The Acora room was a statement room featuring the Acora SRC2s, VAC Statement 452 iq’s, VAC Statement Phono and Linestage. the source components were the United Home Audio Superdeck and the Lampizator Horizon DAC, Aurender Server. We played an Ed Pong tape featuring violin and piano and over the Lampizator we played Michel Jonasz. The sound was so realistic, perhaps the best system I’ve ever heard.
Audio Note UK:
Audio Note’s Vincent Belanger was showing the entry point AN system. The system had the Cobra integrated/DAC, the AN-E D- Hemp speakers, a TT2 Turntable, the CDT1 transport and the R Zero Phono Stage. Vincent played a track from his new recording and the sound was mesmerizing!
Bending Wave USA
Bending Wave USA featured the Goebel Divin Noblesse with CH Precision electronics with the outstanding Wadax digital front end. We played Dead Can Dance Song of the Stars and the sound was smooth and sophisticated and totally involving.
Fidelity Imports was showing Cyrus electronics with Q Acoustics loudspeakers. The one system had the mighty English Electronics tube amplifier. We played Anne Bisson’s “September in Montreal” and Anne’s voice was in the room with us. You could feel the leaves falling, it was so real.
The Gershman room featured the Grand Avantgarde speakers, the VAC Master Pre amp/Master amp with the Lampizator Big 7 MK11 and the Gulfstream music server. We played Dead Can Dance’s “The Wind That Shakes the Barley”. My gosh, such a huge sound from a smaller format speaker. If you closed your eyes, you would think you were in a giant ballroom!
GTT Audio & Video
GTT Audio featured the new Summit loudspeaker from the new Peak series. This was the world show premier of the Kronos Discovery tonearm! Amplification by Audionet Humboldt, cables by Kubala-Sosna. We play MA recordings Sera Una Noche Nublado and cymbals and the bass sax were in the room with us. A spectacular system!
Infigo Audio featured the Model 3 Monoblocks, with the Model 4 DAC. The Alta Audio Adam speakers again stole the show with tremendous bass and holographic imaging. We played Leonard Cohen’s, By the Rivers Dark and the staging was concert level, with you are there sonics.
Innuos was showing the Statement Next Gen and we A/B’d to the original Statement. The speakers were the YG Vantage Live (active). We played Michel Jonasz on both servers. You can here the difference right away! This was a great sounding room with holographic imaging.
Bill Dudleston of Legacy Audio played the active Aeris Loudspeakers and the magnificent Valor speakers! We played Buddy Guy’s “Ain’t no Sunshine When She’s Gone” with Tracy Chapman. I heard extraordinary pin-point imaging and detail, a wonderful system!
Next Level HiFi
Next Level HiFi featured the Borresen 02 Supremes, the new Aavik 280 electronics with Ansuz DTC Supreme cables. We played Anette Askvik’s Liberty and the sound was holographic, when the sax came in, it took your breath away.
The Nordost room featured Stenheim Reference Ultime Two loudspeakers with VTL electronics, WADAX digital and a VPI HW 40 turntable. We played Chasing the Dragon’s Espana “Carmen” suite and the mezzo soprano was hauntingly real!
Ted Denny of Synergistic Research was showcasing the new Galileo Discovery cables and demonstrating the active Tranquility rack system. We did an A/B with UEF technology turned on and off. The differences were stunning!
T+A featured several systems. We played the brand new 200 Series system and played Kraftwerk’s “The Robots” and the sound was holographic and ultra inviting. A wonderful system!
In the TAD room we listened to the Micro Evolution One loudspeakers. The system features the TAD DD1000 TX DAC, the TAD M1000 TX amp, Wolf Audio Streamer and Synergistic Research cables and Galileo SX. We played Leonard Cohen’s “In My Secret Life” and the sound was ultra real and sophisticated!
The Infigo Audio Room featured the Infigo Method 3 monoblocks and Method 4 DaC/Pre with a pair of AudioKinesis loudspeakers. We played Leonard Cohen’s “Boogie Street” and the sound was magical. The vocals emanated from the most quiet background this listener has ever heard. That is the magic of the system, a startling low noise backdrop that enables the music and ambient information between the notes to literally pop out at you. An extraordinary achievement from Infigo Audio!
The Matterhorn Audio Group room one featured the Kroma Audio Elektra, Julieta and Mimi loudspeakers from Spain. The speakers were powered by the Creek Audio Voyage I20 integrated with a Creek Audio Voyage CD Player as the source. Cabling by Ansuz and High Diamond cables from Italy. Power distribution by Ansuz Mains 8. The beautiful clear rack is by Lucidium. We played Leonard Cohen’s “By the Rivers Dark” on the Elektras and the sound was hauntingly realistic and organic. Extraordinary imaging and presence! These are gorgeous looking and sounding loudspeakers!
Black Ice Audio featured the Fusion F360 preamplifier with enables you to control the frequency range, depth, width and height of the soundstage. The main amplifiers were the Fusion F100 monoblocks driving the B&W 805 D3 loudspeakers. The Fusion F11 was driving the rear channels. We played Kraftwerk’s “Robots” and the sound was explosive filling every square inch of the room. It was if you were at a live Kraftwerk concert! Spectacular sound from a small format system!
House of Stereo featured the TAD Evolution One TX, the largest speaker in the TAD’s Evolution range. Amplification by T+A, the PA 3100 HV integrated. The server is the new Wolf Audio Red Wolf 2SX. Analogue by a VPI Avenger turntable, Grail phono stage by Van den hull and the Analogue Relax cartridge. Tape by “Let There be Sound “. The system was cabled by Synergist Research Galileo SX. We played Buddy Guy’s “Ain’t no Sunshine When She’s Gone” Buddy was standing right there with his guitar. When Tracy Chapman comes in, I was amazed by her realism and palpability. A stunningly refined audio system!
Convergent Audio Technology was featuring the CAT SL 1 Legend linestage fronted by an Oppo Audio cd player Areo classic. The amplifiers were the awesome CAT Statements. A CAT JL5 was on hand for comparison. The turntable was the VPI HW 40. The speakers were the outstanding Magico S5s. Cables by CAT. We played Buddy Guy’s “Ain’t no Sunshine When She’s Gone” and it was one of the best rooms at the show featuring this track. The sound was articulate and organic with gobbs of presence. Amazing system!
Acora Acoustics was featuring the SRC 2 loudspeaker mated with the outstanding VAC Statement 452 monoblocks. Acora was also showcasing their new racks and platforms made from solid granite. The VAC Statement linestage was the heart of the system. The turntable was the J.Sikora Standard MAX turntable with the True Glider tonearm and DS Audio optical cart and power supply phono stage. The streamer was the IDEON Absolute Stream and Absolute DAC. The system feature the United Home Audio Ultima 4 Deck with OPS. Cabling by Cardas. The room was a large ballroom.
I could not believe hho good the system sounded, one of the best systems I’ve ever heard. The Acora’s looked like little specks in such a large room, BUT the sound was AMAZING! It was like being at Lascala or Philadelphia’s Academy of Music! We played Chasing the Dragon’s Bizet’s Carmen Master Tape copy and I was floored by the realism and the ability of the Acora SRCs to FILL the ballroom with music. Startling sound that I will never forget! We then played Anne Bisson’s “Fly Away” and I was brought to tears for the first time at an audio show. The video will blow you away!
High End by OZ was showing the mighty Borresen Silver 05s and 01s with Ansuz DTC cables, and the new Aavik 580 Series amplifier, preamplifier, DAC and Streamer. The system is cabled with DTC cables and power distribution. The system also features the UHA Deck! We played Anette Askvik’s Liberty and the sound was hauntingly realistic. The saxophone was huge and enveloping. Fantastic sound!
Ted Denny from Synergistic Research was showing the new Tranquility Rack system with UEF technology which is actively grounded to the Galileo Ground Block. We demoed the new SR Ethernet UEF Switches, the new SR Carbon Tuning Discs and then Ted had a real treat for the viewers… you will see it in the video. We A/B’d the new products many times playing Leonard Cohen’s Boogie Street. The system was amazing sounding no matter what was in or out, but when a removed product re-entered the system you could hear a profound improvement. Outstanding system!
The Destination Sound Group System featured the new state of the art Lampizator Horizon DAC and Gulfstream Streamer, both world premiers! The system included the Outstanding VAC 450i iQ integrated amplifier and the Tobian 12 FH loudspeakers from Switzerland and Final Touch Cables from Serbia. We played Leonard Cohen’s By the Rivers Dark and I’ve never heard such natural detail from this recording! Every nuance in the recording was presented in a natural non-fatiguing delivery. Stunning is the word for this world class audio system!
Suncoast Audio featured the Vivid G1 Spirit with external crossovers with the 200 watt per channel Block Audio monoblocks and the battery powered Block Audio Linestage from the Czech Republic. The MSB Select 2 DAC and MSB Transport with the Aurender N30SA completes the digital front end. A vintage Studer A10 and VPI Prime Signature table add to the front end. We played Buddy Gay’s “Aint no Sunshine When She’s Gone” and the sound was warm and explosive. I thought it was one of the palpable systems I heard at the show!
Classic Audio Loudspeakers featured the T1s and Hartsfield Reproductions. Atma-Sphere, Triplanar, Purist Audio Design and McIntosh complete the system. We played Dead Can Dance Spiritchaser’s Song of the Stars. This was the best Classic Audio room I’ve ever heard. The Macs on the T1s were explosive. The soundfield was layered and holographic. Stunning!
High End by Oz’s Thrax and Vitus room featured the Thrax Lyra speakers and Maxima sub bass and support towers, Yatrus Turntable, Ares Integrated modular amplifier and the Vitus SCD25 Cd Player and Ansuz Cables and power distribution. We played two tracks, Vanessa Fernandez Humans and Buddy Guy’s “Ain’t no Sunshine When She’s Gone.” This was most Holographic presentation of these two songs I have heard. Pin point imaging and superb micro dynamics fooled you into believing the artists were in the rooms. Outstanding!
Tenacious Sound and Fidelity Imports were featuring a $5,000 system. Q Acoustics Concept 30 bookshelves and the Q Acoustics Concept 50 floorstanders with Cyrus Audio Electronics. This amazing system competes with many $100,000 systems! We played Leonard Cohen’s Rivers Dark and the sound was enveloping, punchy and organic. Amazing value, amazing sound!
Acora Acoustics and Anne Bisson:
Anne Bisson singing live and Anne Bisson’s voice on the recording. Either way the Acora SRC 2 loudspeakers filled the room with emotionally involving sound. The recording was musical and detailed with great tonal quality; very close to the live Anne performance.
Associated equipment: Audio Research Ref 750 monoblocks, AudioResearch Ref10 phono and linestage, Esoteric CD player and DAC, Transrotor turntable, Aurender Streamer.
Audio Note UK/Déjà vu Audio:
Déjà vu exhibited with an entire Audio Note System. Spinning up Carmen from the album “Espana” put the mezzo soprano’s voice in the middle of the room. I always find the Audio Note exhibit rooms to be a profound and emotional experience and this was no exception. Equipment: Silver Audio Note Meishu integrated amplifier (it came home with us for review), TT3 turntable, CD 5.1X CD player and the super efficient ANE SPE HE loudspeakers.
Bending Wave USA:
Elliot Goldman premiered the Goebel Divin Marquis loudspeaker. Partnered up with the Wadax DAC, server and the new Atlantis X transport, the sound was nothing short of magical. We played a track from Leonard Cohen’s “Ten New Songs”. Warm without sacrificing detail with outstanding tonal richness. A music lover’s sexy dream.
Black Ice Audio:
Jerred Dunkerson CEO of Black Ice Audio featured the Black Ice Fusion 360 preamplifier, the Fusion F100 Monoblocks and the Vienna Acoustics Beethoven loudspeakers. Leonard Cohen’s voice filled the entire room and the sound was natural with detail and spatiality that could rival any room at the show.
Jose Ramirez of Dr. Vinyl introduced the Reed Muse C3 turntable with the Integrity Tru-Glider Pendulum floating tonearm and the Beam Dual DS Audio cartridge. After dropping the needle on Mike Valentine’s recording, Carmen from the album, Espana, we were amazed at the purity of tone and the imaging. Quiet, precise and emotionally involving. A stand-out at CAF 2021. The rest of the room: QLN Prestige 1’s powered by the McGary Audio Amplifier, A CEC,2 chassis, CD player and Kleinbeck engineered, bespoke cabling.
High End by Oz and United Home Audio:
The sound was explosive when playing the “Chasing the Dragon”s, Espana master tape. The synergy of the UHA Super Deck with an outboard power supply and the Borresen 05 Silver Supreme Edition, floorstanding loudspeakers, the Thrax Maximinus DAC, the Thrax Dionysus preamplifier and the Thrax Teres Hybrid monoblocks was spot-on, delivering a holographic soundstage with unparalled dynamic range and rich detail. It was as close to being at a live event as I’ve ever heard at a show. My choice for best sound at the CAF 2021.
The room also included a Vitus SCD player with a DAC and the United States debut of the Hifi Stay Racks, imported by Ozan Turan of High End by Oz. Cabling was the Anzuz D.TC Supreme with a Mainz8 power distributor.
House of Stereo/Wolf Audio Systems:
A very large room with some of the best sound at the show. We played Anette Askvik’s “Liberty” and Leonard Cohen’s “Boogie Street”. The system delivered a huge soundstage, tight bass, spot-on tone and lots of heart.
System: TAD CR1 loudspeakers, T+A 40th anniversary M40 high voltage monoblocks, T+A SDV3100 Reference streaming DAC and preamplifier, Wolf Audio server and Synergistic Research’s UEF technology, cabling.
The new Cube Nenuphar BASiS was introduced to AVShowrooms by Refined Audio’s proprietor, Jon Ver Halen. The loudspeaker is a small cabinet with a 10” driver placed above a separate powered 12” woofer.
We played Leonard Cohen’s “Boogie Street” and this little loudspeaker filled the room with music. The sound was organic with holographic imaging and excellent dynamic range. Also in the room: Pass Labs XP32 preamplifier, Lampizator’s Pacific DAC. All cabling was by Silversmith Audio.
Shayne Tenace, proprietor, walked us through his system and introduced the very impressive PerListen S7T towers and subs. Combined with excellent electronics, we were treated to a listen of Leonard Cohen’s “Boogie Street”. The sound was layered, detailed and enveloping with perfectly integrated bass. Of the rooms I visited, I can easily say it was the most dynamic system at the CAF 2021.
Associated Equipment: Innuos Phoenix USB Clocker, AVM TA 5.2 preamplifier/DAC/Phonostage, AVM SA 6.3 amplifier and Audience cables.
VAC/Von Schweikert/The Audio Company:
The AVShowrooms’ video will feature Valve Amplification Company’s(VAC) Chief Engineer and founder, Kevin Hayes, premiering the very impressive Master 300 amplifiers. The Master 300’s employ VAC’s iq circuitry and Kevin explains in detail, in our video, the story behind the magic. It is a must watch!
First we played the LP of Bizet’s “Carmen” recorded by Mike Valentine of the “Chasing the Dragon” recording studio in London. The soundstage was enormous, the layering, detail and emotional impact of the presentation, profound. Next, we chose the track “By the River’s Dark” from Leonard Cohen’s album “Ten New Songs”, a song we played repeatedly at the show.
This system revealed information never before heard by either Peter B. or me. Mind-blowing. The room included: The Von Schweikert ULTRA 11 loudspeakers, the Kronos turntable with the SCPS, Critical Mass Olympus and Maxxum racks, MasterBuilt’s ULTRA cabling, Esoteric electronics and Aurender.