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Capital Audiofest

Posted: 18 Jul 2012 00:40
by MonkeyBoy
For anyone who went to the Capital Audiofest this past weekend there was a room with Snake River Cables and Sonist speakers. I thought the sound was very good. One thing that struck me was the amp they were using. It was a tiny 5 watt amp but the sound was surprisingly good. I just forgot to note what company made it. Did any of you guys note it down? I have a niece who is getting married next year and I thought it might make a good gift for her and her new hubby. In fact, I might even buy one for good old me.

Re: Capital Audiofest

Posted: 21 Jul 2012 18:49
by MonkeyBoy
I got the name of the amplifier from another web site. It's the Glow amp.

Re: Capital Audiofest

Posted: 21 Jul 2012 20:49
by MonkeyBoy
I post this on Audio Asylum so I just copied it here.:

The number of people who went was tiny. I was shocked. However, there were some very good rooms and a couple of duds. Up on top were Audio Note, Deja Vu Audio (They gad their own stuff and Audio Note stuff) Joseph Audio speakers which were superb set up with Bel Canto electronics, Classic Audio loudspeakers and Sophia Electric who make their own tube amps and speakers that I found to be very inviting and impressive. They also make their own tubes of varying grades. Also of special note were Border Patrol Audio electronics running Living Voice speakers. Those five rooms were the top with each of them playing music that was warm, open and airy with crisp highs, lows down to the toenails, nicely balanced tonality throughout the entire spectrum and each displayed enough emotional oomph to satisfy pretty much anyone who loves music.

I have to tell you about something I noticed in the Bel Canto/Joseph Audio room that floored me. I was listening to whatever they were playing that was put on to show off how good the system was and I couldn't help but notice the smooth integration of the subwoofer. Ha ha! there was no sub. the speakers on display were only rated to 35 Hz but they rumbled like they were actually playing much lower notes and I actually looked for the subwoofer for a couple of minutes while I was listening. The soundstage those things put out was excellent as was the tonal balance. The model they had playing were the Perspective speakers. I couldn't find them on their web site so I'm not sure what the deal is there, but I will never forget how lovely they sounded so I won't likely forget the company name.

Another set of speakers I really liked were the GT Audio works GTA 2. they're ribbon tweeters and planar midrange with 8" woofers in each cabinet. 90 Db at 4 ohms and they sounded quite good. I was a little surprised by how the focus changed so sharply if you moved out of the sweet spot, but the sweet spot was damned good to stay in. As far as speakers go they were sort of budget speakers and well worth every penny.

I finally got to hear a full Audio Note system and was impressed by the whole set up. I must admit, though, they had some tough competition (see above).

The one room I thought should have stayed home was the bunch from Audio Power Labs, Purist Audio Design and The Voice That Is speakers. I thought the sound was atrocious. Forget that the amps looked like German coffee machines, the sound was closed up. I don't know what was wrong; maybe the set up was too hasty or maybe the equipment really is just subpar, but I didn't bother staying there but for a very few minutes.

I was also favorably impressed by Zu Audio who made their own amps, speakers and even had their own tweaked Denon cartridge and Technics SL1200 turntable which they are marketing under their own brand name. The prices are not through the roof and the equipment was quite pleasing. Very nicely done says I.

Also there was the room with Sonist Loudspeakers and Snake river Audio cables and interconnects. The speakers were run by a tiny integrated amp with EL84 tubes but I can't for the life of me remember the name of the amplifier company. The Sonist speakers were very nice indeed as long as you stayed on axis (they have ribbon tweeters) and still quite good off axis and all the cables and ICs were the combination gold, silver and purified copper cables. The whole set up was as good as any set up in the place.

There were other rooms and setups which didn't strike me as much as the ones I have mentioned and a very few I didn't even have time to get to. The setups I have described were the ones which each made me feel like I could just as well stay there for the rest of the weekend. They all played music with good tonal balance, crisp highs, deep lows, the ability to convey lots of detail, emotion and nuance in the music being played and had a general feeling that I was being invited into the music. I recommend each piece as being worthy of your serious consideration and/or purchase.

Just for the record, I don't work for nor have any connection with any of the companies mentioned above. I am merely an enthusiast who is willing to spread the good word of music and quality stereo equipment.