Home      Industry News      High-End Audio Reviews      Audiophile Shows      Partner Magazines     Search          
Enjoy the Music.com High-End Audio Equipment Reviews & News































Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2013 Show Report
Part 1 Report By Kemper Holt

  My first stop on Friday morning was the United Home Audio suite showing a debut of a new KT 150 output tube in a pair of JoLida Luxor mono blocks, sporting four KT 150s per amp. The Luxor's are a four-piece set with outboard power supplies. Greg Beron of UHA said the KT 150 is sweeter up top, with better bass than the already great sounding KT 120. The Luxor's were driving MBL 116 speakers via Celtic cables and the sources were two of UHA's Phase 11 RTR tape decks. It was a beautifully decorated room, and sounded even better. The Beatles and Eagles tracks I heard were dynamic, and voices and instruments were placed individually across the stage in 3-D glory. Greg and I both noticed the aural phenomena of improved perceived sound quality when he turned down the overhead lights. To the delight of many attendees, Greg hosted late night listening sessions with spectacular comments from those who stayed late. I visited this room many times to enjoy the music being played.


High Water Sound took a lobby level conference room and transformed it into a plant emporium that was packed most of the weekend. Somehow getting bad rooms to sound good is Jeff Catalono's calling card. The TW Acustic AC table caught my eye first, massive with a three motor drive and two Raven arms carrying Miyajima carts. Horning Eufrodite speakers fool you at first, all slender, sleek and pretty, then a tympani roll, bass drum, and a full orchestral crescendo set you back in your seat with amazement. That came from those? Looking around back at the woofer array tells the rest of the story. Jeff assembled a Thorens preamp, phono stage, and 845 SE monoblocks to show off the Eufrodites and plugged everything in to a Silver Circle Tchaik AC conditioner. Another room to sit down in and relax, both the sound and atmosphere were inviting.


The Surreal Sound room, shared with Luminous Audio, had Ralph Hellmer showing off an improved Fifth Row speaker. Since my last audition at a mini CAF in February, Ralph added a Heil tweeter to the existing Tang Band midrange driver. Luckily he didn't mess with the stack of push-pull woofers driven by an outboard amp and DSP correction. Opting for a striking natural birch finish showcasing the P-P drivers, the impact of a drum kit was concussive, and you could follow the drummer's path through the set. Overall the Fifth Row sounded open, detailed, and fun. I removed a water bottle for a close up photo of the top drivers, only to find out the bottle and a nickel placed on its side were demonstrating how inert the cabinet is, sorry Ralph. He was also debuting a smaller speaker, the Encore, offering a lot of the performance of the Fifth Row, not requiring bi-amp'ing, while making it easier on your wallet. 

Luminous Audio debuted a new phono stage, the Arion, designed by Mike Bettinger of GAS Audio. I heard Luminous gave Mike a no limit cost budget to design the best phono stage he could, the result sounded wonderful in their room. The Arion was fed by one of the many VPI tables at the show, this one a special prototype Classic Direct, direct drive incorporating a magnetic floating feature that will come at sincere coin. This room was always filled and with good reason, the vinyl spun by Ralph made me smile and tap my fingers and feet, I visited this room many times to just relax and enjoy.


Next room was the Legacy exhibit, the new Aeris on one end, and Whispers and Signature SEs on the opposite wall. The Aeris is smaller and better looking in person, and sounded... well I played Tricycle from DMP's CD Flim and the BBs at a fun (loud) level, and the impact of the drum kit and overall dynamics were not bettered anywhere at the show, impressive performance. The Aeris did not benefit from an uber expensive front end, an older Oppo 83 and a Coda amp, and it made me smile. The built in amps for the woofers, active room correction, and the AMT tweeter array all contributed to the well balanced presentation. The Sig SEs displayed a similar sound, incorporating the same folded ribbon array as in the Aeris and Whispers, they might be the best value in the line with much of the performance of its bigger siblings at a skimpier price. This room was very busy with the Aeris and Whispers or Sig SEs taking turns wowing potential customers. Bill Dudelston, Tom Kulavic, and the rest of the staff made the room a friendly escape from show frenzy, and they gave out free CDs with fun songs to make equipment comparisons to boot. Bill gave his Murphy's Law experience, when he personally delivers Whisper's to a client, it's always on the first floor, easy peasy lemon squeezy. If he's installing a pair of Helix's, a substantially heavier speaker, invariably it's down the stairs to the basement, or up a flight or two for the loft. The customer service delivered to Legacy customers ranks with the best in the business.


In the first of two The Voice That Is rooms, the Tidal Contriva Diacera speakers were on display looking beautiful. My eyes were drawn to the 2 Audio Power Labs 50TNT monos, it's tough to upstage the Tidals but the 50TNTs have real stage presence. The Aurender S-10 server displays program info on its front panel making it easy to see what's being played. Steve McCormack's SMC VRE 1 preamp, a Bricasti DAC, Purist Audio Design cables, and Stillpoints completed the system. Clean, clear, and detailed described this room.

Next page --->

































Quick Links

Twitter  Facebook    Pinterest  RSS Feed  YouTube         

Audiophile Review Magazine
High-End Audio Equipment Reviews

Equipment Review Archives
Turntables, Cartridges, Etc
Digital Source
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Cables, Wires, Etc
Loudspeakers/ Monitors
Headphones, IEMs, Tweaks, Etc

Superior Audio Archives
Ultra High-End Audio Reviews

Music Reviews
Classical Music
Jazz, Bluegrass, Blues, Etc.
Rock, Pop, Techno, Metal, Etc.

Editorials By Tom Lyle
Editorials By Steven R. Rochlin
Viewpoint By Roger Skoff
Audiolics Anonymous
Nearfield By Steven Stone
Various Think Pieces
Manufacturer Articles

Partner Magazines
The Absolute Sound
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
hi-fi+ Magazine
HiFi Media
Hi-Fi World
Sound Practices
VALVE Magazine

Show Reports
CTA CES 2016 Show Report
New York Audio Show 2015
TAVES 2015 Toronto
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2015
CanJam 2015 @ RMAF
Capital Audiofest 2015
California Audio Show 2015
CE Week 2015 Show Report
T.H.E. Show Newport 2015
High End Munich 2015 Report
AXPONA 2015 High-End Show
Salon Son & Image 2015 Show
Click here for previous shows.

Resources And Information
Music Definitions
Hi-Fi Definitions
High-End Audio Manufacture Links


Daily Industry News

High-End Audio News & Information

Internet Browser
Audiophile Internet Browser V12

Mobile Phone Apps
Android Audiophile App
Windows 8 And Phone 7/8 App

Audiophile Contests
Cool Free Stuff For You
Tweaks For Your System
Vinyl Logos For LP Lovers
Lust Pages Visual Beauty
300B Tube Comparison

For The Press & Industry
About Us
Press Releases
Official Site Graphics

Stay Informed
Join Our 100% Free e-Newsletter
Join Our 100% Free e-Newsletter
For updates, contests and more!




Home  |  Sitemap  |  Industry News  |  Equipment / Music Reviews  |  Press Releases  |  About Us  |  Contact Us


All contents copyright  1995 - 2015  Enjoy the Music.com
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.