The first two segments of my show report (Part V, Part IX)considered rooms which were assigned to me for coverage. I now turn my attention to systems which inspired or surprised me. Size and price of the system was not the ultimate determinant of which were the most worthy of comment.
When you walk out the door of your hotel room and stand five feet away from the proprietor of an audio establishment showing his system protocol, that demands you enter for a listen. I’m glad I did, as I was introduced to Jeff Wells of Wells Audio in Campbell, California, and his spiffy 140wpc Class A amplifier named Innamorata. Everything in the room seemed touched by Bybee Labs, the well-known modification company – the power supply, speakers, cabling, and of course, the amp. An MIT Cables Z Stabilizer completes the system.
Particularly, cabling was via JPS Audio cables with built-in Bybee Labs components. I will be reviewing the Wells Audio Innamorata amplifier along with the Advanced Cable Technology power cords and will report on the use of Bybee products in power cords.
Horn speakers seemed in short supply at the show, but one which always impresses is the Acapella brand, shown in the Loggie Audio room. The Ypsilon line of electronics were smooth and supple sounding with the Acapella speakers. Cabling was via Stage III. If I were to pursue a horn speaker system for my room, I might start by looking at the Acapella line.
As I have come to expect the Legacy Audio/Ayon Audio room was quite good. You may weight my comments as you wish, as I have reviewed Legacy Audio and Ayon Audio products in the past, and I now own the Legacy Audio Whisper DSW, a model on which I collaborated with Legacy and has been taken one step further than the show display Whisper XD. Legacy had also brought the Focus SE. Ayon Audio showed both the Orthos II and Vulcan II Amplifiers, fronted by the CD-5s.
The Legacy Whisper XD used an Ayon CD-5s as source and an Ayon Triton while the lowest bass was handled by the speaker’s internal IcePower amp. Both systems were commendable, and it was particularly helpful to hear them both with Ayon components. The Lumenwhite Artisan speakers were quite punchy, very immediate sounding and did not lag when pushed to high levels. I played Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “I Am A Town” on the Triton/Whisper XD system and was impressed by how rich and weighty her voice was. Charlie Harrison of Ayon had the Lumenwhite Artisan speaker running hard, yet it did not fall apart at elevated levels. The Whisper XD was in my top three in terms of tonality and weighting of voices and instruments.
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