Let start with the Burwell & Sons room; it was right there when you got off the elevator on the third floor and it sure seemed to be the best attended room at the show. From a few minutes before the doors officially opened on Friday until after the show was over on Sunday the room seemed to always be full of happy listeners.
One of the high points of the show for me was peeking in the busy room as I walked by and hearing cuts from Lyn Stanley’s upcoming album bursting out into the hall. She was in the room talking about how much she loved this sound and how important it was to her to get everything down in pure analogue. She then had them play a few cuts from her previous LP and talked about some of the songs. It was a really special moment.
The Burwells, Gordon Sr. and Gordon Jr., need to be recognized for how far they have come since I first heard their speakers in 2012. At the 2012 show they had some of the most beautiful horn speakers I had ever seen, and they were fun to listen to but they were a long way from being what I would call high-end audio speakers. At last year’s show I was shocked at how much better they sounded so I agreed to review a pair. You can read the review here on Dagogo. They were without a doubt the most fun pair of speakers I had ever reviewed.
Now they have addressed even more issues and have changed the speaker from a two way using all Altec drivers to a three way. The pair at the show used an Altec woofer and JBL midrange and tweeters. This three way sounded absolutely beautiful. I can’t wait to get a pair over to my house for another listen.
Another thing that speaks to how far they have come is the companies who are showing with them. They had tubes, by both Audio Research and Raven Audio. Tape Project chose to show in their room and their turntable was from Wilson-Benesch.
Yes these speakers cost $80,000 but I don’t know of a single speaker at the show that sounded more beautiful, was more fun to listen to, and certainly no other speaker looked as good. Well done to Gordon Sr. and Gordon Jr. By the way they are still two really great guys to just hang out with too!
The other room with great vintage sound was also on the third floor. It was the Pass Labs room. They were playing a pair of Tannoy Golds mounted in a Jensen Imperial Cabinets turned upside down so that the empty horn part of the cabinet acted as a stand to raise the Tannoy Gold drivers to the right height. They were driving these with a pair of Pass Labs XA60.8 mono-blocks along with their Xs Preamplifier XP-25 Phono-stage. The turntable was a modified Technics SP-10 Mk II.
I don’t know why they chose to play this system at the show. They don’t sell the speakers or the turntable. In fact they described both as tools they use. I just know I’m glad they did for I kept sneaking in there for a listen and some time to just relax and listen to real music. By no measure are these what modern audiophiles are looking for, but if you just want music the sound was incredible. Thanks to Pass Labs for a chance to hear this system. It puts a lot into prospective.
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