T.H.E. Show 2023

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 14, 2023  |  6 comments
I usually forego seminars and the like in favor of covering more active demos shows. But when Acora Acoustics announced, "A Very Special Listening Event with Joe Harley at T.H.E. Show," I decided to indulge in Saturday afternoon's tour of historic Blue Note reissues.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 14, 2023  |  0 comments
Alma Music & Audio has recently gone bi-coastal, adding Alma East in Sterling, VA to its flagship Alma West store in San Diego. In one of their several rooms at the show, the dealership showcased Boenicke Audio's W8 SE loudspeaker in Walnut finish ($16,500/pair). I've always been intrigued by these unique solid-wood speakers, whose internal chambers are carved out by a CNC machine.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 14, 2023  |  0 comments
YG Acoustics' very fine-sounding midrange unit contributed to the lovely sound on YG Acoustics' Ascent loudspeaker ($19,800/pair). Easier to drive than the Colorado company's larger models, it uses the same drivers as in the Carmel and Hailey loudspeakers, but with a new waveguide on the tweeter.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 16, 2023  |  0 comments
The best sound I have ever heard from an ATC loudspeaker poured forth in the room commandeered by Audiophile Zone of Los Osos, CA. On a 24/192 file of the Engegärd Quartet performing Haydn, every timbre sounded spot and believable. Switching gears to DSD64, highs were excellent and depth convincing on Frank Sinatra's "When You're Smiling." And, on 24/96 tracks from Spirit Hiromi, I was blown away by the excellent bass, believable piano timbres, and musicality of the presentation. If I could have stayed longer, I would have.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 15, 2023  |  0 comments
The billboard below the Aurender marquee announced for different musically themed listening sessions during the show. Hoping for a classical music interlude, I opted for Sunday's 11AM Live from Carnegie Hall. As much as the hour began with classical, I hadn't taken into account that many pop and jazz artists have also performed in Carnegie Hall.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 14, 2023  |  7 comments
To the few trolls who frequently post on this website:

If you think high-end audio is dead, you haven't met designer Nick Tarnofsky (above), a touring guitarist and engineer with an Instagram presence who is in his second year of selling Black Ocean Audio speakers direct. This man is savvy enough to have set up an enigmatic display outside his room—a piece of driftwood with a light on it—to lure people in.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 16, 2023  |  0 comments
After an absence of several years, French speaker manufacturer Cabasse has returned to the US market. Distributed by Upscale Distribution, Cabasse showed the 43lb Rialto all-in-one streaming loudspeaker system ($3995/pair). Complete with built-in rear-firing woofers powered by a 450W amplifier, the Rialto has a two-way coaxial speaker in front whose treble and midrange are each powered by 300W amplifiers. That's 1050Wpc total!
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 15, 2023  |  0 comments
In a brand déjà vu with High End by Oz, Ken Boyce's Cake Audio of San Clemente showed Lansche 5.2 "singing flame" loudspeakers with their plasma tweeter ($55,000/pair in either white or piano black), different Vitus components, and Albedo cabling. Room dimension and acoustics were different, of course, but both exhibitors had to cope with the challenges of air walls and sonic bleedthrough.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 14, 2023  |  0 comments
This year, Sunil Merchant's Sunny's Components occupied a single room at T.H.E. Show in which to turn the spotlight on CH Precision's less expensive but hardly bargain basement 1 series. CH Precision's powerhouse line-up, shown below without the optional power supplies that can beef up performance, consisted of the CH Precision M1.1 stereo amplifier ($54,000), L1 stereo preamplifier ($34,500), P1 phono stage ($31,000 and up), C1.2 D/A processor ($36,000 and up) with 16× upsampling, and D1.5 SACD/CD/MQA transport/player ($41,000 and up).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 15, 2023  |  0 comments
Blitzed as I was, there was no way I was going to miss Emiko Carlin's performance at the 7pm "T.H.E. Label & T.H.E. Radio Show Kickoff Party and Concert."
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 11, 2023  |  0 comments
Together, distributor Philip O'Hanlon of S. CA-based On a Higher Note (OAHN) and Neil Strickland of British Audio Guys, a dealership in Sherman Oaks that specializes in British brands, set up an extremely pleasing and musical system. While O'Hanlon cued up tracks, Strickland was available to explain to showgoers the ins and outs/whys and wherefores of Graham Audio loudspeakers, which he used extensively as a BBC engineer.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 16, 2023  |  0 comments
Focal Naim America mated its Vestia No.2 loudspeaker ($2800/pair), which resides one step up from entry level, with the Naim Uniti Nova 80Wpc integrated amplifier/streamer ($6900). It was a fine match.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 10, 2023  |  1 comments
Located by itself in the Orange County Hilton’s Dana Point room, half-obscured beyond a display of several luxury cars, Joseph Cali System Design's Gryphon Audio Design System put on a show all its own. That it sounded as good as it did in a hotel space formerly occupied by a hair salon—hair salons are hardly prized for their acoustics—was a near miracle. Everything from recording studio Gobos and ASC Tube Traps to Vicoustic Diffusers and black draping (covering floor-to-ceiling glass windows) was employed to deliver sound that, if at all bettered at T.H.E. Show, will have to be sensational and then some.

That's another way of saying that Joseph Cali (left in photo) and Rune Skov (right), had every reason to be proud of their accomplishment.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 13, 2023  |  1 comments
One could only be impressed with the amount of air delivered by a cramped set-up in which TAD standmounts stood so close to each other and everything else. The sound was notably warm with excellent bass.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 16, 2023  |  1 comments
It has been too many years since I last encountered Von Gaylord Audio's Ling and Ray Leung of West Sacramento, CA. Celebrating 25 years in business, the couple now sells their equipment direct at half their old prices.