Ken Micallef

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 13, 2022  |  0 comments
Perennial purveyor of uber musical sounds, Audio Note (UK) presented their wares at CAF, hitting every possible price range, and more importantly, making exceedingly sweet and empathetic sounds.
Ken Micallef  |  Nov 13, 2022  |  0 comments
The Berlin-made electronics and loudspeakers in the Voxativ room were impressive and riveting, moving air like a freight train from their handmade full-range drivers, modular, three-section floorstanders, and 30Wpc SET integrated amplifier.
Ken Micallef  |  Nov 12, 2022  |  0 comments
Jeff Fox and Jessie Bentley of Falls Church, Virginia's Command Performance AV graciously opened their room to me, pre-showtime. I chose their vinyl copy of trumpeter Erik Truffaz's 2000 album, The Mask, for play on their J. Sikora Reference turntable, ($47,000; gloss finish with Reference power supply), and its new J. Sikora KV Max Zirconium Series 9" tonearm (TBA), a CAF world premiere, running a Lyra Atlas Lambda SL cartridge ($11,995).
Ken Micallef  |  Nov 12, 2022  |  1 comments
High Water Sound's Jeffrey Catalano is a an evolved being, existing on a higher plane, his rooms part meditation, part deep music immersion seminar, part discovery/journey. Year after year, Jeff assembles some of the best-sounding rooms you'll ever hear at any show. And often with equipment as unique and revelatory as Jeffrey himself.

This year at CAF was no different, Jeff's system and choice of vinyl inspiring, calming/stunning, informing and educational.

Ken Micallef  |  Nov 12, 2022  |  2 comments
Robin Wyatt's Robyatt room wins my early, best sound of show. Playing recordings I thought I knew well, as well as those I'd never heard, his exacting, tonally true, vivid, physical, natural and extremely transparent system left my jaw on the floor and other's mouths agape.
Ken Micallef  |  Nov 12, 2022  |  0 comments
Black Ice amplification joined with Klipsch speakers and a Pro-Ject turntable to create a high-octane rig that played contemporary pop, rock, and blues like Stevie Ray Vaughan riffing with '90s German techno.
Ken Micallef  |  Nov 12, 2022  |  0 comments
Two relative newcomers from Oregon made me ponder the question: Does West Coast-based audio differ from its East-Coast brethren? That's definitely the case with East- vs West-Coast jazz and hip-hop. I don't know the answer. What say you?
Ken Micallef  |  Nov 12, 2022  |  0 comments
I scrambled into the room shared by Infigo Audio and Alta Audio where Alta Audio's Michael Levy was introducing his new Titanium Hestia II floorstanders ($37,500/pair). I always dig Hans Looman's Infigo amplifiers; Hans always plays cool and unusual music, and his amps are small beasts of potent power, snap-crackling dynamics, and surprisingly large, super-scaled soundstages.
Ken Micallef  |  Nov 12, 2022  |  0 comments
I have to admit, at past shows, Bache Audio's Greg Belman has urged me to visit his and Alex Choren's shared Alexus Audio room, and I've begged off, "too busy" the usual lame excuse. But this time I didn't and damn! I was glad I made it into this small oasis of good music and excellent high-fidelity reproduction.
Ken Micallef  |  Nov 11, 2022  |  2 comments
The Distinctive Stereo/Genesis Advanced Technologies/Merrill Audio Advanced Technology room celebrated Genesis's 30th anniversary with the debut of the Genesis Tribute Loudspeakers ($125,000/pair), in honor of Genesis founder, the late Arnie Nudell, "advanced with the latest innovations in materials and technology by current designer, Gary Leonard Koh," stated a press release.