Blue Coast Records
Cookie Marenco was doing a live recording utilizing the Sonora DSD Recording system developed by Sony. The recordings featured Steve McQuarry on Yamaha Grand Piano and Ted Burik using an acoustic bass. The 8-channel recording was done with the EMM Meitner A-D/D-A converter, Korg 2000 mixer and the Sony AR1 speakers . The duo recorded two tracks and Cookie down mixed them to two channels and the sound played back was as good as the live performance. Blue Coast is offering free download at bluecoastrecords.com. Very impressive company and the recordings are exceptional.
The Sony room featured the new AR2 monitors priced at $10,000 pair powered by $100,000 of Audio Research electronics with a DCS Debussy digital player and Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” was sounding both dynamic and had a live in the room presence. The AR2 had a terrific mid range,. The bass was very extended and the treble was extended. Very smooth sounding and neutral speakers. The Acoustic Research tube amplifiers brought the AR2 to life with musicality and a very transparent coherence.
Sean Casey had his $5,200 Druid Mk V on an all vinyl system rocking to Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors album driven by a custom made for Zu tube amplifier, a K and K To-The-Max phono stage ($1,000), an Allnic L-5000 preamplifier, a Luxman PD444 turntable with the excellent Zu/Denon DL-103 Mk II cartridge and all Zu cabling ($2,000). The Druid is a 16-Ohm single Driver. Frank Sinatra vocals sounded excellent in the room presence. The Druid uses a Zu nanotech 16 ohm single driver with the Radiom 850 tweeter. The Zu Submission ($4,000) active subwoofer was placed in the middle and the bass was very extended and integrated well with the Druid speakers. Impressive sound.
Aaudio Imports-Legacy Audio
Aaudio Imports was showing the Ypsilon Aelius $36K hybrid push-pull mono blocks with the $37K PST -100 MKIII valve preamp and a $27K CDT-100 CD transport/player with the $29K DAC-100 Valve DAC. All power cords were Stage III concepts and the Legacy Aeris Speakers with the DSP room correction controller and were dialed in perfectly really making the Aeris come to Life. The total system cost with cables was $276,650. The entire system had incredible speed and dynamics and was very special indeed. The Legacy Aeris was very transparent and the bass went very deep and extends to 18Hz. The cabinetwork was furniture quality and each speaker weighs 171 lbs. The 95dB makes them super efficient and the included 1000W bass amp was delivering smooth and extend bass. The Ypsilon electronics made them sound lifelike and musical. The Legacy Aeris retails for $18,850 per pair. Bill Dudleston did a fantastic job with the Aeris.
Audio Vision San Francisco
Audio Vision was showing the $4,490 Audio physic Classic 20 speakers driven by all Naim electronics. The Naim Integrated XS-2 amplifier priced at $2,800 Naim ND5-XS Network player priced at $3,500.
The Nordost Vahalla power cables priced at $6K were used with all electronics. The speaker cable and interconnects were Nordost Red Dawn. Nordost also designed the power distribution system. The Quantum Qb8 distribution system provided clean power.
In addition, the Wadia Intuition 01 integrated amplifier/DAC priced at $7,499 sounded fantastic with the Audio Physic Classic 20 loudspeakers.
Music Lovers Audio
The Cypress Room had legendary recording engineer Keith Johnson in attendance showing the Spectral DMA400, a pair of 350W mono block amplifiers driving the Wilson $49,500 Alexia loudspeakers. The Spectral amplifiers were priced at $28,000. The Aesthetix phono stage with volume control priced at $23,500 was driving the AMG Viella 12 turntable with the 12J2 tone arm priced at $17K . The Clearaudio 15K reference Goldfinger Statement Cartridge was bringing the music to life that you only experience with vinyl. The digital playback was done with the dCS $24K Scarlatti Master Clock. The preamplifier used was the Spectral DMC30SSII, a $12K amplifier. I could feel the bass in my chest from the rear of the room and the sound staging was pinpoint perfect. The Spectral amps were as good as any amplifier at any price that I ever heard in 36 years of being involved in high-end audio.
The Music Lovers Audio system was fast, very dynamic and was producing real-world, live sound. The Wilson Alexia weighs 256lbs per speaker. The 90dB sensitivity makes it very efficient and can be driven with as little as 20 Watts per channel. The bass extended down to 20Hz and was very deep and powerful yet retaining all the smooth texture in reproducing instruments. The sound was very balanced and integrated well with the mid range and treble. Frequency response is 20Hz-32Hz. The Alexia is a 4-ohm speaker.
Raven Audio and Von Schweikert Audio
Dave Thomson of Raven was showing a wall of his tube amplifiers priced from $1500- $30,000 all in silver and made in Texas driving the Von Schweikert $140K Statement speakers designed by Albert Von Schweikert. The VR-100 XS 4-piece speakers had a huge sound stage with air and transparency and very balanced and extended treble. The instrument and vocal focus was pinpoint and excitingly realistic.
The VR-11 MKII had deep bass down to10Hz. The mid range was very transparent with a smooth and extended treble. The speakers designed by Albert Von Schweikert are the company’s statement flagship model. The $13K Raven tube Silhouette mono blocks and $13K preamplifier was driving the speakers. The $15K Esoteric reference CD player sounded outstanding as well as the other digital source designed by Neal Van Berg of Sound Science Music Vault.
The room was very impressive. The speakers sounded incredibly detailed and had outstanding transparency. Raven amplifiers were draw-dropping beautiful to look at and sounded outstanding. They are well-made and designed and built in Texas.
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