Moving Music from High Water Sound

Over the last several years, whenever I’ve run into High Water Sound’s Jeffrey Catalano at a show, he reminds me that I have an invitation to visit his NYC salon for a proper listen. I smile, thank him, and honestly agree: Yes, we definitely have to get together soon. It’s gotten to the point now that we don’t even have to talk about it. I know what he’s going to say, he knows what I’m going to say. For no good reason at all, I still haven’t made it down to 274 Water Street.

I’ll go on the record now and say that 2013 is the year that this trend comes to an end. At every hi-fi show, all Catalano ever does is play my very favorite music over his exotic and beautiful systems, reminding me of why I enjoy this hobby as much as I do.

At CES, Catalano and his partners put together a system comprising TW-Acustic Black Night turntable ($40,000) with two tonearm-cartidge combinations: TW-Acustic 10.5 tonearm ($5500) with Ortofon Windfeld ($3899) and Ortofon 309D tonearm with Ortofon Cadenza Mono cartridge ($1199); Cessaro Horn Acoustics Chopin loudspeakers ($40,000/pair); and Tron-Electric Dscovery GT SE 300B amplifier ($60,000), Seven GT line amp ($18,000), Seven GT phono/stereo amp ($18,000), and Seven GT phono/mono amp ($18,000). Silent Running Audio’s Scuttle Rack and Ohio XL bases and Symposium Acoustics Super Plus speaker platforms supported the goods; Silver Circle Audio’s Tchaik 6 ($9500) conditioned the power; and everything was connected with ZenSati Angel interconnects and speaker cables and PranaWire power cords.

Catalano played a side of Talk Talk’s beautiful Spirit of Eden and I was moved by the great sense of space, touch, and inner detail—I noted a swelling, sweeping beauty and intensity from both the music and sound—and I especially enjoyed the natural tones of acoustic guitars, voices, and percussion. I expect things will be even more enjoyable at Catalano’s High Water Sound showroom.

zettelsm's picture

Jeff Catalano is a true gentleman, and a true music-lover. Though I'm simply an enthusiast who sneaks into CES to check out what's new in high-end audio, Jeff always has made me feel welcome in his room, and always has some great music to listen to. For me, CES and THE Show is as much about the people as it is the equipment, and Jeff is one of the great personalities in audio.

Steve Z