Top Audio & Video 2002
One of my favorite Italian manufacturers is Raf who has one hand in creative DIY and the other in professional products. A very qualified man for the nyNOISE show with this limited edition model 1619 (€6,000) that utilizes two metal tubes he bought from NATO! Two of them operate in triode push-pull to produce 15 watts per channel, a 5V3 for rectification (below photo), 6SN7 for driver, and 6SL7 for final stage. Tango output transformers accommodate 4/8/16 ohm loudspeaker load while a Standard Corporation of America power transformer purchased from NATO was another treat when buying NATO's stockhold/spare parts. Frequency response is a wide 12Hz to 50kHz (+-1dB).
Audio Consulting of Switzerland (distributed in Italy by Mantra Sound and by Reference Audio Mods for the USA)
specializes in various super-fi tweaky bits such as their Silver Rock 99.99% silver wire transformer-based stepped attenuator (passive pre-amplifier, €3,000). Unlike other companies that use the Sowther or Stevens & Billington transformers, Audio Consulting has their own custom produced units. A 24-step attenuation unit adjusts the volume level in this completely dual-mono, two-channel unit. They also offer silver output transformers for the 300B, 2A3, 211, 845, 5687, 6900, WE437A, ECC99, etc. Their philosophy also includes wooden boxes and in using C37 on the iron bits.
In the EMES room they had a Weiss professional 24-bit/192kHz digital to analog converter with a Mellennia NSEQ-2
valved/FET equalizer and the SADiE system. The main point is to form a type of analog loop from the source and then digitally modify it for various performance factors. For instance you could emulate the perceived differences between the "sound" of a solid-state amplifier or one that has tubes for output.
Making their appearance known were the Duevel Bella Luna (see review
here) and Venus loudspeakers. These loudspeakers always seem to impress me.
If some said they would give you the stars and the moon, your mind might hark to the cdsdesign Ariel loudspeaker (€5,000). Artfully crafted wood enclosure holds a 6-inch midrange/wooferand1-inch tweeter to produce frequencies from 50Hz to 20kHz with 87dB/W/m sensitivity.
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previous year's show report.