Room 396: Playback Designs, Pro-Audio. YG-Acoustics Carmel Speakers ($24,300). Playback Designs MPS-8 ($25,000), MPD-8 ($22,000), MPS-8 ($18,000), Sonoma (starts at $6,500), IPS-3 ($14,000). Kubala-Sosna Fascination speaker/power cables and Emotion ICs.

Playback Designs Dream Transport ($18,000), Deram Player ($25,000).

Playback Designs MPD-8 Dream DAC ($22,000)

Room 306: Saturday Audio Exchange. Roon, MQA, NAD Electronics, Paradigm-Persona, Bluesound.

Room 316: Bricasti Design. Tidal Piano Diacera G2 loudspeakers ($39,900). Bricasti Design M21 DA ($19,000), M12 Platinum Series ($19,000), M12 Dual Mono Source Controller ($15,995), M1 D/A LE ($15,000), M28 Monoblocks ($15,000), M15 Stereo amp ($18,000), M5 Network player ($2,400). Stillpoints Ultra Isolators. Great vibes in this room.

Bricasti Design M1 Dual Mono Masterpiece Special Edition. Presented in the classic anodized black and aluminum finish, the M1 Special Edition incorporates Stillpoints feet that are engineered and optimized exclusively for the design. The added stability improves isolation from vibration which translates to a more transparent sonic presentation. Point-to-point wiring, a labor intensive process, improves signal flow by eliminating various connectors which can degrade a signals performance. Finally, the next generation power improvements have been incorporated in this edition to further improve filtering of unwanted noise and power ripple.

Room 330: D Digital. Auralic, Mark Levinson, Quadraspire, Revel, Wireworld Cables.

Room 342: ELAC. These Debut 2.0 B6.2 speakers ($299.98), as expected, punches above its price would suggest. I even enjoyed these more than the much ELAC Adante AS-61 Bookshelves ($2,498.98) at the show. Might’ve been room, music, components, or just tonal character. Who knows.

ELAC using their own speaker wire…

Room 344: ELAC. Adante AS-61 Bookshelf speakers ($2,489.98). No longer budget grade.

Furutech demo’ing their new NCF Boosters. Not only does the Furutech NCF Booster Connector and Cable Holder lift audio cables off the floor minimizing their points of contact with the floor, reducing electromagnetic interference, it also excels at providing NCF damping support for connectors and cables at points of connection. The NCF Booster Connector and Cable Holder allows for the optimum alignment between connectors and sockets and eliminates static – boosting performance by allowing a more pure and clear signal.

Room 312: Elite Audio Video Distribution. A bit tucked away, one of the hidden gems of the show. A very unassuming setup with speakers I don’t recognize. This system had the best sounding vocals at the show. Period. Humanistic textures with warm-blooded weight and exertion. This is done without sacrificing outlines and resolution. Macy Gray’s The Way never sounded so tactile and believable. Thank you, Scot Markwell for creating such an amazing listening experience.

Furutech DPS-4.1 cabling with FI-50 NCF plugs…this could be the secret sauce to those palpable vocals.

Furutech NCF Booster

dCS Vivaldi stack (~$115,000). Transport, DAC, Upsampler, and Master Clock.