The last couple of months have been a blur. Just days after I joined the team at Part-Time Audiophile and The Occasional, I was off to Denver to cover the 2018 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. Then, just a few weeks later, I was driving down to Rockville, Maryland to cover the 2018 Capital Audiofest. Then I’d been home about a week before I headed out to San Diego to cover the debut of the Dan D’Agostino Relentless monoblock amplifiers and YG Acoustics Sonja XV speakers at Alma Audio.… Read the full article
This is a system I could listen to every day and twice on Sundays. Which is exactly what I did at Capital Audiofest. On Friday, I poked my head in for a listen, Saturday, much of the same. Sunday morning I was there first thing to gather some final impressions of the system and snap some photos when I was called away for an urgent show-going responsibility. So I finally return on for my “twice” listen on Sunday, along with some photos — and I am noticing as the show is winding down, that the Daedalus Audio, Linear Tube Audio, LampizatOr and WyWires room is still rather busy.… Read the full article
At last month’s Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, I asked a couple of audio buddies if they’d seen (well, heard) anything interesting at the show. Both of them immediately mentioned the fantastic open-baffle speakers from Spatial Audio, and how they sounded incredible for just four grand per pair. Hmmm, I thought, I’ll have to check them out. But I didn’t—and I was looking everywhere for them. It was the last day of the show, however, and I was tired and my eyes might have been on the blurry side.… Read the full article
Sunday at an audio show is always a little bit slower, a little more relaxed, and a whole lot more “are we done yet?” Many of us on the press side are tying up loose ends, or returning to our favourite rooms to squeeze in another listen. I on the other hand am still clamoring to hear everything I can.… Read the full article
This is a system I could listen to every day and twice on Sundays. Which is exactly what I did at Capital Audiofest. On Friday, I poked my head in for a listen, Saturday, much of the same. Sunday morning I was there first thing to gather some final impressions of the system and snap some photos when I was called away for an urgent show-going responsibility. So I finally return on for my “twice” listen on Sunday, along with some photos — and I am noticing as the show is winding down, that the Daedalus, Linear Tube Audio and LamizatOr room is still rather busy.… Read the full article
One of the fun aspects of reviewing gear from small start-up companies is getting to know the owner/proprietor, who is also usually the designer and builder of the piece of gear I’m reviewing. Such is the case with Mike McGary, something of a new kid on the block in the world of vacuum tube amplifier design. Mike is the owner, designer, builder, and chief bottle washer at upstart McGary Audio, which is based in Gainesville, Virginia, not quite a two-hour drive from my home in south-central Pennsylvania. … Read the full article
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” — Helen Keller
Spatial Audio, Linear Tube Audio, and Fern & Roby each arrive at a new reference this weekend at Axpona, and I’m glad I was able to hear it.
Cone drivers bolted into wooden boxes are a dime a dozen. On the tip of my tongue I’m lucky if questioned to name more than a handful of open-baffle speaker companies that are more than a garage business.… Read the full article
Bigger and better than ever, this years Expo Hall at AXPONA was alone worth the cost of admission. Vendors were pulling all the stops with their displays and demo exhibits. Traffic was consistent throughout the weekend, and I imagine the Expo Hall will be a popular destination for both attendee and exhibitor next year.
On with the show!
Wynn Audio had six displays featuring ThalesTurntable, KalistaDigital Playback System, Karan AcousticsAmplifier, EntreqGroundbox (recently reviewed by Rafe), PenaudioSpeakers, and ZenSatiCables.… Read the full article
Christopher Hildebrand of bespoke high-fidelity manufacturer Fern & Roby showed off some impressive pieces of kit at AXPONA a few weeks ago, and when I spoke with him there he related his excitement at attending his first High End in Munich this weekend. He came to Chicago loaded for bear with the company’s new 89dB/4-Ohm/Two-way The Tower loudspeakers, new phono stage designs, tonearm designs, and updates for his existing combinations of Montrose deck guises. Hildebrand has also been rolling his sleeves up on cable design/construction for tonearms, and interconnects, and was showing off several preamplifier/amplifier chassis redesigns that he had collaborated on with Linear Tube Audio and their main man Mark Schneider.… Read the full article
Fern and Roby are slightly different from most other audio companies. Their work offers up a heightened emphasis on texture, not just within the details of fidelity, but also on the surface of their hand crafted, delicately machined works of audio art. The industrial design shines as much as the gleam off off the finish does. Christopher Hildebrand’s handiwork is at the helm of the company and his high-level design sensibilities can be found everywhere in room 606 at AXPONA 2018.… Read the full article