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Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2022 Show Report -- CAF 2022 premium luxury audio event coverage.

The Capital Audiofest 2022 Fab Five
My selection of the Top Five best sounds of CAF 2022.
Capital Audiofest 2022 Show Report By Greg Weaver

 

 

Best Of CAF 2022 Number Four
Room 525 - GT Audio Works
This room featured the latest Reference panels and dipole subs from Greg Takesh, paired up with the new flagship DAC from Poland's LampizatOr, the Horizon, and some exciting new amplification from WestminsterLab.

Source
- Small Green Computer sonicTransporter i9 Optical ($2,999)
- Sonore Signature Rendu SE Optical Tier II ($4,800)
- LampizatOr Horizon DAC ($50,000)
Electronics
- Pass Labs XP32 line stage ($18,375)
- WestminsterLab Quest preamplifier ($22,000 - $27,000 with phonostage card)
- WestminsterLab REI Class A Monoblocks ($28,000/pr.)
Speakers
- GT Audio Works Reference 3 speaker system ($59,900)
  with two 12" drivers Open Baffle subs per side, crossed over, EQ'ed,
  and amplified separately
Cables/Ancillaries
- Magnan Signature Speaker Cable ($1,540/pr.)
- Magnan Signature XLR Interconnects ($2,200/pr.)
- Magnan Signature Reference power cables ($2,420, four used)
- Triode Wire Labs Passion USB Cable ($399)
- Richard Gray RGPC SubStation ($3,195) and  RGPC 400 Pro 2 ($895)
- Falken'Ohr Stands - 317 Series 900mm Rack ($16,000)
  and matching 317 Series Baseline Amp Stands ($7,650/ea.)

 

There is just no getting around it, this was a killer system... and I was surprised at just how exceptionally well it integrated into this sized room. I had been very taken with their presentation at last year's Capital Audiofest when they were set up in the much larger (3570 ft2) Roosevelt Room. And interestingly enough, they were using the same DAC, the LampizatOr Horizon, as the VSA room had shown with VAC gear.

Each of the main panels holds a six-foot tall by 10-inch-wide proprietary crossoverless full-range planar magnetic line source driver that is driven from 50Hz to 5kHz. Then a six-foot tall by one-half inch wide pure ribbon tweeter is housed just inside the full range panel and is crossed over at 6dB/octave using VH Lab's capacitors. The panels alone are rated at 40Hz to 30kHz.

In this installation, using two of their open baffle twelve-inch woofers in the pair of optional subwoofers, the system is said to be able to get down to as low as 15Hz. The subs received their signal from the second output of the Pass Labs line stage, which is in turn directed to the included Audio Control 1000-watt class D amps. These Audio Control amps can be connected to the internet and using their IP connection, you can access them to use parametric equalization to manage room nodes and integrate the system into any room.

 

 

This system presented with a blistering dynamic attack yet had the grace to maintain a remarkably relaxed and natural feeling. Listening for the background finger snaps from a Peggy Lee cut, I was treated to refined, well-individualized sounds, each one sounding slightly different and unique, while readily conveying that sensation of fleshy impact of finger striking meaty palm.

Dynamic scaling here was reminiscent of that achievable from the best horn designs. Listening to well-recorded drum tracks revealed superb attack with excellent pitch definition, clearly revealing drumhead skin tone. This dynamic prowess also allowed for starkly well-defined instrumental trail and decay detail.

Overall tonality was nicely refined, with the "blat" on horns authentically presented, as well as microdynamic shadings of subtle piano noodlings. I was especially impressed with how it exposed Elton John's voice on "Talking Old Soldiers" from his 1970 loose concept album about the American West, Tumbleweed Connection. It was so natural, so "there," so transparent that I just had to include this room in the top five.

 

 

 

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