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Old 07-29-2019, 10:10 PM
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Went to the CA Audio Show on Saturday.

The show was marked by a pretty small number of exhibitors, but still there were some good or reasonably interesting rooms.

I will say it was disheartening to still be hearing the same of the same old, same old I've heard over the last 10 years: Diana Krall, Nils Logren Keith Don't Go, Dire Straits Ride Across the River, etc., lots of big, bombastic "stereo demo" stuff (will they ever learn? Hmmm. Doubtful. )

Anyhoo, here are some pics...

The Bricasti room had some really big M28 mono blocks and the M21 and M3 DACs with Tidal speakers.



The Marchard Electronics BTA40 "monoblocks" were single-ended amps with a single tube, 805A, Bricasti DAC, Bernhagen-Porter 10/12 speakers (96dB 1W/m), and Audio Reference Technology (ART) cables.


These ART cables were incredbly expensive, massive, and, IMHO, ridiculous...


Salk Sound with SS 9.5 speakers and Exogal Electronics. One of the better-sounding rooms. Jim Salk always builds some nice speakers.


The Audio Note UK room was one of my favorites. While I've never been a big Audio Note fan, Peter Qvortrup of Audio Note was there leading some interesting discussions, the folks at Audio Note were spinning LPs with the new AN tri-motor turntable with "real music". In fact, they had me come back at end of the day to play the Classical LPs I had brought with me (Mendelssohn A Midsummer's Nights Dream with Peter Maag conducting the LSO on Decca, Celedonio Romero playing Guitar Music the from Spanish Courts on Mercury Living Presence)


Ypsilon Electronics, Aurender W20 server, and Wilson-Benesch A.C.T. One Evolution carbon-fibre loudspeakers. One of the better rooms. The big "tire" in the room on the floor is an "infrasonic generator". The only downside was they were playing Dire Straits' Ride Across the River when I walked in...sigh.





The Voxativ rRoom. This room had the Absolut "all-in-one" system comprised central box with built-in DAC, 35 Wpc Class A/B amp and DSP subsystem, and the Voxativ Hagen stand-mounts. This system was pretty much "streaming only" for digital content the only inputs being WiFi or Bluetooth sources from streaming services (e.g. Qobuz, Tidal, etc), or 24/96 input via a single TOSLINK optical port. The central box had no inputs other than RCA inputs for a phono stage; no Ethernet or USB, and zip, zilch to any other input. Virtually all inputs are digitized to 24/192 by the DSP subsystem for output to the speakers. At >$8000, I struggled to understand how this system would be a value proposition being limited to Wifi/Bluetooth streaming content only, and sorry, Voxativ, but I don't want my LPs "digitized".



The Zesto Audio Labs room. George and Carolyn Counnas of Zesto always put together a great-sounding system. Here the new Zesto Audio Labs Leto 1.5 preamp, Eros 300 Class A Monoblocks, Andros Deluxe Phono Stage and new Allesio SUT were driving Joseph Audio Perspective2 Graphene Speakers. Source was a Merrill-Williams turntable with two Tri-Planar tonearms and Benz Micro Gullwing Stereo and Ortofon Cadenza Mono moving coil cartridges. This was one of the best-sounding rooms I heard. The one thing I found odd was George was reluctant to play any of the LPs I brought because the system might "not sound good" with them.



Aurender, along with Bricasti, had a big presence at the show, and their own room with Aurender W20, Berkeley Audio Design DAC, Constellation mono-blocks, and all Shunyata Research power: Denali 6000/S V2 and all Alpha cabling with the exception of a Sigma digital coax cable from the Aurender to the Berkeley DAC. Of note were some new Aurender prototype loudspeakers. Great sounding system.



All photos taken by yours truly with the little Fujifilm X100F "wonder camera".
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Last edited by Puma Cat; 07-29-2019 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 07-30-2019, 03:02 AM
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Stephen, thank you for the report!
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Old 07-30-2019, 03:44 AM
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Thx for sharing Stephen
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Old 07-30-2019, 05:56 AM
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Great photography. Thanks.
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Old 07-30-2019, 08:05 AM
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Thanks Stephen, great report and pictures.
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:42 AM
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Nice pics and show report, Stephen!
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:26 AM
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Nice pictures.......so I hope you had time to listen to the Tidal (speakers) system.......if so what did you think? I haven’t been impressed by a speaker line in a long time as I have been with the Tidal/Vimberg lineup.

- Buck
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:52 AM
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Thank you Stephen!
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Old 07-30-2019, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioguy3107 View Post
Nice pictures.......so I hope you had time to listen to the Tidal (speakers) system.......if so what did you think? I haven’t been impressed by a speaker line in a long time as I have been with the Tidal/Vimberg lineup.

- Buck
Hi Buck,
Yes, I was in the room for 15-20 minutes or so. I can't really comment on the speakers as virtually everything in the system was new to me.

They were also playing a lot of big bombastic content which I didn't particularly like.

And then there's the fact its a hotel room...

So...virtually no frame of reference.
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Old 07-30-2019, 03:48 PM
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Stephen.......Thanks for the photos and brief explanations of what we are seeing. I'm not surprised to see a good showing by Aurender as the source component of several excellent systems.
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