Capital AudioFest 2019

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Herb Reichert  |  Nov 01, 2019  |  5 comments
The lighting in the Krell-Alta Audio room was bleak, gray, colorless. The only color in the entire room was the blue from the lights on Krell’s never-before-played-in-public K-300p phono preamplifier ($TBD), Krell Illusion line-level preamplifier ($7700), Krell Duo 300 XD amplifier, and Krell CEO Walter Schofield’s shiny blue jacket.
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 01, 2019  |  8 comments
I have been beating the headphone drum at Stereophile since I started in 2014. By 2016, when I reviewed Linear Tube Audio’s inaugural product, the microZOTL2.0 line-stage/headphone amplifier, I was falling asleep with AKG K812s on my head. (Now I’m falling asleep with HiFiMan Susvara and RAAL-requisite SR1a ribbon headphones.) To me, headphone listening is the gateway to audio’s newest wonderland.
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 02, 2019  |  6 comments
Before I knew who she was, I saw Roslyn in the hall handing out chocolate chip cookies that she baked herself. She was vivacious, with a heart-melting smile, and talking to everybody. Each hand-wrapped bag held two cookies and was tied with a ribbon in a bow, with a business card. (As I chatted with her I snuck cookie-bag after cookie-bag into my jacket pockets. I don’t think she noticed.)
Ken Micallef  |  Nov 03, 2019  |  6 comments
I’ve favorably reviewed both Gary Dews’ BorderPatrol amps and Greg Roberts’ horn-loaded Volti Audio speakers. Since I couldn’t afford to purchase either when I reviewed them, I was looking forward to seeing and hearing their wares at CAF.
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 06, 2019  |  8 comments
Look at the photo. What you see is a re-imagining of the original Quad ESL 57s by Dave Slagle of EMIA (Experience Music Intact Audio). The only thing that remains from the original Quads are the PVC stator parts rebuilt to original standards by Wayne Picquet of Quads Unlimited in Longwood, Florida.
Ken Micallef  |  Nov 04, 2019  |  4 comments
Oswalds Mill Audio (OMA) is known for thinking outside of the box, and its new division, Fleetwood Sound Company, looks to extend that tradition.
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 04, 2019  |  1 comments
The other big room with spectacular sound on the Rockville Hilton’s atrium level featured products from Pass Labs, GT Audioworks, and Basis Audio.
Ken Micallef  |  Nov 05, 2019  |  14 comments
On the last day of the show, loudspeaker designer Jeff Joseph showed no signs of slowing down. Remote in hand, he bounced around his room like the proverbial battery bunny, welcoming attendees, switching his rig between analog and digital playback, and generally smiling his way through it all.
Ken Micallef  |  Nov 07, 2019  |  6 comments
Veteran Palo Alto, California distributor Audio Federation presented a system that included large horn-loaded speakers and Audio Note UK gear, two of my favorite things.
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 07, 2019  |  11 comments
Some products I review touch my heart and affect how I see all other products that I review afterwards. VK Audio's made-in-Japan $1785 EleKit TU-8600R 300B single-ended tube amp kit was one of those. This amp uses Swedish-made Lundahl transformers (and super-premium parts) to deliver near-state-of-the-art performance at a price anyone with a soldering iron could afford.
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 06, 2019  |  First Published: Nov 04, 2019  |  3 comments
It pleases me beyond words when modestly priced audio components overperform immodestly.
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 04, 2019  |  12 comments
I mentioned earlier how uncolored, detailed, transparent, and image-specific an open baffle loudspeaker can sound. Unfortunately, not all open baffle speakers are created equal, and making a coherent and musically satisfying open-baffle speaker is much more complex than just bolting a few drivers to a sheet of plywood. The question any loudspeaker designer must ask is, how far should I go? When is done right?

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