Don’t Forget High Water Sound

Jeffrey Catalano’s High Water Sound room was so hidden, tucked away at the end of a shadowy corridor, that posters were tacked to the Atrium walls, reminding showgoers to stop by.

I had wondered how anyone could possibly find their way there, so I was taken aback when I walked into a packed house of bobbing heads and stomping feet. But I shouldn’t have been surprised: Audiophiles have a way of finding great music.

It was Booker T. & the MGs’ McLemore Avenue, a mostly instrumental album inspired by the Beatles Abbey Road. And it kicked total ass. I would love to get together with some friends and a few six-packs and play these two albums back-to-back to have a drunken discourse on the pros and cons.

Catalano does things his own way, and realizes that his sound is not for everyone. The system was unlike any other at T.H.E. Show Newport: TW-Acustic Raven GT turntable ($10,000) with two TW-Acustic 10.5 tonearms ($5500 each), one equipped with a Miyajima Labs Shilabe ($2600) and the other with Miyajima’s Premium BE Mono ($1250); big, beautiful Cessaro Horn Acoustics Chopin loudspeakers ($40,000/pair); Thoress Systems 845 SE monoblocks ($14,000/pair), Preamplifier ($9000), Phono Enhancer ($9000), and F2A11 SE Stereo amp ($9000); Silent Running Audio Ohio XL bases; Silver Circle Audio Pure Power One 5.0 SE power distributor ($7500); Symposium Acoustics Super Plus speaker platforms; Pranawire speaker cables and passive line conditioner; High Fidelity interconnects; and Silver Circle, Stealth, and WSS power cables.

I had mentioned the great variety of music heard in the Luxman/Vivid room. Jeffrey Catalano’s demos provide a similarly awesome and adventurous selection of music. Catalano followed up McLemore Avenue with RIP, the latest release from Actress, and I’m somewhat sad to say it sounded far better than I’d ever heard it at home: My modest system simply can’t match the texture, roundness of tone, and wealth of detail I heard here—more motivation for me to finally make the short trip downtown to visit High Water Sound. All signs are leading me there.

soulful.terrain's picture


What a freakin baddass system. and those speakers.....WOW!

DetroitVinylRob's picture

Not surprising to hear the that Jeff and his High Water Audio were leaving once again, a profound reminder of how good it can be. Happy to hear also that they were not plagued again by bad rooms as that supports no one... hopefully those days are gone. I have got to get out to High Water Audio's home base for a listening session, and to wander through Jeff's amazing record collection. In audio, this is the guy to keep an eye (and ears) on!

Happy Listener, Happy Listening!

Pro-Audio-Tech's picture

Not a fan of horns... I don't need anything shouting at me I have a wife that is a pro at that.

HOWEVER, this system I thought had a nice sound, not shouty at all.

Great job with this room and the demo, they did not play d-i-g-i-t-a-l when I was in the room, thank god. The Raven turntable looks really nice tooo..