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CAS

2012 CAS Coverage, Part IX

Audio Space, AudioVision San Francisco/Margules Audio/Simaudio/Dynaudio/Audioquest, Sony/Blue Coast Records/Luxman, Burwell & Sons/Esoteric/Pass Labs/JIB-Germany, deHavilland/Sonist, Electrocompaniet/Brodmann/MIT

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Audio Space is distributed by GINI Systems of Pomona, CA. They were showing the Audio Space Reference 3.1 300B-21W integrated amp with MM phono ($4,290), the CDP-8A tubed CD player ($1,290), and the DAC-US ($3,000). This was being played by the LS-3/5A monitor loudspeaker ($1,790/pair) which I reviewed, but now they were sitting atop the SW01A subwoofer ($1,190/pair). I have to say the subs helped this speaker in every way from what I remembered them sounding like in my room.

This AudioVision San Francisco room featured Margules Audio with their new TT-10 turntable ($1,800 w/arm, projected price), their SF220R preamp ($3,000) and phono stage ($450), Simaudio 380d DAC ($3,900), Dynaudio‘s excellent Focus 340 loudspeakers ($7,499/pair) and the incredibly little Audioquest DragonFly USB DAC ($249). This system was simply one of the best sounds for the dollar at the show.

Margules Audio TT-10

Right across the lobby from the sign in area was a large suite shared by Sony and Cookie Marenco’s Blue Coast Records/OTR Studios. Blue Coast Records hosted the only live music performances of the show, which were recorded live to DSD by Marenco and her crew and then played back over the Sony SS-AR1 speakers. These recordings will be available for downloading after August 10 from bluecoastrecords.com.

Blue Coast Audio

Other than visiting with friends and making new ones this was my favorite part of the show. they had six live performances and I enjoyed all five I was there for.

In the rear portion of this suite Yuki Sugiara, Sony Senior Production Manager was debuting the new SonySS-AR2 loudspeaker ($20,000/pair). They were driven by the Luxman B-1000f monoblocks ($55,000/pair), their C-1000f preamp ($33,000), and their D-08 SACD player($17,000).

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A father-and-son team called Burwell & Sons from San Mateo has taken the same vintage Altec 15″ woofers and compression horn drivers that are highly priced in audio lore, and placed them in one-of-a-kind handmade English Walnut enclosures.The wood is sourced in Califonia’s Central Valley, and bundled the pair of Homage Series loudspeakers for what they call a one of a kind collectible. If you chooe to collect them it’s a cool $80,000. The pair at the show had woofers which came from the Fairmont Hotel, where they were in use 60 years ago.

Burwell & Sons

The now familiar combination of deHavilland electronics and Sonist loudspeakers were sounding as wonderfully musical as ever. Playing were the Sonist Concerto 4 all-wood loudspeakers ($5,895/pair) fed by deHavilland’s 50-A monoblocks ($10,200/pair) and Mercury III preamp ($4,495). A Cary 306 CD/SACD and Snake River Audio cabling. This is always one of my favorite rooms at any show.

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When I asked again when I could review the 50-As, Kara said when they were back ordered. This speaks to how good these amps are and that they are each one literally handmade by Kara herself, including most of the machining.

Peder Beckman of Electrocompaniet is one of the really good guys in audio. Electrocompaniet had two adjacent rooms. The first was all-Electrocompaniet featuring their Nordic Tone Model 1 Reference loudspeaker ($29,500) driven by their AW250-R stereo amplifier ($9999) and their preamp and CD player.

Electrocompaniet & Brodmann Acoustics

In the adjacent room they were featuring the Brodmann Acoustics VC7 ($20,000/pair) and VC2 loudspeakers. They were powered by Electrocompaniet’s lower-priced ECI-6D and EMP-2 High Res Multi-Format player, with Stillpoints speaker isolators and MIT cables and power rounding out the chain. This is a sound that may differer from many audiophile systems, but show and show again I find it incredible on classical music.

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