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Capital Audiofest 2017: Linear Tube Audio – Small Watts, Big Sound

By | December 7th, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Linear-Tube-Audio-7

Local Washington DC company Linear Tube Audio (LTA) had a big presence at the show this year.  It seemed like every time I turned around, something of theirs was staring me down. Most notable was their dedicated room, in which a bevy of LTA amplification, together with the nifty Wolf Audio server and Mytek Manhattan 2 DAC, drove the super efficient Tekton Design Double Impact speakers to great heights.

Also on hand just outside of CanJam was LTA’s Will Schneider holding court over an array of MZ2 (that’s short for MicroZOTL2) headphone amp/preamp units set up and ready to drive a nice collection of ‘phones.… Read the full article

Capital Audio Fest 2017: Daedalus Audio –  Fly me to the moon…

By | December 6th, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , |

Daedalus-1

I’ve always been intrigued at audio shows by Lou Hinkley’s Daedalus Audio, a custom speaker company located in the the chill Northwestern U.S.  Like other West Coast speaker builders (Sean Casey of Zu Audio comes to mind…), Lou strikes me as the kind who likes to do things his own way.  For starters, his speakers are constructed out of solid wood, as opposed to veneer-coated MDF or some funky space-age material.  As such, Hinkley’s woody creations often seem a cut above (ha, ha…) the rest, both in terms of appearance and sound.… Read the full article

Capital Audiofest 2017: Zu Audio

By | November 24th, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , |

Everyone, or so it seems, digs the Zu Audio room. Why? Well, it may have to do with the fact that it’s the least audiophile-like room at any high-end show. It’s always a refreshing mix of that company’s march-to-the-beat-of-a-different-drummer speakers, and the ambiance of something between a party and a mixing studio. Sure, the dual turntables playing into a sweet-looking Rupert Neve mixing console were eye candy enough, but the real stars of the show were speakers: a pair each of the brand new Druid Mk.… Read the full article

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Capital Audiofest 2017: Kickin’ it with Linear Tube Audio

By | November 23rd, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , |

Local Washington DC company Linear Tube Audio (LTA) had a big presence at the show this year. It seemed like every time I turned around, something of theirs was staring me down. Most notable was their dedicated room, in which a bevy of LTA amplification, together with the nifty Wolf Audio server and Mytek Manhattan 2 DAC, drove the super efficient Tekton Design Double Impact speakers to great heights.

Also on hand just outside of CanJam was LTA’s Will Schneider holding court over an array of MZ2 (that’s short for MicroZOTL2) headphone amp/preamp units set up and ready to drive a nice collection of ‘phones.… Read the full article

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Capital Audiofest 2017: Old Meets New with EMIA

By | November 14th, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , |

Meet EMIA Audio, an informal coupling of Experienced Music and Intact Audio (hence EMIA), two companies whose principals decided to informally join forces to make great music. Much of what these guys are doing involves melding older designs with newer technology. Their creations seem mainly to be bespoke, one-off pieces, focusing mainly on restoration and re-builds based on classic turntables and their accessories, as well as newly designed step-up transformers and phono stages.

The EMIA room was chock-full of really cool looking gear with a vintage vibe, along with some crazy stuff that would make Dr.… Read the full article

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Capital Audiofest 2017: Merrill Audio and Distinctive Stereo

By | November 13th, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , |

You never know what Merrill Wettasinge of Merrill Audio is going to come up with next.  One thing’s for sure, he always seems to pull out the big guns.  Heck, a few shows ago, he had his powerful Veritas amps driving a huge and super efficient pair of horns!  Go figure…  Anyhow, if you like big, powerful, room-filling sound, you can count on Merrill to deliver.

This time around, Merrill and Dr. Laurence Borden of Distinctive Stereo had me well covered. … Read the full article

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Capital Audiofest 2017: Gary Gill’s magic horn loudspeakers

By | November 8th, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , |

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Back in 2016, Gary Gill of Capital Audiofest fame demonstrated his latest DIY creation: A Voxativ-based horn speaker, constructed of gelcoat fiberglass and birch 10-ply. At this time last year his horns were sans bass cabinet, however the audible progress was proving to be coming along well.

Fast forward to Thursday afternoon at CAF 2017 and Gary’s horns are nowhere to be found at the show. Meeting up later that evening with a few manufacturing buddies, I asked “Did Gary pull his horn project from the show this year?” To which my friends replied, “We’re going over to Gary’s to hear them tonight.

Read the full article

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Capital Audiofest 2017: The Audio Company, VAC, Von Schweikert, Esoteric bring their A-Game

By | November 7th, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This was probably the only room at Capital Audiofest that could have charged a “special exhibit” admission price during the show. The Audio Company brought to CAF what was arguably a room configured with a system many audiophiles might never experience in their real lives, either specifically or in terms of outright cost. So making it to an audio show near you to see rooms like this should be on your bucket list. Likely if you know someone who attended Capital Audio Fest this year, you’re likely already seeing system pictures on social media.… Read the full article

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Capital Audiofest 2017: A Personal Preview

By | November 1st, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , |

Capital Audiofest is intimate, and my favorite show for that reason. Not as large as some shows, but definitely of equal quality. Overall, things feel a little more laid back at CAF. People seem more willing to connect. Show goers can linger in rooms a little longer without the fear of missing out on other rooms. For me, it’s a better show going experience.

Capital Audiofest begins Friday, November 3rd and runs through Sunday, November 5th.

For more information please visit www.capitaaudiofest.com.Read the full article

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Chicago’s AXPONA kicks off busy year for U.S. audio shows

By | April 19th, 2017|Categories: Part-Time Audiofile|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

By John Stancavage

With brick-and-mortar audio shops increasingly few and far between, high-end shows have seen tremendous growth in recent years. But are we on the verge of having too much of a good thing?

AXPONA, April 21-23 in Chicago, kicks off what looks to be the busiest season ever for the U.S. stereo exhibit circuit. After AXPONA, there is a mere six weeks until the next big event, the Los Angeles Audio Show, June 2-4. And, get this: The latter gathering is just one of three slated for California in a four-month period.… Read the full article

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