T.H.E. Show 2021

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 16, 2021  |  3 comments
Folks were already packing up in the Wyred4Sound room when I happened upon an active display of their just-completed prototypes, none of which is listed on their website. If you total up the total cost of the Aura preamp ($2999, Aura GaN amplifier ($2999), MS i3 music server ($2999) with its outboard HCPS power supply ($999). Isolink USB reclocker ($399), 10th Anniversary DAC ($4499), and Reference Standard 1 speaker ($14,999/pair), plus cables and all the rest, you end up with a $31,213 system.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 16, 2021  |  4 comments
I love when industry veterans get excited by new discoveries. Thus, when David Solomon of Qobuz began one of our interactions with, "Have you been to the room that's premiering the GaN (gallium nitride) tubed components?" I asked him to tell me more. David followed with something like, "I couldn't figure out how anyone could have possibly incorporated GaN class-D power technology into KT150, K88, and K120 GaNTubes™ until the guy showed the 'tubes' to me." That's when I knew I had to visit.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 16, 2021  |  9 comments
"We are so proud of everyone who made T.H.E. Show 2021 come to life," texted show coordinator Emiko Carlin about what was the first post-pandemic audio show to take place in North America. "After more than a year of unprecedented losses, this was no doubt a true celebration of audio and musical connection. We are thrilled that 1416 unique attendees showed up to reconnect, and we are delighted that [they] all did it safely and responsibly. As the first audio show in the US to open, and one that had to honor venue attendance caps, we are over the moon with how of T.H.E. Show 2021 turned out. We can't wait for our next event!"
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 16, 2021  |  0 comments
In this moderately priced system, speaker designer and recording engineer Tony Minasian paired his new Oriaco G6 standmount loudspeaker ($3500/pair with stands) with Denon and Marantz gear. "Most of the sound comes from the full-range driver," he told me. "The tweeter mostly acts like a supertweeter." From what I could tell, its impact is major.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 16, 2021  |  1 comments
It's been a few shows since I've encountered one of Jeff Candy's granite Pietra loudspeakers, whose distribution is mostly confined to Southern California due to the high cost of shipping a speaker that weighs in excess of 350lb. Which doesn't mean that you can't get one shipped to upstate New York if that's where you live.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 15, 2021  |  5 comments
Voss Audio, a southern California-based brand new to me, made an extremely strong show debut with its Voss Steve Keiser Design Magnum Opus stereo power amplifier ($80,000) and Vitra preamplifier ($50,000). The amp’s designer, who died last year, was one of the founders of B&K components. John Voss’s company also manufactures the Vitus phono preamplifier ($45,000). Rather than showing it, he teamed up with Philip O'Hanlon's On A Higher Note (shown above) to use a Revox/SonoruS PR99 open-reel deck to play master tapes through Graham LS5/8 loudspeakers ($14,000/pair) with Townshend super tweeters ($1500/pair). Cabling was all Gryphon.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 15, 2021  |  0 comments
By a long shot, most people who visited the marketplace immediately headed to the LP bins and rummaged away. In fact, if my photo had come out, I could show you how busy the room was at 10:15AM on Friday, a time reserved for press, when a combination of vinyl-hungry exhibitors, attendees who managed to get in early, and press people from online publications that are dedicated to serving their owners first were pouring through bins, looking for buried treasure.

Hopefully, some of those folks made it over to Todd Garfinkle's M•A Recordings booth and discovered some his fabled audiophile recordings (above).

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 15, 2021  |  5 comments
This report could also be titled "My Visit with Cable Support Plate and A/V Room Service," but that's hardly as eye-catching. And catching your eye is my goal, because there was a lot of import at these two booths.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 14, 2021  |  3 comments
Nothing has changed with Spatial Audio's M3 loudspeaker ($4950/pair) since the last time I heard it. The design is the same, as is the speakers' ability to totally disappear at very close range.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 14, 2021  |  4 comments
Lest you think I've left something out of this headline, I haven't. The 24lb Heavenly Soundworks active FIVE17 loudspeaker ($10,000/pair), shown at T.H.E. Show with matching stands ($1000/pair), needs only a computer or other streaming/choice and some cabling to do its thing.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 14, 2021  |  11 comments
There was something for everyone in Sunil Merchant's Sunny Components room. Even if you didn't have a spare half million dollars to give for great music reproduction, you could still listen to MoFi's Lenny Mayeux spin vinyl on the Brinkmann Taurus turntable with 12.1 tonearm ($21,000) and Koetsu cartridge ($3995). Amplification was a CH Precision M 1.1 Amplifier ($54,000), L1 line preamplifier ($34,500), P1 phono stage ($31,000), and X1 dual power supply powering the P1 and L1. And if you had questions afterwards, you could always approach Merchant, Mayeux, or CH's Ralph Sorrentino.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 13, 2021  |  15 comments
I wonder if France would have been the same had Marie Antoinette had access to a system like this. Dominating the view in this room, presented by San Clemente, California's Cake Audio (not the Czech audio manufacturer), was the joint US premiere of the striking Alsyvox Botticelli ribbon loudspeakers ($92,000/pair + $30,000 optional external crossovers) and Vitus SS-103 stereo amplifier ($40,000).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 13, 2021  |  12 comments
After a 15-year hiatus, Italy's Zingali Acoustics returns to the US courtesy of importer/distributor Reference Components Ltd with the Twenty 1.2 EVO Thirtieth Anniversary Edition loudspeakers ($21,045/pair in walnut finish). To these ears, the re-introduction is notable, because Hilary Hahn's violin sounded glorious on her performance of Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No.1. Sweetened by Cary Audio's 27Wpc CAD-805 RS single-ended triode monoblocks ($15,995/pair) with a host of new, old, and NOS tubes and a Cary SLP-98P preamplifier ($4995) with Tung Sol tubes from the 1940s, the sound was magical.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 13, 2021  |  1 comments
I've always enjoyed Steven Norber's loudspeakers, but the pairing of his brand new Dhara (as in continuous flow) 40lb loudspeakers ($TBD) and Purna/Ma amplifier ($8950) with the late Tim de Paravicini's E.A.R. Phono Classic phono preamplifier ($1895 in black or $2395 in chrome) sounded exceptionally fine. Other brands deserve equal credit, but what's most important to know is that on an old Nonesuch LP of Schutz Motets, soundstaging, warmth, and beauty were supreme.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 12, 2021  |  8 comments
I almost lost my hearing in the PBN room. Well, not quite the room itself. I was approaching the large entranceway to this huge air-walled PBN room on the ground floor when my guardian angels, somewhat like the guardians of the temple in Mozart's The Magic Flute, declared "Zurück! This music is too loud for you to enter."

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