Joseph Audio Loudspeakers, Unison Research DAC and Amplification, Balanced Audio Technology Phono Stage, Feickert Turntable, Shick Tonearm, My Sonic Lab Cartridge

On the last day of the show, loudspeaker designer Jeff Joseph showed no sign of slowing down. Remote in hand, he bounced around his room like the battery bunny, welcoming attendees, switching his rig between analog and digital, and smiling his way through it all.

Jeff’s rig included a Feickert Firebird turntable ($12,995), Schick Tonearm ($2290), My Sonic Lab Signature Gold Cartridge ($8995), Balanced Audio Technology VK-P12SE phono stage ($9995), Unison Research CD Due DAC ($4995), Unico 150 Integrated amplifier ($6495), and his Joseph Audio Perspective2 Graphene Loudspeakers ($14,995).

Louis Armstrong singing “St. James Infirmary” sounded visceral and alive. The Blue Note Tone Poet vinyl reissue of Tina Brooks’ Minor Move presented good dynamics and punch. Rhino’s reissue of Chicago’s 1969 debut album, Chicago Transit Authority, showed what the system was capable of, with beautiful layering and depth. But what surprised me was a digital track from the album, Jazz Variants, by O-Zone Percussion Group. At one point, when a player struck multiple dipping timpani notes, the sound was so deep, large, resonant and forceful that one visitor exclaimed “where are you hiding the sub?”