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Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2023 Show Report -- CAF 2023 premium luxury audio event coverage.

Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 7
The 3rd Floor Part A
Show Report By Rick Becker



Room 306  Philharmonic Audio
I raved about Philharmonic Audio last year and this year I could hardly get in the door.



Eventually, I wiggled my way in and grabbed a shot of their speakers. Across the front wall were the BRM tower in dark wood veneer ($3900 to $4200), the HT Tower in a lighter veneer ($4300 to $4500), and the True Mini on the stands ($380).



The system was nothing exorbitant, either. That was a Topping D90 DAC in silver on top of a Marantz CD6007 CD player. Below that was an ABX Switch by AVA to allow them to compare speakers easily with a small NAD Network Streamer C51 sitting on top of it. The amp was something small and black without a 3/8" thick faceplate or prominent logo. And the stand itself looked like a Pangea Vulcan rack, probably $200.



On the floor at the left were the small Ceramic Mini ($850) and the BMR Monitor ($1700-$1900) that I raved about last year.

I had to stand in the back corner to listen for a few minutes. From the time I arrived to the time I left, nobody else left the room. What does that tell you? I was surprised they were not writing checks as they listened. Maybe they were having a mental meltdown over how much money they already had invested in their gear. Enough said.




Room 307  Command AV
Getting back into the world of the big (but not biggest) spenders, Command Performance AV in Falls Church, VA, put on a first-class presentation that belied the relatively affordable Joseph Audio Perspective2 Graphene speakers ($17k). As Jeff frequently does, the rig was oriented on the line between opposite corners of the room. This gives more maximum depth behind the speakers, less reflection off the side walls, and a better seating area for visitors.

All the blue cables you see on the floor were Cardas Clear, as is typically seen with Joseph speakers. On the bottom shelf of the Modulum rack was A Berkeley Audio Design Alpha DAC Series 3 ($28k). A Berkely Alpha USB was on the low stand to its left. Going up a shelf was a Doshi Audio V3 Evolution Preamp ($21k), and above that was the matching Evolution tube phono stage ($21k). Doshi Audio is in Manassas, VA.

On another amp stand to the right of the rack was an Innuos Statement Music Server, with a 1TB hard drive, Next-Gen. ($18,900).



On another Modulum amp stand equipped with special vibration absorbing footers was a Doshi V3 Evolution hybrid stereo amp ($23k) featuring Electro Harmonix 6CA7 power tubes from Russia that put out 65 Wpc, of which 50 Wpc are Class A.



The turntable was the J. Sikora Initial MAX ($14,475), their most basic of three models, equipped with a J. Sikora KV12 12" tonearm ($9k) which was fitted with a Lyra Etna SL Lambda cartridge ($10k). Here again, was a turntable where the belt contacted the platter near where the cartridge meets the LP, and the same would likely be true for the second tonearm at the back of the turntable.

With a complex piece of music playing on the turntable, the inner detail was superb and the entire presentation was transparent and toe-tapping musical. All of which suggests that you don't need to overspend or over-size the speakers for your room.




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