LATEST ADDITIONS

Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 17, 2012  |  0 comments
Music First Audio makers of passive preamplifiers, step up transformers, and phono stages were rescued by a Bladelius USB DAC ($695) when the DAC they brought to the Show didn't work. The other source on hand was that lovely Revox A77 deck. Their Baby Reference Preamplifier ($7,900) played music through a Bel Canto S-300 amp driving a pair of classic Rogers LS3/5As. Everything except the speakers sat on a Hi Fi Rack rack which is, as you can see, strong enough to hold a double-decker bus.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 17, 2012  |  0 comments
There was a nice stack of digital devices in the NYC dealer Ciamara room including the Weiss MAN301 Music Archive Network Player ($9,083 for standard version; $12,262 for the version with an on-board DAC), Weiss Medea+ DAC ($19,680 + $2,119 for the Firewire option), Bricasti M1 DAC ($7,995) which was in use while I was visiting, and the Lavry Gold DA2002 ($11,250). Also playing was the Viola Solo Preamp ($45,000), Viola Bravo II Power Amplifier ($59,000), and the TAD Compact Reference CR1s ($37,000 + $3,500 for the stands).
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 17, 2012  |  0 comments
I've been in the Amphion/Hegel room is each of the shows I've covered for AudioStream (and prior) so after asking if there was anything new in Montreal (there wasn't) and saying, "I'll see you NYC in a few weeks", I'll report that while there's nothing new, the Amphion Argon 7L loudspeakers ($6,495/pair) were driven by all Hegel electronics including the H4ASE power amplifier ($8,000), P4A mk2 High End Reference Pre Amplifier ($4,600), CDP4A High-End Reference CD player ($4,000), and the HD11 32 bit High End Audio DAC ($1,200). The HD11 DAC offers (2) Coaxial and (1) optical inputs offering up to 24-bit/192kHz and (1) USB input providing up to 24-bit/96kHz.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 17, 2012  |  0 comments
The Kubotek/Haniwa room was showing off their Full Digital Control System ($36,000) which consists of the DHSA01 Digital System Amplifier and the HSP2B08 2-Way Horn Speakers. So what makes a system fully digital? I asked this question of Robert W. Bean of Kubotek specifically, "Where does the D/A conversion take place?" and Robert answered, "It doesn't. It's all digital all the way through." Which had me wondering how I was hearing music...
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 17, 2012  |  0 comments
The Red Wine Audio room featured their LFP battery-powered Isabella Preamplifer with the Isabellina Pro DAC option ($5,500). This DAC actually houses two separate DACs—the 24/192k Wolfson DAC for high rez and an NOS DAC for 16/44 (selectable with a toggle switch). Inputs include USB (16/48k) and S/PDIF (Coax and Optical 24/192k) and as you can see it sat atop the MSB Platinum Data CD IV ($3,995).
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 17, 2012  |  0 comments
what's wrong with this picture? (hint: it's not that suit)

The Innovative Audio Maxwell Suite housed an interesting digital setup consisting of the Meridian Control 15 Digital Media System ($7,500), Meridian Media Source 600 ($3,500), Meridian Media Core 200 ($4,000), dCS Puccini CD/SACD player/DAC ($18,000), and the dCS Puccini U-Clock ($5,500). While you can use the Meridian Control or Source products as stand-alone units, you can also connect them through their SpeakerLink ports which is an Ethernet variant allowing control from a central device, in this case the Control 15 or the Meridian iPad app. Since the SpeakerLink technology uses RJ45 “ethernet-style” cables you can distribute the system around a room as they did in the Maxwell Suite.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 17, 2012  |  0 comments
Dan Lavry of Lavry Engineering has been vocal about his belief that 24-bit/192kHz is not only overkill (not his language) but detrimental to sound quality. In his paper titled "Sampling Theory", Mr. Lavry states, "Sampling audio signals at 192KHz is about 3 times faster than the optimal rate...It compromises the accuracy which ends up as audio distortions." Whether or not Mr. Lavry is correct and everyone else isn't is not a topic for today. The Lavry Engineering room was showing two of their consumer DACs—the LavryBlack DA10 ($1,148) and the Lavry Gold DA2002 ($11,250) as well as the AD11 ($1,680) analog to digital converter.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 16, 2012  |  0 comments
Attention Screen, Robert J. Reina on piano (Bob is also a Stereophile reviewer), Don Fiorino on guitar and other stringed stuff, Mark Flynn on drums, and Chris Jones on double bass, rocked the house with their raucous blend of improvised funk psych jazz sounding at times like Miles Davis making his bitches brew mixed with groans from the Mississippi Delta and Webern meets Debussy with a touch of Bill Evans for good measure. I was only able to stay for two songs but hearing live music is always a lovely and refreshing experience amid all of the hi-fiing. Kinda like having the main course as the intermezzo.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 16, 2012  |  0 comments
Wes Bender Studio had a few NYC debuts in store for show goers including the Viola Audio Laboratories Crescendo Preamplifier with integrated DAC ($19,000 includes Apple iPod Touch), and the Hansen Audio The Prince ($39,000/pair) loudspeakers. Also on active display was the Viola Audio Laboratories Forte Mono Power Amplifiers ($19,000/pair), and a Lindemann Audio 825 HD Disc Player ($12,500). The vinyl rig, for those inclined, included the Redpoint Audio Designs Model MG/Special Edition turntable ($65,000), Tri-Planar Ultimate Mk VII-UII tonearm ($5,000) a Graham Phantom II Supreme B-44 cartridge ($5,999), and the Zesto Audio Andros PS1 phono stage ($3,900).
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 16, 2012  |  0 comments
Speaker manufacturer Well Rounded Sound offers a lineup of fairly diminutive canine-themed single driver speakers and matching subwoofers. On active display when I was in the room were a pair of Corgi's ($799) which use a 4" paper cone full range driver with aluminum formed cap all dressed up in Monocoque Finnish Birch Plywood. Also playing were and a pair of passive WRS Woof 1 ($299/each) subwoofers in carbonized bamboo (WOOF!). Taking driving and D/A duties was the equally diminutive Wyred 4 Sound mINT ($1,499) 100WPC integrated amp with an in-built DAC capable of 24/196 via 2 S/PDIF inputs and 24/96 via asynchronous USB.

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