Ken Micallef  |  Nov 16, 2023  |  0 comments

Amplifier manufacturer Linear Tube Audio was seemingly everywhere at the show. LTA appeared with Daedalus Audio in the Randolph Room, with PureAudioProject in Room 825, with Credo Audio and Audioshield Distribution in Room 730, and with Audeze, Meze, iBasso, and ZMF in the Headphone Lounge; LTA debuted the new Velo ($2100) headphone amp at the show.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 16, 2023  |  2 comments

Hitting the show circuit without their usual running buddy, Greg Roberts of Volti Audio (who is taking a much deserved break), BorderPatrol's Gary Dews and Triode Wire Lab's "Triode Pete" Grzybowski joined forces with Living Voice Loudspeakers of Long Eaton, Derbyshire, UK.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 16, 2023  |  0 comments

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Falls Church, Virginia, dealer Now Listen Here enjoys an unusual pedigree. By day, part-owner Shayne Tenace (who also runs Tenacious Sound) builds nuclear power plants; a Canadian project currently occupies his time. But by night—watch out—Shayne spins vinyl on the brand new Rega NAIA turntable and Vandersteen Quatro speakers. (Despite his nocturnal preoccupations, his stores maintain regular daylight business hours.) The NAIA had its US debut at the Now Listen Here suite at CAF.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 16, 2023  |  9 comments

Audio Note’s Adrian Ford-Crush maintains a sweet vinyl stash. So whenever time allows, I hide out in his room and check out the sounds. For this show, all the way from London, Ford-Crush brought Count Basie's fantastic Roulette recording Chairmen of the Board, a Blue Note Classics edition of Hank Mobley’s hard bop treatise No Room for Squares, Cannonball Adderley’s Quintet Plus, and Mad Professor’s 40 Years of Dub.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 16, 2023  |  1 comments

I ran into Audio Skies' Michael Vamos at the Hilton bar while schmoozing with old friend Michael Lavorgna, editor and owner of the excellent Twittering Machines audio site. (He's also my fashion guru.) Vamos convinced me to check out his room, presented with Baltimore dealer Dr Vinyl, and I was glad I did.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 15, 2023  |  0 comments

All man hands were on deck for the US debut of the Italian-made Riviera Labs AFM 100 monoblock power amplifiers, brought to the show by Riviera Labs President of Sales and Marketing Silvio Delfino and Tone Imports' Jonathan Halpern. Also in attendance was Wadax SA's Brandon Lauer and Bending Wave/Göbel Loudspeakers distributor Elliot Goldman.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 15, 2023  |  1 comments

Hanging at the bar at the Hilton Twinbrook, one hears stories of audio deals gone bad, an actor absconding with a $500,000 system to an unknown Mexican destination, or sordid tales of a peeved player spiting bile at an unknowing colleague. Then there's show organizer Gary Gill, whose upbeat, generous persona is a prime contributor to the success of the Capital Audiofest.

Another valued player, who possesses a sense of inner calm I wish I could generate, is Valve Amplification Company President Kevin Hayes, one of our industry's good guys since his company's founding in 1990.

Julie Mullins  |  Nov 15, 2023  |  4 comments
Photo by Lauren Coleman

New York City continues to have a rich hi-fi culture, but many of its fabled hi-fi shops have shuttered—think of Lyric Hi-Fi, which played a major role in the development of audio's high end before it closed in 2021. But recently NYC's hi-fi scene has experienced a bit of a renewal, with undertakings aimed at a wider, younger audience. One example is a new, niche audio showroom in SoHo, which opened in September, by former deejay and fashion designer, artist, and current audio craftsman Devon Turnbull.

Robert Baird  |  Nov 14, 2023  |  3 comments
The Who: Who's Next/Life House Super Deluxe Edition
Polydor/UME (10 CD, Blu-ray). 1971/2023. The Who, orig. prod.; Glyn Johns, associate prod.; Bill Curbishley, Robert Rosenberg, exec. prods. reissue; Bob Pridden, Richard Whittaker, Andy McPherson, Jaime Howarth, Pete Townshend, engs.; Jon Astley, Layla Astley, remastering engs.
Performance *****
Sonics *****

Impossibly ambitious? Too many demands on the audience? Tommy done better? A final collapse before a glorious resurrection? 1971's Who's Next, which began life as a more-advanced-than-Tommy sci-fi rock opera called Life House (also called Lifehouse), is all that and more. All the elements of this oft-reissued opus have been remastered and reissued in several new configurations, the most complete being the Who's Next/Life House Super Deluxe Edition, which includes 10 CDs with 155 tracks sourced from the original tapes, 89 of them previously unreleased.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 13, 2023  |  1 comments

Not content to consistently produce some of the best sounding rooms at CAF year after year, Harry and Mat Weisfield changed up almost all their ancillary gear from 2022, but the sound remained fantastic.