Cake Audio: Verity, Vitus, CAD, Kuzma, Dynavector, Purist, and Ansuz

Ken Boyce's Cake Audio of San Clemente united many well-respected brands in a fine system that impressed many show goers. At the top of my "Wow, this is good" list were the lovely piano timbres on a 45rpm pressing of Eugene Istomin performing Mozart's Piano Concerto No.24, and good old Elvis' absolutely fabulous, prime voice, do-with-me-what-you-want rendition of "Fever." Not yet the overdone cynic of his later years, Presley perfectly gauged every single syllable and nuance in his surprisingly tasteful, no questions left to ask performance. Need I say that it would not have sounded half as mesmerizing if the gear had not been up to snuff?

Doing the honors: Verity Otello loudspeakers ($19,345/pair; top), Vitus R1-101 MkII integrated amplifier ($18,000) and SP-103 phono preamplifier ($39,000); Computer Audio Design CAT (as in CAD CAT) music server ($15,000), 1543 DAC ($12,000), and GC1 ground control ($1995); Kuzma Stabi R turntable with Walnut frame ($12,139) and Stogi Reference 313 CE with VTA Tower ($6005); Dynavector XV-1T phono cartridge ($9450); and a mix of Purist Audio Design and Ansuz cabling.