[Community of A/V Enthusiasts]
Many of the other Visitors at The Show were talking and saying good things about these. 'Acoustic Art' by Synergistic Research. (www.synergisticresearch.com) These have a way of eliminating unwanted resonance frequencies a room and many of the vendor were also using them in their exhibition rooms. I did not have the opportunity to audition these but I believe if you ask our own Jason Victor Serinus, he should be able to tell you about them.
YG Acoustics (www.ygacoustics.com), Kubala-Sosna (www.kubala-sosna.com), and Tenor Audio (www.tenoraudio.com) were in the same room. The YG speakers are the Kipod 2 Signature's and they use M-Cap Supreme capacitors and ToroAir inductor for the crossovers. The mono-blocks are the Tenor '350M' hybrid amps and the pre-amp is a Tenor Dual-Mono 'Line1/Power1.' DCS Scarlatti DAC was also being used with this system along with Kubola-Sosna 'Elation' cables.
Gary Katayama from Affordable Audio (www.affordableaudio.net) was displaying the Sonist 'Concerto 4' waveguide speakers (www.sonist.com) with a modified Jolida 'JD-100' analogue tube stage by Robert Hovland available only through them. If you are looking for SPL the 'Concerto 4' may be the speaker for you. It has a sensitivity of 97db, uses two 8" treated paper woofer, a Fountek 'NeoCD2.0' ribbon tweeter (response up to 40k), and Goertz 'Alpha Core' inductors. Also displayed by them was the made in the USA Wyred 4 Sound 'W4S DAC2' and a modified re-clocked Sonos 'ZP-90' with a jitter rate less than 0.5ps and a converter by TI. They say that they have removed the low level grunge, improved the low level detail, it can be configured for sample rates up to 192kHz, and allows you to enjoy SonosNet 2. You may buy it from them or send your ZP-90 in for modification by them.
Episode Audio (www.episodeaudio.com) had the 'Episode 5' loudspeaker. This is a 3-way 5 driver system with two mids, 88db spl, and weighs 82lbs. The owner, Ira Pazanddeh, was there and he explained that the designed he uses on the mid/tweeter allows for a wide dispersion of sound. I tested his claim by listening to them seated, standing, and then to the left and right both standing and seated. Well...his claim was true! I noticed no difference in sound from any position in the room. For Home Theater application this speaker allows everyone to enjoy the same sound across the board and not just in the 'sweet-spot.' He also mentioned, after I identified the tweeter, that an SB Acoustics 'SB29RDNC' was used in this system. As a speaker hobbies myself, I was impressed by this and I can say he is using a fine tweeter in this system. (www.sbacoustics.com/index.php/products/tweeters/sb29rdnc-c000-4/)
Jay Kaufman from Audio Revelation (www.audiorevelation.com) was there displaying the G1Giya by Vivid Audio. (www.vividaudio.com) This a 91db 4-way system with 5 drivers rated at 6ohms and weighs 75lbs. The Giya G1's produced a 'live' sound to them that filled the room. The second set of speakers are the Lawrence 'Violin's.' (www.lawrenceaudio.com) It's a 44lbs 89db 2-way system comprised of a ribbon tweeter and an 8" carbon fiber mid woofer. The sound from these was very balanced. The turntable is 'Resolution MK2' by Audio Revelation. (www.audiorevelation.com)
Grant Fidelity was there with some of the product they have available. (www.grantfidelity.com) I was able to spend some time with Ian outside by the stage. He mentioned that his philosophy was to introduce the new generations, the"kids" as he called it, to high end audio. If you get a chance to visit his website you will see many affordable product.
Channel Island (www.ciaudio.com) was there with a new speaker called the 'Soul Sister' with a 90db spl that should be out in the next few months. This speaker had a good over sound to it and may be worth looking into.
Reference 3A (www.reference3a.com) was displaying the hand built 90 db 'Grand Veena' loudspeakers. These have a 5ohm impedance, weigh 75lbs, and have an F3 of 36Hz from two 8" fiberglass/Kevlar drivers. Concert Fidelity (www.concertfidelity.jp) supplied the electronics. The phonostage is a 'SPA-4C,' the D/A is the vacuum tube 'DAC-040,' the pre-amp is the 'CF-080LSX' that uses the 12AU7 in a cascode configuration, and the Solid-state monoblocks are the 'ZL-120V2's.' Crl supplied the cables. (www.cableresearchlab.com)
Bob's Devices (www.bobsdevices.com) and Bob himself was there demonstrating the transformers he builds for MC cartridges that he will custom match with your current cartridge and phono preamp.
Jim Kaplan, publisher for Record Collector News, was there handing out copies of his magazine. (www.recordcollectornews.com) If you're looking for vinyl in general or hard to find record, you may want to check out his website. It supply record store finders maps, reviews, news, and calendar information. While speaking with him, I asked him where is the best place to find records here in the US. He replied, "LA is the record Mecca" for us here in the US. So, if you are religious about your vinyl, you may want to pick up a copy of his magazine and take a pilgrimage to LA area for record shopping.
Sonorus Audio (www.sonorusaudio.com) was there with their Reel to Reel 'ATR10' (Analogue Tape Reproducer). This is based on the Studer/Revox parts and the Revox PR00 chassis. If you have interest in Reel to Reels you may want to check it out. (As for the other equipment, no product list was given to me. Only the the reel to reel was for sale.)
Earo Definition Audio (www.earo-us.com) was there demonstrating full range rear loaded horn speakers. The 'Ulf' (the smaller white speaker) uses a 5" full range driver, has it's own amp, and weighs 77lbs. These a well built cabs and has a surprising amount of bass for a 5" single driver. The other speaker is their 'Eight.' As you can guess, it uses an 8" full range driver, has it's own amp, and weigh 154lbs.
Home Theater Experience (www.hometheaterexp.com) was set up with Tannoy speakers. (www.tannoy.com) The above pics are from the 'Prestige' line. The first pic, the 'Yorminster SE' used a dual concentric 12" driver with an Alnico magnet; while the other, The 'Kinsington,' uses a 10."
Galibier Designs with the 'Stelvio-2' turn table. (www.galibierdesign.com) This will accommodate a 12' tone arm and an additional one--two tone arms--if you like. The design includes 17lbs of brass and is milled from a 75lbs aluminum billet.
Technical Audio Devices Labs (TAD) was a must see room. (http://tad-labs.com/en/) Chief Engineer, Scientist, and Director Andrew Jones was there giving the demonstration of his products. Everything is the room was by TAD. On display were the 'Compact Reference One's' and the flagship 'Reference One's. The CR1's (spl 86db) are a 3-way bass reflex 4ohm speaker using an 8" bass drive unit and a concentric midrange/tweeter comprised of a 6.5' cone and a 1.4' dome. The R1's (spl 90db) are also a 3-way bass reflex 4ohm loudspeaker using two 10's and a midrange/tweeter drive unit comprised of concentric a 6.5' cone and a 1.4' dome. The R1's weigh 330lbs and are a serious speaker that produced beautiful sound. If you get a chance, find the time to listen to the R1's or place on your list as ones to hear in the future. The picture of the amp is the 'TAD-M2500'. This is a Class D 2-channel amplifier weighing 94.8lbs, delivering 250 watt at 8 ohms, and 500 watt at 4 ohms.
Fritz Speakers was the featuring his 'Carbon 7's' along with a Zesto Audio 'Andros 1 Tube Phono Stage,' a Thorens 'TD 309' turntable, a Modwright 'LS 100 pre-amp w/phono tube preamp, and a Modwright 'KWA 100WPC' Solid State power amp. (www.fritzspeakers.com) The Carbon 7's use Scan-speak drivers and for a two way system they had a nice big sound to them.
Sony had the 'SS-AR1's'. I have include pics of the cabinet construction. These are very well built and weigh 125lbs. They are using Scan-speak drivers for this. (two 8's, one 5", and one soft dome.) The sound was very natural. My guess would be that these will become popular speakers and are worth a listen to if you're on the market for a new pair.
Nola (www.nolaspeakers.com) and PrimaLuna (www.primaluna-use.com) were in the same room. The PrimaLuna 'Dialogue Three' pre-amp was being used. This is a tube dual-mono pre-amp using 5AR4 tubes, Solen and Swellong capacitor, and has 11.5db of gain. The Amps used were 'DiaLogue Seven' monoblocks that use 2x12AX7's, 2x12AY7's, and 4xEL34's tubes. This amp has a Triode mode at 40 watts per and a ultra-linear mode at 70watts per. The Nola speakers on display were the 'Metro Grand Reference.' These are a compact floor standing speaker. They have two 6.5 magnesium cone woofers, one open baffle Alnico mid, and an open baffle ribbon tweeter.
Here is one for a member of ours--Rick Schmidt. Daedanus Audio (www.DaedalusAudio.com) featuring the hand built 'DA-RMa'. These speakers use an Eton 1" soft dome, a modified Fostex 5" full-range, and their own 8" woofer. (Rick-Lou Hinkly says hello.)
There was plenty to view at the Show in Newport Beach. On the first day I managed to view two of the six floors of equipment and I believe I might be suffering from a slight case over saturation. Below are some pics of what I viewed on the 2nd and 3rd floors.
Here are the 91lbs 4ohm 'Chapman T-7's' with 'Matrix HD Oracle's' connected to them. (www.chapmanaudiosystems.com) These are a 3-way system with a 10" poly-laminate fiber cone, a 5.5 mid with butyl surround and vented pole, and a 1" silk dome tweeter. The crossover are 120 Hz at 6 db and 4,500 at 18db. The manufacture says that they have a calibration tolerance of +-.25db. These had plenty of Bass while the mids/vocals managed to come across with an airy sound.
Angel City Audio was there displaying the two-way 55lbs 'Trinity' monitor series speakers powered by a 'Melody Valve' 'Pure Black 1688 Signature' pre-amp and 'MN854's Mono-blocks'. (www.angelcityaudio.com) The speakers have a 1" Vifa Ring-Radiator and two 7" custom woofers. The crossovers are set at 2.2, with a 90db sensitivity, and 4ohm impedance. The 'MN854's' amps have Vacuum tubes (845x1,2A3x1, and 6SN7x1) with 21w of pure class A power at 23KG's each. The 1688 Pre-amp uses 101Dx2, 6SN7x4, and 5AR4x1 tubes.
The above 4 pictures are from the Brooks Berdan/VTL room. (www.brooksberdanltd.com) The speakers are Wilson Audio "Sasha's" (197lbs and 91db) with two 8" woofers, one 7" mid, and one 1" inverted dome tweeter. (www.wilsonaudio.com) The turntable is the Grand Prix Audio 'Monaco' direct-drive with a speed accuracy better than 0.002%, peak deviation of 0.0014 RMS, and a weight of 18.2kg's. (www.grandprixaudio.com) The pre-amp is a VTL TL-7.5 that were connected to VTL MB-450 Series 3 Balanced Signature mono-blocks. (www.vtl.com)
In the E.A.R USA room (www.ear.usa.com) the 'Marten Coltrane' speakers were on display powered by the EAR 912 pre-amps with EAR 890 amp's, the EAR 'Acute 3 CD player, and a Townshend 'Rock 7" turntable with a Helius Omega tonearm and London Reference cartridge. The cables and interconnects used on this system were by Jorma Origo.
The Lotus Group 'Granada G2' loudspeaker. (front and back respectively) (www.lotusgroupuse.com) The Granada G2 uses Scan Speak drivers, X-1 DSP crossover, and includes a 500 watt per channel woofer amp. (The reproduction of brass instruments, in particular Trumpet, was very close to the real thing on these. The bass was also good and strong.)
Acoustic Zen (www.AcousticZen.com) was there featuring their 'Crescendo' speakers powered by TRI's 'TRV-845SE' Integrated 20w amp pure class A. The 'Crescendos' are a 3-way transmission line floor standing speaker with one horn loaded ribbon, two 5" mids, and two 8" woofers. The crossovers are 3rd order, impedance is 6 ohms, and they are 125lbs each. The 'TRV-845SE' is a CR-type pre-main with 2x845, 2x2A3, and 2x6SN7 tubes. Frequency response is 10hz-50khz, THD 0.1%, high-end Japanese carbon resistor (KOA), Mundorf condensers and insulator, and weighs 85lbs.