an author has the desire to spread knowledge, rather than ignorance...

These show reports are prepared under extreme time pressure - when a writer is listening to a system in an exhibitor's room he is not posting the report to the website, and vice versa. It is inevitable, therefore, that errors occasionally creep in. While we welcome those errors being pointed out, it is not necessary for the person doing so to be patronizing.


Thank yü.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

jarraa's picture

Hi Art,

  I resonate with your feelings about this system. Heard it myself in person! Makes you forget it's a system and start to get emotionally involved in the music! And thats what its all about. I wanted to let folks know about the rest of the system that was not mentioned.


SPEAKERS : : Horning Hybrid Systems : Eufrodite Zigma Plus ($24,000)

POWER :: Silver Circle Audio Tchaik 6 ($9,5000) 

POWER CABLES :: TelWire Power Cables

CABLES :: Zen Sati Angel SC and IC

STAND :: Silent Running Audio Scuttle Rack and Ohio XL Bases 


Have fun and keep them tunes spinning!



DetroitVinylRob's picture

I made space on my dance card to spend some good quality time with Jeff and his HWS room on both Saturday and Sunday at Axpona in Chicago (same system as listed above) and could not agree more with Art's assessment, High Water Sound seems to always produce the goods. Between the sound of the gear/set-up and Jeff's seemingly bottomless record collection... this is always a favorite room at any of the shows for me, always a pleasure. A Sandy Denny cut was a treat to hear, thanks Jeff.

Happy Listening!