Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part
Room 726 M101
This room caught my attention last year, too, where the Big Surprise was that the system was running off-grid from a battery supply unit. This year, that battery supply unit was replaced with a sonically superior (they claimed), but much less attractive unit shown at the bottom of the photo above. The Renogy unit in the top half of the photo was the AC to DC converter to recharge the battery.
Last year I noticed the silent background to the music without knowing about the system running off-grid. This year I noticed the battery and I was not able to identify a background that was much blacker than most of the other rooms I had visited. They weren't prepared to do an A/B comparison so it was hard to tell. But as I sat in my office and listened to my music sample recorded with my camcorder, the silent background was easily identified.
I recognized the AGD Grand Vivace monoblocks ($19k) right away, too, sitting next to a Mola Mola Makua line stage ($12,200). The Paradigm speakers were from the Persona series and sounded very good with the higher-end amplifiers than you typically hear in Paradigm demonstrations in brick and mortar stores.
The simplicity of the weave in the cutaway above suggests it is a power cable design. It looked fragile with the plastic discs and thin plastic spacers between the discs. For sure, you do not want to ever step on one of these cables.
The more intricate weave and the use of copper and silver suggest this is a signal-carrying design. This looks like it must be constructed by hand, which explains the high prices. The music was clear and inviting. Another good showing from the folks at M101 this year.
Room 728 Amped America
The speaker was the new Acoustique Quality Passion Fever model ($8k).
The Music Hall MH Stealth direct drive turntable ($1649) was equipped with an Ortofon cartridge and had a useful auto-stop mechanism. I noticed Roy Hall of Music Hall was present at the show.