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  1. #1

    California Audio Show pics

    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 room. 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".

  2. #2
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    Re: California Audio Show pics

    Very nice report Stephen.

    Odd that George (Zesto) did not want to play your vinyl. He’s always very pleasant and very willing to play music from attendees.
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  3. #3
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    Re: California Audio Show pics

    Thank you so much Stephen, well done!
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    Luxman 590AX Mark II, Job INTegrated.

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  4. #4
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    Re: California Audio Show pics

    Thank you Stephen. Great job. Beautiful pics.
    My Systems: http://www.audioshark.org/showthread...481#post158481

    "We can hear everything we measure, but we can't measure everything we hear. Let your ears be your guide."

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  5. #5

    Re: California Audio Show pics

    Quote Originally Posted by Ritmo View Post
    Very nice report Stephen.

    Odd that George (Zesto) did not want to play your vinyl. He’s always very pleasant and very willing to play music from attendees.
    I found it odd, too...he was "willing per se", as long as it "sounded good"; I didn't bother. I found it..odd. Carolyn was also skeptical, too, not letting me put anything on without George being there and asking me if my records were clean...good grief.

  6. #6

    Re: California Audio Show pics

    Quote Originally Posted by joeinid View Post
    Thank you so much Stephen, well done!
    Thanks, Joe!

  7. #7

    Re: California Audio Show pics

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Thank you Stephen. Great job. Beautiful pics.
    Thanks, Mike!

    Cheers.

  8. #8
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    Re: California Audio Show pics

    Hey Stephen

    I may of missed it but where was the show?

    Perhaps not do big, but it allows you to really see what you have in place versus some of what’s out there.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Source Analog: Kuzma Stabi R with 4point 9 arm & Kuzma 40 Cartridge
    Source Digital: Aurender N10 | Brinkmann Nyquist MK II
    Amplification: Dan D’Agostino Momentum Pre Amp and Monos | Boulder Phono 508
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    Cabling: Nordost Valhalla 2/Odin: power, interconnects & speaker | Ansuz: C2 power & interconnect | Audioquest Diamond RJ45’s
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  9. #9

    Re: California Audio Show pics

    Quote Originally Posted by UltraFast69 View Post
    Hey Stephen

    I may of missed it but where was the show?

    Perhaps not do big, but it allows you to really see what you have in place versus some of what’s out there.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    Hi Ed,
    It was at the Oakland Airport Hilton.

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California Audio Show pics

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