LATEST ADDITIONS

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 13, 2021  |  12 comments
After a 15-year hiatus, Italy's Zingali Acoustics returns to the US courtesy of importer/distributor Reference Components Ltd with the Twenty 1.2 EVO Thirtieth Anniversary Edition loudspeakers ($21,045/pair in walnut finish). To these ears, the re-introduction is notable, because Hilary Hahn's violin sounded glorious on her performance of Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No.1. Sweetened by Cary Audio's 27Wpc CAD-805 RS single-ended triode monoblocks ($15,995/pair) with a host of new, old, and NOS tubes and a Cary SLP-98P preamplifier ($4995) with Tung Sol tubes from the 1940s, the sound was magical.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 13, 2021  |  15 comments
I wonder if France would have been the same had Marie Antoinette had access to a system like this. Dominating the view in this room, presented by San Clemente, California's Cake Audio (not the Czech audio manufacturer), was the joint US premiere of the striking Alsyvox Botticelli ribbon loudspeakers ($92,000/pair + $30,000 optional external crossovers) and Vitus SS-103 stereo amplifier ($40,000).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 12, 2021  |  8 comments
I almost lost my hearing in the PBN room. Well, not quite the room itself. I was approaching the large entranceway to this huge air-walled PBN room on the ground floor when my guardian angels, somewhat like the guardians of the temple in Mozart's The Magic Flute, declared "Zurück! This music is too loud for you to enter."
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 12, 2021  |  0 comments
Darrin O'Neill's Audio Limits, located outside Las Vegas, showcased an impressive system that included the debut of the Audiovector R8 Arreté ($69,995/pair) and Thrax Libra 300 Differential Balanced 300B tube preamplifier ($57,500). The four-way speakers are claimed to have a frequency range of 22Hz–52kHz, 92.5dB/2.83V/m sensitivity, 8 ohm impedance, and the capacity to handle up to 500W power.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 12, 2021  |  2 comments
Rick Schulz's High Fidelity Cables system threw such a huge soundstage that I needed to go back a row or two to take it all in. When I did, it sounded tremendous, as in positively three-dimensional with a smooth and pleasing top.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 12, 2021  |  0 comments
I mentioned this room in the opening blog from T.H.E. Show 2021, but only to point out the unusual nature of its PowerSlave Marble Mk.II power distributor ($18,500), the Stacore Roller Anti-Vibration Platform with cryo-max mass loading+bearing isolation ($4180), and the huge Stage III Poseidon AC power ($22,000) and Cerberus speaker cables ($36,200/pair). While they weren't the most expensive components in the room, their prices certainly topped that of the flagship Aurender W20SE music server/streamer ($22,000).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 12, 2021  |  1 comments
When Wayne Carter told me that his company, San Diego-based Wayne Carter Audio, designed audio systems for rock stars and also distributed Margules Audio tube products, I knew I had to pair one room with the other. The potential contrast between Carter's "vintage mastering system from 30 years ago"—assembled partly for fun and partly as a tool to help customers understand what was and is possible—and Margules's diminutive gear was too delicious to resist.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 11, 2021  |  2 comments
Two rooms, side-by-side at T.H.E. Show 2021, with two entirely different but equally valid windows on sound. To the left—we are not talking politics here—the UK's ATC loudspeaker company, manufacturer of time-honored active and passive loudspeakers. Courtesy of their reps, Las Vegas-based Lone Mountain Audio, we are hearing the US show debut of SCM100ASLT Active Driver Tower loudspeaker ($41,999/pair, or $50,999/pair in this particular glossy finish). This is a bigger speaker than the two other speakers that the company usually shows, and the music played via file, wireless Tidal streaming, and LP included an international line-up of Mark Knopfler, Bob Marley, and Charles Mingus.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 11, 2021  |  6 comments
It's been a long time coming, but it is finally happening. As I write these words, T.H.E. Show (aka The Home Entertainment Show), the successor to the late Richard Beers' original T.H.E. Show that began as an alternative high-end showplace to CES, is about to begin in the Long Beach Hilton. (That's Long Beach, California, for the uninitiated.) Dealers and exhibitors have set up in 20 or so rooms and numerous marketplace booths, said their prayers, enjoyed dinner in the hotel or in downtown Long Beach, and begun to burrow in for the night. As they do, components cook, cables settle, and the acoustic gods and karmic gatekeepers prepare to hold their traditional midnight meeting of the minds to decide each exhibitor's fate.
Larry Archibald  |  Jun 11, 2021  |  First Published: Sep 01, 1982  |  4 comments
This is a speaker we've been fairly intimate with over quite a period of time. Designed by John Bau, the SC-50i started out three years ago as an inexpensive speaker system ($330/pair) not sold through dealers.

One of the factors allowing it to cost so little was the clever adaptation of cardboard tubes, normally used as forms for pouring concrete pillars, for use as speaker enclosures. They have a number of advantages, other than low cost: their circular form helps eliminate resonance of the back wave within the enclosure; the material is rigid because of its shape, and is non-resonant due to its construction.

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