In Hebrew, the number 18 is called "chai," which also means "life." As my final (and 18th) blog entry from Day One at RMAF, I was happy to report how thrilled Jeff Wilson and I were with the sound in the Gill/Art Audio/Daedalus room.

Talk about system synergy. The thankfully large space easily accommodated the Daedalus Audio Ulysses speakers ($8800/pair), as well as the DA-RMA monitor which I didn't hear ($4450/pair); Gill Audio Alana preamp ($5000) and Gill Elise DAC ($6000); Art Audio Quartet monoblock amps ($14,500/pair) and unheard Art Audio Adagio ($29,000); and Empirical Design cables. Playing the great mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's Avie hybrid SACD of Handel arias, I was transported by this system's ability to convey the soul of Lieberson's singing. Not only were dynamic contrasts breathtaking, but Hunt Lieberson's intentional softening of her voice in order to better transmit the love that lies at the core of her artistry also went straight to the heart. And that's in a hotel whose electrical outlets were not even grounded, which made for a lot of unwanted brightness in a lot of systems!

Joe Freitas of Art Audio is a musician; the man understands what it takes to transmit what music is all about. Although I have less experience with Gill and Daedalus, it is clear that Joe did not create such fine sound alone. My sincere thanks to everyone whose gifts contributed to the experience. Check it out, boys and girls, check it out.

Rick Becker's picture

Un-grounded electrical outlets in a hotel?My, my. I hope their patrons use off-grid shaving devices.

Mark De Biasse's picture

Jason--I think you really hit on the reason why the Daedalus Audio room was so eminently musical--you have equipment designers who are musicians who REALLY know how real instruments (and voices) are supposed to sound. Lou Hinkley, who designs and hand builds Daedalus speakers, is an extraordinary guitarist who has been building the finest acoustic instrument amplification in the business for many, many years. More recently he has turned his attention to making home audio speakers that capture the tonality, dynamics and richness of recorded instruments. I'm not surprised to hear his new models produced some of the best sound at the show!

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

Yes. I ran into Lou in the hallway as both of us were leaving the hotel. He had his guitar case hung over his shoulder, and told me that he had just designed a pair of speakers for Lou Reed. I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to hear Daedalus speakers again. I hope you'll be at CES, and my path from room to room includes yours. (There's a lot to cover, and I wouldn't be surprised if another Stereophile blogger gets there first).Thanks for the beautiful music.jason

Lara Skaer's picture

Jason-I fell in love with the DA-1s at RMAF in 2005 because they were the most musical sounding speakers I had ever heard. I returned in 2006 and bought the demos. For the past year, they have filled my listening room (acousitically engineered by Rives Audio) with music that sounds live and real, with incredible imaging, clarity and a deep and wide soundstage. Plus, there is absolutely no listener fatigue. I returned this year to hear the new models Lou has been raving about and liked what I heard so much that I ordered a pair of the new model DA-1.1s. Pairing them with the Alana pre amp (which I own) and the Art Audio amps was like a marriage made in heaven, producing the best sound I heard at this year's RMAF, and there were many great sounding rooms. After visiting several other rooms I found myself returning to the Daedalus/Gill/Art Audio room and not wanting to leave. I hope you will consider reviewing the speakers. Laura

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

Hi Laura or Lara. While I contribute industry updates, editorials, show reports, and features to Stereophile, my reviews appear elsewhere. I would certainly consider - welcome - enjoy - adding these babies to my list.

Mike Quinn's picture

And yet another glitch: and this same one apparently made its way into print some time ago in an As We See It. Unless he's spelled his name incorrectly on his business card, and unless it is wrong in hundreds of other reviews and interviews, including several by this intrepid reporter, Joe "Freitas" spells his name F-R-A-T-U-S. Can't believe this one gets by the editors of this magazine...

Laura Skaer's picture

Thanks Jason. I would enjoy reading your review of these wonderful speakers, wherever it appears. BTW, it is Laura. My typing leaves a lot to be desired sometimes.Laura

Joe Fratus's picture

Jason,Thank you for your comments and for spending time with us (ArtAudio/Daedalus/GillAudio suite)during the RMAF. Just for the public's knowledge, the amplifier that was not playing at the time of your visit is the new stereo version of the Adagio amplifiers. The retail price of this product is $15,000. (not $29,000. as indicated in your article).Kind Regards, Joe Fratus Art Audio

Frank Goldfarb's picture

I also own a pair of the Daedalus DA-1's and now have a pair of Ulysses on order with Lou.Lou is a very dedicated designer and like many people in this business....guys like Joe Fratus, as a great example....Lou puts an awful lot of himself in his products. They are not only unfailingly musical speakers, but also beautiful to behold. My DA-1's are two years old, which is an ownership record for me, and I've not been interested in any others, until the Ulysses came along. Musical, dynamic and real sounding like no other speakers I've owned, Lou has my musical tastes down pat. By the way, I use Dan Wrights new LS36.5 preamp and after 400 hours of playing (it needs that to break in), it is a great sounding preamp. Gary Dodd's 150 watt tube mono amps's aren't too shabby either.Jason...Thanks for the report.

Lou Hinkley's picture

just a thank you for all the enthusiasm. It was a real pleasure to show with Joe and David