Home  Hi-Fi Audio Reviews  |  Audiophile Shows  |  Partner Mags  Music News       

  High-End High-Performance Audiophile Review Magazine & Hi-Fi Audio Equipment Reviews

  High-Performance Audio Reviews
  Music News, Show Reports, And More!

  Celebrating 29 Years Of Service To Music Lovers




Pacific Audio Fest 2022 Show Report  -- PAF 2022 Event Expo


The Inaugural Pacific Audio Fest - Seattle 2022
Part One: Off To An AMAZING Start....
Show Report By Greg Weaver


  Wandering into the identically sized Cascade 7, sponsored by my friend Ken Stevens, of Convergent Audio Technology, I was dealt a couple of surprises.

Upon entering the room, I didn't run into Ken immediately, but rather, ran headlong into the husband-and-wife team of Jim Anderson and Ulrike Schwarz, of Anderson Audio of NY. With more than 30 Grammy-nominated recordings and many other international awards and honors between their storied resumes, they are recognized as two of the most revered and leading figures in the world of acoustic audio engineering and production. In fact, I had just spoken about Ulrike's role in doing the transfer of the 42-year-old tapes used for the release of Saturday Night In San Francisco at Skywalker Sound during my interview with Abey Fonn, founder of Impex Records.



The second surprise, given the pedigree of the rest of the gear in this room, was the DAC chosen for the system playback…the iFi iDSD Pro Signature DAC ($3,499) with its iPower Elite (US) DC Audiophile Power Supply ($299). I featured the non-signature edition of this DAC, one of the most versatile, powerful, and affordable DAC / Streamer / Headphone Amplifiers I've yet encountered, on my channel back in January of 2021!

But look at the rest of this system! The source was Qobuz, an official sponsor of this show, streaming to the iFi iDSD Pro Signature. Electronics included the CAT SL1 Legend Extreme preamplifier ($59,995), and a pair of the CAT JL7 SE (Special Edition) monoblocks ($59,990/pr), driving the first pair of Magico S5 Mk IIs ($45,400/pr.) that I would hear at this event. Further details were not offered or available by handout or email follow-up.



The sonic result was amazing. The system showed remarkably rich and authentic texture and provided an exceptional sense of body and bloom. Piano presented with a brilliant sparkle, was percussive AND totally dense and vibrant. I have to admit to being bowled over by the undeniably overall neutrality, especially given that the source of all of this musical magic was such a modestly priced, and clearly overperforming, DAC.

Making my way into the larger Cascade 9 room, at 58' x 29' x 8', hosted by Genesis Loudspeakers, I ran into my friend Gary Koh for the first time since the Covid lockdowns in the spring of 2020.

Gary had gone all out here, with a marvelously extravagant setup. Using either his Genesis The Record Player system ($200,000), or a VPI Avenger Direct Drive turntable ($36,000), alternately fitted with a prototype Hyper Analogue X4 cartridge (~$18,000) or the Goldenberg Maestro cartridge ($6,000) as analog sources, and the as yet unnamed prototypical VPI phonostage (~$6,000). Electronics included yet another prototype, the Merrill Audio Caileigh Preamplifier ($22,000), or the Viola Sonata Preamplifier ($38,000), with the prototypical Merrill Audio 116MX Amplifiers ($30,000/pr.) driving the four-column Genesis Prime+ prototype Loudspeaker system ($680,000/set)!



The two Midrange/Tweeter panels, which measure 42" wide, house a 75" ribbon midrange, and 20 Genesis ring radiator ribbon tweeters on the front baffle, with 6 more on the rear of the baffle, to form a near-perfect dipolar line source array. The Woofer towers use a combination of constrained layer damping, subtlety improved bracing, and a set of twelve opposing woofers (six front-firing and six rear-firing) per tower, implemented so that the vibration generated by one woofer is canceled by the opposing woofer, allowing for the reduction of modal vibrations and boxy coloration in the woofer tower cabinet to practically zero.



The system used Genesis Power Interfaces, Interconnects, and Speaker Interfaces throughout. As visually striking, and - some may even say imposing, as this system was, it was an absolute joy to hear. While you would expect such an enormously substantial dynamic loudspeaker system to present large-scale classical with an equally big and bold presentation, it also rendered it with remarkably complete detail, an enticing degree of resolve and transparency, and offered utterly exceptional dynamics, with musical scaling bordering on the most effortless I've experienced.



I wandered into the Joseph / Doshi room next, in Cascade 11, some 33' x 28' x 8', an atypically large room for these two companies, who routinely show together given the undeniable synergy their gear unleashes. While Jeff was on hand playing Reel-to-Reel tapes while I was in the room, Nick Doshi was not in attendance.

The system included the Technics RS 1500 RTR (manufactured from 1977-87) to feed the Doshi Audio Evolution Tape Preamplifier ($19,900), connected to the Doshi Audio Evolution Line Preamplifier ($19,900), using the Doshi Audio Evolution Monoblocks ($44,900/pr.) to drive Jeff's Joseph Audio Pearl Graphene loudspeakers ($44,900/pr.). All cables were from Cardas, including Clear and Clear Beyond series. Though Jeff also was displaying a pair of his Pulsar2 Graphene's ($8,995/pr.), his highly regarded two-way stand-mounted monitors, they remained static while I was in the room.



I must say, the result was even better than I had anticipated, or for that matter, have heard from this collection of gear at recent showings. While I have often noted that this teaming presents unusually successfully in many much smaller rooms, I have to say that it was more than just refreshing to get a taste of what this combo could do in a room this size.



Rather than being muted or subdued in any manner, I was struck by the fact that in this much larger scale room, the system STILL developed that remarkably engaging sense of immediacy I hear when they exhibit in much smaller spaces. And it retained its very desirable, richly textured, vibrant, and authentic timbre. What was even more exciting for me was the resultant purity of tone, and the superb recreation of solid and honestly sized and located staging and imaging cues, as well as its overall relaxed yet detailed presentation.

After finishing off what was significant to me on the second floor of the tower, I headed over to the first corridor into the original section of the Hotel and started to see what was of interest in Wing 2. If you are concerned about some skipped Cascade rooms, don't fret. Some of those omitted Cascade Rooms will be featured in my "Fab Five" report, where I will chronicle the five rooms that delivered the most engaging and musical sounds at this event!




---> Next Page.
















































Quick Links

Premium Audio Review Magazine
High-End Audiophile Equipment Reviews


Equipment Review Archives
Turntables, Cartridges, Etc
Digital Source
Do It Yourself (DIY)
Cables, Wires, Etc
Loudspeakers/ Monitors
Headphones, IEMs, Tweaks, Etc
Superior Audio Gear Reviews



Show Reports
HIGH END Munich 2024
AXPONA 2024 Show Report
Montreal Audiofest 2024 Report

Southwest Audio Fest 2024
Florida Intl. Audio Expo 2024
Capital Audiofest 2023 Report
Toronto Audiofest 2023 Report
UK Audio Show 2023 Report
Pacific Audio Fest 2023 Report
T.H.E. Show 2023 Report
Australian Hi-Fi Show 2023 Report
...More Show Reports


Our Featured Videos


Industry & Music News

High-Performance Audio & Music News


Partner Print Magazines
Australian Hi-Fi Magazine
hi-fi+ Magazine
Sound Practices
VALVE Magazine


For The Press & Industry
About Us
Press Releases
Official Site Graphics





Home   |   Hi-Fi Audio Reviews   |   News   |   Press Releases   |   About Us   |   Contact Us


All contents copyright©  1995 - 2024  Enjoy the Music.com®
May not be copied or reproduced without permission.  All rights reserved.