California Audio Show 2012 (CAS) By
Sean Casey founder of Zu Audio was in the room spinning vinyl for one and all using a Zu modified older Technics SL-1200 turntable with a Denon Zu modified Cartridge of course. Amplification was from a pair of Audion Black Shadow ($16,995 a pair) twenty five Class A watt monoblock amplifiers which sported one 845 power tube each. Sean brought his Zu Definition M 1V loudspeakers ($12900 a pair) to the show and I am sure glad he did. This was the first time hearing them for me or actually meeting Sean in person, both experiences were very pleasurable. Sean really seemed to connect with people and the comfortably furnished setting of that small intimate room made me feel right at home. It was as if being invited over to a friend's house to listen to music and there was Sean making everyone feel relaxed while enjoying what he was doing, being the host.
The Zu loudspeakers are factory rated at 101dB/W/m sensitivity driving an 8 Ohm load and sounded marvelous with the Black Shadow amplifiers. Zu makes a good assortment of loudspeakers with prices starting as low as $1200 a pair for their Omen bookshelf model or $650 for their single Omen center. Maybe now is the time to give Sean a call and see if I can set up a review from this very interesting lineup of loudspeakers.
A quick look now into the Loggie Audio room
brought me face to face with the YG Acoustics Anat III Studio Signature
loudspeakers ($82, 000 a pair). Loggie Audio is located in Redwood City
California. That room setup with loudspeakers and ambient lighting looked
spectacular and the music did not disappoint for sure. Every time I turned
around there was suddenly lots of people inside. Ypsilon Aleius hybrid
mono amplifiers ($36,000) supplied the power.
Twin Audio Video from Loma Linda California brought a pair of Triode TRX M845SE ($22,500) monoblock power amplifiers. This is a single ended Class A design with auto bias and 50 watts of power output at 8 Ohms. It had a delicacy, accurate timbre and a firm grip on the lower frequency that was nice to hear. If you get a chance check this one out.
Just before leaving on Saturday I decided to wait in order to hear Steven Vidaic from Boulder Colorado perform live in the Blue Coast Record room. The deal here was to hear him perform two songs live as they recorded it direct to DSD, Direct Stream Digital. Afterwards one of the songs was played back through some very nice Sony loudspeakers (the audience got to vote for which song). This way you got to experience firsthand the difference between a live performance and system playback music. Naturally live is better but DSD was very good.
Steven was a pleasure to hear and it would have
been nice if he played more that day. If you get a chance check out his music
or better still go see him perform live, I think you will enjoy it.
My apologies to all the rooms that I did not
cover and gear that was missed but there was really so little time and so much
to experience. Summing it up the show was a lot of fun. I got to meet some
nice people, shared my love of music with others, caught a good live
performance and got to see/hear some great audio gear. Hey what more could you
ask for. What a great way to spend a weekend.
Now go Enjoy the Music!