T.H.E. Show 2022

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Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 16, 2022  |  0 comments
Once the volume was turned up, the fourth movement of Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade filled Aaudio Imports' large space with exciting sound. Distinguished by appropriate bite and a solid midrange, the system also excelled on Ray Charles and Norah Jones' "Here We Go Again."
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 15, 2022  |  0 comments
Only as I was leaving this room did Theresa Merchant tell me that when she, her husband Sunil, and the Sunny Components team first encountered the abysmal acoustics in this room, they thought all was lost. Thanks to the set-up acumen of David Ellington, AudioQuest Director of Sales for Independent Dealers, and a bunch of acoustic paneling, the room was a major success.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 15, 2022  |  0 comments
Hands down winner of my "Anything but Hotel California" Unusual Music Award, the first of Common Wave Hi-Fi of Los Angeles' three rooms kept platters spinning and visitors happy.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 15, 2022  |  1 comments
Katli Audio of Chino Hills, CA, the US importer of Usher Audio loudspeakers, paired Usher's ML-801 ($1l,950/pair in satin wood finish) with rarely-encountered-by-me Conrad-Johnson and other components. The ML-801 has a specified frequency range of 28Hz–38kHz, and a sensitivity of 87dB. A three-way, four driver design with two 8" carbon-fiber woofers, it uses a new 1.25" magnesium-alloy tweeter and magnesium-lithium alloy midrange unit.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 15, 2022  |  2 comments
There were no seats available. Nor was there any real reason to sit. Assembled partly for the fun of it, with components more common to DJs than audiophiles, Common Wave Hi-Fi's Club set-up was designed for enjoyment plain and simple. You've got to hand it to a dealership/social gathering place that devotes as much time to entertaining its guests as selling equipment. They go hand-in-hand, actually, if you do it right.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 15, 2022  |  0 comments
For looks alone, few systems could top that from Ontario-based Wynn Audio. Perhaps the most eye-catching CD transport on the market, the Kalista DreamPlay X CD Transport ($68,800) with large outboard power supply, teamed with the DAC in the Métronome AQWO CD Player ($20,000) to create an awesome front end. Next to them, the unusual Vimberg Amea Bookshelf speakers ($18,000/pair; above) looked somewhat tame (which they weren't).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 15, 2022  |  1 comments
"This has to be one of the best sounding rooms at T.H.E. Show," said self to self. Listening to Count Basie and his Orchestra's rendition of "After the Rain," the beauty, clarity, and absolute spot-on rightness of every single high-end parameter I could think of impelled me to write in my notes, "The price reflects the pedigree of the sound."
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 15, 2022  |  0 comments
John McGurk's Audioshield distribution, together with Johnathan Ellis's Audio Chamber of Murrieta, CA, featured a system that delivered fine, clear, all-of-a-piece sound that brought a smile to my eyes and happiness to my heart.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 15, 2022  |  1 comments
Together in one room, PranaFidelity's Steven Norber and E.A.R. USA's Dan Meinwald guaranteed fine sound from great and unusual music. "The Dhara speakers are finally finished," said Norber of a 40lb standmount ($7950/pair with stands), which includes dual 6" woofers and a 30mm tweeter, and boasts a frequency range of 38Hz–23kHz, a sensitivity of 88.5dB, and an 8 ohm nominal impedance.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 14, 2022  |  0 comments
Joseph Cali, aka the producer/husband of singer Lori Lieberman, made audio news with his sneak peak of Gryphon's prototype EOS 2 loudspeakers ($20,800/pair). A successor to the Mojo S, the EOS 2 is the first Gryphon speaker with a beryllium-dome tweeter.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 14, 2022  |  3 comments
Chalk it up to show karma, but I've now covered two consecutive shows where the accuracy of CH Precision's latest gear has lent itself perfectly to comparison demos. In this case, it was AudioQuest's now-completed Mythical Creatures line of "characteristic impedance" cabling, in combination with Stenheim Alumine 5SE loudspeakers.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 13, 2022  |  0 comments
One of the many qualities of Wilson Audio SabrinaX loudspeaker ($19,000/pair) is the ability to let you hear, without editorializing, the unique sonic qualities of the electronics that precede them. Thus, with the help of Kubala-Sosna Sensation cabling, a Finite Elemente HD09 ED amplifier stand, and Nemesis Decorac acoustic paneling (bottom photo), could I hear the lovely midrange, impressive bass, and unglamorized highs produced by Bricasti's M21 DAC/Preamp ($16,000) and M25 Stereo Amplifier ($18,000) with the essential help of an Innuos Statement Network Music Server ($15,100 with 1TB internal storage).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 13, 2022  |  0 comments
It's been far too long since I've encountered Boenicke Audio loudspeakers. Organic in design, with their inner chambers carved out of wood, and sometimes abetted by Bybee devices, they're capable of throwing a huge soundstage from a relatively small footprint. The floating W8 ($8500/pair), used in one of three rooms from Alma Music & Audio of San Diego, include, in addition to what you see on the front, a side-firing woofer and a rear-firing tweeter.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 12, 2022  |  0 comments
Jumping to the top level for the models whose entry-level brethren were demmed in Next Level HiFi's other room, the Wayne, IL-based dealer joined forces with Audio Group Denmark to display the Børresen B01 Silver Supreme Edition standmount loudspeaker ($60,500/pair with stands); the Aavik U580 class-D integrated amplifier ($35,000; 300Wpc into 8 ohms), which includes a DAC that does, over USB, PCM up to 32/192 and DSD128 as well as MQA; and the Aavik 5580 Streamer ($25,200). The entire 580 series utilizes external titanium supports for extreme mechanical resonance control and a copper-lined internal chassis for electrical noise control.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 12, 2022  |  0 comments
AV Luxury Group International, based in Las Vegas, unveiled a system that stood out for its speed, openness, and impressive range of colors. A case in point: O-Zone Percussion Group's "Jazz Variants," that did a fine job of evoking the system's well-controlled deep bass and striking highs.

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