LATEST ADDITIONS

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 09, 2021  |  First Published: Jul 01, 2018  |  2 comments
Bergmann Audio (footnote 1) launched its first turntable—the Sindre, which featured an integrated tonearm—in 2008. The Sindre's acrylic platter and tangential-tracking tonearm both floated on air bearings; it had an outboard motor controller, a separate air pump for the air bearings, and cost $21,000.
Ken Micallef  |  Nov 09, 2021  |  4 comments

Capital Audiofest 2021 was a fantastic show. Everyone I spoke to—vendors, visitors, the helpful Hilton staff—was jazzed to be there. Everyone was in good spirits. While I didn’t see as many attendees in total as at the 2019 CAF show pre-Covid, every room I visited was full, and in many midday cases, standing-room-only.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 09, 2021  |  10 comments

Next door to the VPI room showing Harry Weisfeld’s rock ‘em, sock ‘em JBL Everest horns, another system with a VPI source was complemented by a colossal pair of Arion Audio line-array towers and subwoofer columns. The speakers were brought to Rockville by Charlotte, North Carolina’s Arion Audio and Arion's designer/owner Mike Kalellis.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 09, 2021  |  2 comments

Tenacious Sound had several systems at the show, including those in Room 325 and the Montrose ballroom. Sunday morning, I stumbled into the smaller room, where good sounds were being made by an Audio Hungary X200 integrated tube amplifier ($6499) powering Canton Reference 7K loudspeakers ($6995/pair). A Microsoft Surface Pro laptop streamed Qobuz to a Weiss DAC. Cables were from Audience.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 09, 2021  |  0 comments

In the room of British Columbia’s Infigo Audio at the Capital Audiofest, CEO/founder Hans Looman was playing Michael Oldfield’s Tubular Bells II. Not quite new age, not “folk-tronica,” the music’s flowing, acoustic melodies and circular rhythms suited Looman, whose ponytail and pleasant banter recalled a taller, younger Obi-Wan Kenobi espousing wisdom and good vibrations. I quickly fell under the spell of Looman, Oldfield, and these attractive Infigo devices.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 08, 2021  |  1 comments

When a show room plays great music, the job of listening is easy. That’s true for civilians and press alike.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 08, 2021  |  3 comments

Show attendees can be gruff, show exhibitors grouchy. Add a pandemic and things can get touchy. But if there’s one man you want to see at an audio show, it’s the ever-chilled Jeff Joseph, who gets my nomination for the calmest, best natured manufacturer in high-end audio.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 08, 2021  |  3 comments

I couldn’t decide what was more impressive, the larger-than-life personality of Bending Wave USA distributor Eliot Goldman or the massive products shown in his WADAX/Goebel room. Either way, I was grateful for the room’s bright light, which gave everything a fresh-scrubbed sheen and made it much easier than most rooms to photograph.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 08, 2021  |  2 comments

I've used the LKV Research PWR+ Amplifier as part of my reference rig for some time, so it was great to meet LKV’s Bill Hutchins in the flesh at CAF. Connecting with the designer behind a component is always a treat and helps humanize the process of technology-mediated listening.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 08, 2021  |  1 comments

When I walked into the large Twinbrook room, which was hosted by dealer United Home Audio and distributor Hi End by Oz, its Bulgarian-made Thrax Audio system, complete with reel-to-reel tape deck, was playing Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” Once I calmed down and got a grip, I found Oz Curran’s Hi End by Oz room to be quite a delight.

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