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

The Audio Analyst's Capital Audiofest 2022 Show Report
One of the best shows on the calendar, and remarkably successful too!
CAF 2022 Show Report By Greg Weaver

 

 

623 – Infigo Audio
When I first got to this smallish room, there was so much talking going on among the listeners that I couldn't really make any assessment. At the suggestion of several colleagues, I went back – and I am glad I did.

Source
- Infigo Audio Fluvius Streamer ($1,750)
- Infigo Audio Method 4 Digital to Analog Converter ($35,000)

Electronics
- Infigo Audio Method 3 Monoblock Power Amplifiers ($50,000/pr.)

Speakers
- Illusio Audio Alana Loudspeakers with matching LORAstand ($30,000/pr.)
- Illusio Audio Subwoofer System (four subwoofers & two amplifiers) ($5,000)

Cables / Ancillaries
- Infigo Audio Sparkle Series USB Cable ($1,200/1 meter) and Power Cables ($750/2 meters, four in use).
- Infigo Audio Signature Series XLR Interconnects ($5,500/pr. 3 meters) and Speaker Cable,($3,500/pr/1 meter)

 

Bass performance in this fairly small room, which was set up and calibrated by J.R. Boisclair of WAM Engineering, was beyond belief! J.R. refers to this configuration as an asymmetrically distributed bass array, but you may have heard it referred to as a "swarm" subwoofer system. He explained to me that there are several requirements needed to implement such a system. First, you need four subwoofers. They can be self-powered or powered by external amps, but you need to be able to manage the following attributes of each: absolute phase (0° or 180°), amplitude, crossover point, AND continuous phase adjustability, variable from 0° through 180°.

He further explained that he actually prefers these controls be used to manage two subs simultaneously rather than each sub individually. Finally, while he mentioned that he often prefers to have a single band of parametric equalization available for each amp controlling the subs, he finds that it isn't always needed, and was not used in the Infigo room.

Not surprisingly, the space of recordings was superbly delineated, even in this fairly small room. And I was more than merely impressed by the resultant bass power, impact, and slam, all with no bloat, overshoot, or boundary issues. Wow.

On "Stimela (the coal train)," from Hugh Masekela's Hope, while there was an ever so slightly nasal quality to his voice, the dynamics, both macro and micro, were simply exceptional. Other than that minor nasal coloration, tonality was particularly good, and the system delivered a simply superb presentation.

 

 

621 - Gershman Acoustics
It is always a treat to see what Eli and Ofra Gershman are going to deliver, so I was only too eager to check what they had in store for showgoers in this smallish room.

 

 

Source
- VPI  HW-40 Edition turntable 40th Anniversary Direct Drive w/ Gimbal Fatboy ($15,000)

Electronics
- VPI Voyager phono stage ($2,500)
- EON ART Quark integrated Amp $70,000

Loudspeakers
- Gershman Acoustics Grand Avant Garde ($17,000/pr.)

Cables/Ancillaries
- Cardas Audio Clear cables throughout

Featuring the slight-ish Grand Avant Garde loudspeaker, just 39" tall and weighing only 82 pounds, with its gracefully tapered, truncated cabinet and sloping baffle, it utilizes a 1" soft-dome tweeter, a 5.25" carbon-fiber midrange, and an 8" dual-coil aluminum woofer. It also features Eli's new Patent Pending BCT, or Back-wave Control Technology design. Essentially, in addition to the resistive line in the main bass enclosure, the speaker sits atop a shallow, rectangular base that helps to create a pressure differential between it and the main cabinet. By venting the woofer's back wave into this additional "trap," it is "tricked" into "seeing" a larger volume, enhancing its ability to dissipate the rear wave, reducing intermodulation distortion and re-radiation back into the cone. This sleek and effective "bass trap" is further augmented with the use of IsoAcoustics footers.

 

 

I was immediately drawn into this system's remarkably intimate presentation. As well as offering a disarming liquidity and remarkably faithful tone, its ability to present instrumental and vocal individuality was exceptional, placing it among the best performers in this regard that I heard at this show. Their unusually fine resolution, combined with this remarkable tonality and subtle dimensionality, afforded both a wonderful sense of the space of recordings and an enhanced level of musical transparency. Finally, I was quite surprised by their extended and articulate bass performance, especially for their given size and driver complement. The result was an exceptionally engaging and musical presentation. Well done.

 

Randolph – Daedalus / LampizatOr / WyWires
After the stirring levels of performance achieved by the partners of this room, Lou Hinkley of Daedalus Audio, Fred Ainsley of LampizatOr North America, and Alex Sventitsky of WyWires, at the last two shows I had covered, I was more than anxious to see how they would fare here.

 

 

Sources
- LampizatOr Super Komputer (Starting at $8,500), their statement music server
- LampizatOr Horizon DAC ($50,000)

Electronics
- Linear Tube Audio microZOTL Preamplifier ($4,450)
- Linear Tube Audio Ultralinear Power Amplifier ($6,800)

Loudspeakers
- Daedalus Audio Apollo11 v.3 (starting at $27,500)
- Daedalus Audio BOW, 12" passive subwoofers with outboard crossovers ($5,380/pr.) powered by the - - Parasound New Classic 2250 v.2 ($1,599)

 

 

Ancillaries
- WyWiresDiamon Series Interconnects (starting at $4,4495) and digital cables (starting at $1,699), Platinum Series power cords (starting at $999), and featuring the WyWires/Daedalus speaker cables ($1,995) and Power Broker AC Distribution system ($2,495).

 

 

This show marked the debut of Lou's fully redesigned flagship system, the Apollo11 v.3. The convincing result of the version upgrade was apparent, and this system presented a near effortless, natural, and relaxed presentation while maintaining its musically expressive nature. While I felt I've heard slightly better resolution from the different earlier pairings of gear by these partners, this room was still rife with relevant detail, refined nuance, and full, rich, tonality and sumptuous texture. In short, this updated version of Lou's Apollo permitted the remarkable nuances of the new LampizatOr flagship DAC to shine through. Well done, again!

 

 

 

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