Room 682: Orinda Acoustics. High efficiency (min 93dB/watt), horn-loaded, bass reflex design. Very revealing, quiet, and airy sound. Sunny Lo also makes his own power conditioners. Learn more about their history here.
Room 678: Technics. Direct Drive Turntable System SL-1200GR ($1,699).
Room 674: Innuos, Audio Research, YG, Aqua – Acoustic Quality. Being a proud owner of #70/100 of the ZENith Mk.2 SE line of music servers, I was curious what the new Innuos ZENith Statement server brings to the table. Luckily (for ears, not wallet), Innuos had an SE in for direct comparisons. The Statement has 8 (!!) independent power rails for each component in the server and incorporated OCXO clocks at the USB. The results were stunning and the two sounded like completely different servers. In comparison, the SE sounded dimensionless, fuzzy, and less refined/detailed. The Statement is MUCH quieter with much better realism in its contouring of voices and instruments. The fact that the SE is the best sounding server I’ve heard so far, this says a lot. Innuos were a bit obsessive with the Statement…and it paid off. Pricing TBD but will be around double that of the SE.
The new Innuos ZENith Statement music server (Price TBD)
Rear of the Innuos ZENith Statement
Room 670: MarinLogan, Aurender, and Benchmark. MartinLogan Impression ESL 11A ($9,995/pr). DAC3 HGC reference stereo preamplifier/digital-to-analog converter. 2 x Benchmark AHB2 reference power amplifiers in a 385wpc monoblock configuration. Crystal clear sound with huge soundstage.
Benchmark AHB2 Power Amplifier ($2,995) in bridged-mono mode driving a pair of MartinLogan Impression ESL 11A speakers.
The Artisan Fidelity Garrard 301 Statement in Maccassar Ebony ($16,895-$17,895). Supreme Analog Tangenta Tonearm ($9,000).
Room 662: Bob Carver. Amazing Line Source ($18,500). Aptly named as it sounded amazing without any room treatments. Read more about the ALS here.
Room 658: Gold Note & Toska Audio. Gold Note XT-7 speakers (~$16,700). Everything in this room is from the high-end Italian company. Check out their products here.
Room 654: Daedalus Audio, Lampizator, Linear Tube Audio, Skogrand Cables. This Lampizator Pacific DAC ($29,995) with its 300B/5U4G/6H6P tubes is beautifully shiny and sounds phenomenal. This config also includes: Lampizator SuperKomputer ($8,500), LTA MicroZOTL preamp ($3,850), Ultralinear ZOTL power amp ($6,800), and Skogrand cables Vivaldi Series ($750/2m). Daedalus Apollo 11 speakers ($22,800) with Daedalus DiD-SPK and DiD isolation devices. The combination of these fantastic products simply forms a tonal gestalt of euphoria and bliss. A perfect balance of clarity, detail, warmth, and texture. Just a very organic and inviting sound that keeps you in your seat. One of the few standouts at the show.
Room 652: The Sound Environment, Aurender, and Naim.
Room 646: Source Systems Ltd., Lumin Music Systems, M2Tech of Italy, Lindermann Audio GmbH, fidata by I-O DATA DEVICE, Espirit-Audio of France. Harbeth 30.1 loudspeakers (starts at $5,695). Wonderfully smooth and rich sounds out of this system.
Used in one of our reference systems, the Lumin S1 ($9,800) is a very emotive piece of gear.
Lindemann musicbook digital and amplifier – More info.
Room 642: HSU Research. I reviewed Dr. Hsu’s CCB-8 Bookshelf speakers a little while back and his demo only reaffirmed how great they sound. Quite a few of the attendees’ jaws dropped when they found out the price was only $699/pair.
Room 640: Aurender, GamuT, and Berkeley Audio Design.
Mr. Audio Bacon himself. An open-minded electrical engineer and software developer by trade. I have an obsession with the enjoyment of all things media - specifically in the realm of music and film. So much heart and soul (and money) go into the creation of this artistry. My aim is to find out which products get me closer to what the musicians and directors intended.