Music Lovers and Musical Surroundings, Or: 5 Things About 4pm on Saturday

1. I had never seen speakers spread so far apart.
2. I had never seen a room that could make the Wilson Audio MAXX Series 3 loudspeakers look small.
3. By 4pm on Saturday afternoon, which is when I made it to this room, just about everyone at the California Audio Show was in a very loose mood (and getting looser).
4. The source was a Clearaudio Innovation Wood (ha, he said “Wood”) turntable with a Graham Phantom II Supreme tonearm and Benz Micro LP S-MR cartridge. The phono stage was the all-tube Aesthetix 10 Eclipse, the amplification was from Spectral, and the cables were from MIT.
5. The sound was surprisingly focused, gentle, and nuanced, as though those speakers weren’t a million miles away from one another, as though the room wasn’t so impossible after all, as though some very intelligent and careful people had taken the time to properly place those speakers in that impossible room.

Charles Hansen's picture

Well, Stephen, we at Ayre have found wood to be a highly beneficial material for many applications in audio. Not only do we sell myrtle wood blocks to support components and cables, but many of the layers of the plinth of the dps turntable we import are special-grade baltic birch.

We have found that wood makes excellent component racks; baltic-birch plywood for thinner shelves and butcher-block maple for thicker shelves. (MDF and particle board do not really count as "wood".)

I was an early adopter of what was perhaps the earliest wood bodied phono cartridge (and, I believe, the one that started that craze) nearly fifteen years ago, the Benz-Micro Wood. All of my personal phono cartridges have had wood bodies since (although I admit that I have a body-less Ortofon A90 waiting to be mounted).

All-in-all, we have had such good experiences with wood (in audio -- where is your mind?), that we have developed a saying: "Wood is Good!"

Cheers, and thanks for the fun show reporting!