The Audio Analyst's Capital Audiofest 2022 Show Report
As busy as Thursday evening had been, Friday morning registration was insane. I have shared a link to a Motion Lapse video I shot Friday morning that will give you a sense of how traffic was. In fact, Friday turned out to be the busiest day of this show! No, really. While Saturday is typically the most attended day of such three-day events, every exhibitor I spoke with agreed that the traffic Friday was heavier than they saw Saturday. And Sunday, which usually sees virtually no traffic and empty hallways by 1:30 or 2:00 PM, was busy right to the close. Yeah, this was a remarkably successful show. It seemed that everyone else wanted to be there as much as I did.
Interestingly enough, show owner and organizer, Gary Gill, found some time to grab a beer at lunchtime Friday and chat. We both had taken note of the enormous crowds that day, and I offered this set of conclusions as to what may have contributed to the higher-than-normal Friday traffic. First, more people are working from home than ever before. This allows them to "adjust" their schedule to work, say, later into the evenings earlier in the week, or choose to work on a weekend, to free up their Friday to come to the first day of this amazing show. Second, Friday, November 11th was Veteran's Day, so Federal, State, County, and City employees, and all the civilians in the general public who would typically be using the closed-down government services, had the day off as well. Finally, it was cold, overcast, and raining all day... what else were people going to do? Regardless, the crowds were big, and the vibe was über inviting. Have I mentioned that I love this show?
The system used the very stylish AGD Andante Pre-DAC-Streamer, controlled by an iPad, to feed Alberto's ingenious flagship GaNTube amplifiers, the AGD Gran Vivace. I was fortunate enough to have a pair of them grace my listening room recently and will be submitting a full report on my findings to another magazine soon. What makes Alberto's designs so unique, aside from the use of gallium nitride transistors (GaN), a technology that promises to revolutionize the performance of Class D amplification, is that the front end and power supply are housed in the beautiful base, while the entire amplifier section is entirely contained inside what would appear to be a typical glass valve or tube. Aside from a very sexy and appealing appearance, the options for upgrade, or in the worst case, repair, are brilliantly simplified.
The Gran Vivace's drove the brand new, still-not-quite-in-production JansZen Nine.Five loudspeakers. They will be sold direct, and feature six ceramic cone 8" woofers in an open baffle configuration, crossed over at 200 Hz to an eight-inch wide by four-foot-tall synthetic aperture electrostatic line array.
This room was set up with the speakers and gear very proximate to one of the long walls, with the listening chairs set up rather close to the system along the opposite long wall. Overall, this system exhibited superb tone and texture, combined with a wonderful sense of speed. The piano is a percussion instrument, and this system never lets you overlook that fact. The system excelled at providing delicate instrumentation and very vivid and faithful tonality. I would love to experience this system in a larger space, given how inviting and seductive it proved to be here.