Capital AudioFest 2019

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Herb Reichert  |  Nov 06, 2019  |  First Published: Nov 04, 2019  |  4 comments
It pleases me beyond words when modestly priced audio components overperform immodestly.
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 04, 2019  |  11 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?
Ken Micallef  |  Nov 03, 2019  |  7 comments
I’ve known DeVore Fidelity’s John DeVore a long time. Luxman America President Jeff Sigmund, too. I’ve reviewed a few of their products—DeVore and Luxman. These guys are salt of the earth. They’ve got tradition, they love music, they have a desire to create, a desire to serve.
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 05, 2019  |  First Published: Nov 04, 2019  |  13 comments
Two friends whose taste and hearing I respect—and who visited every room at this show—told me they thought the $35K/pair MC Audiotech Forty-10 loudspeakers made the best sound at CAF. No question, these almost five-feet tall decorator-friendly midcentury-modern-looking beauties sounded even better they look, and they look very nice.
Ken Micallef  |  Nov 03, 2019  |  6 comments
With so many megabuck rooms fattening the floors of CAF 2019, it’s easy to miss the smallish, sub-$10,000 systems making absolutely first rate sound. One such room was manned by MoFi’s Jon Derda: the Tenacious Sound/MoFi/Quad room.
Ken Micallef  |  Nov 04, 2019  |  0 comments
There's a cliché that says that New Yorkers are fond of wearing black. It's a true cliché. But fascination with the dark side isn’t restricted to New Yorkers.
Ken Micallef  |  Nov 01, 2019  |  0 comments
I had woken up not long before, fallen out of bed, and descended the hotel stairs to the Atrium—to the sight of what appeared to be many tens of thousands of vinyl records. I had dragged myself away and met Herb Reichert for breakfast, where we made plans for Stereophile’s coverage of Capital AudioFest 2019. But the vinyl kept drawing me back.
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 04, 2019  |  2 comments
My three-day reconnaissance suggests that Mark Schneider and his company, Linear Tube Audio, scored big at CAF, downstairs in the Headphone Lounge and with a room I and many showgoers thought was a candidate for Best Sound at Show.
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 06, 2019  |  8 comments
I like speakers with dark wood finishes. My friend Sphere loves speakers painted red. My partner “bb” prefers blue ones that match her room. Tekton Design makes speakers in these and many other colors and finishes. Tekton speakers, though, also have many tweeters, which gives them a distinctive look.
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 01, 2019  |  3 comments
It was 77 degrees on October 31 and the weather on the drive down reminded me of an amplifier I once owned: dark, gray, and dry. The weather app on my phone said there were tornado warnings for the Washington, DC, area, but that could not diminish my excitement about going to Capital Audiofest at the Hilton Hotel in Rockville Maryland.
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 06, 2019  |  0 comments
American Sound distribution presented three rooms featuring Avantgarde horn loudspeakers, and, in the two rooms I visited, Wadax digital products.
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 05, 2019  |  2 comments
Every time I encounter a system with Triangle speakers, I stop and take serious notice of their refined but lively sound. As I did Sunday in the room sponsored by The Antal Audio Group.
Herb Reichert  |  Nov 03, 2019  |  27 comments
Walk through the glass entrance doors, then twenty paces straight ahead, and you find yourself standing at the lip of a dizzying precipice, with a full panoramic view of the Rockville Hilton’s vast LP-filled atrium. To your right is a spectacularly lit glass wall that measures about 25’ high by 75’ wide. Above the glass is a giant banner baring the turquoise Valve Amplification Company’s logo: VAC. Standing in front of the wall are groups of urbane sophisticates: handsome men in suits, beautiful women, bright-eyed children. This envy-inspiring display is assembled by The Audio Company out of Marietta, GA; who describe themselves as “purveyors of hi-end luxury audio.”

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