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CAS

2019 CAS Report by Richard Austen, Part 2

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Also read 2019 CAS Report by Richard Austen, Part 1

 

Part 2 of my show report consists of normal sized hotel rooms.  I will not be mentioning the prices of the associated components or every piece of gear in the room.  For more details follow this link to each room with their price list  https://www.caaudioshow.com/cas9-systems/

 

Room 5101: Whammerdyne Heavy Industries / PureAudioProject

While I attended this room Whammerdyne was using their Damn Little Monster ($10,500) 2a3 amplifier using outboard transformers.  Speakers this year were the Classic 15 with a Voxative full range driver around $8,000.  Pure Audio offers a variety of midrange/tweer options at various price points.  All are high efficiency.  As with 2017, I fully enjoyed the sound in this room which had surprising bass depth and dynamics and the Whammerdyne 2a3 amp sounded as good as it looked.  I am a fan of 2a3 amplifiers and the sound here was engaging, tactile and well integrated.  This room, like 2017, was one of my favorites.  Both speakers and amplifiers here seemed to offer far higher sound per dollar than is usual in High end audio.  Whammerdyne offers a 2A3 SET amp for $3,500 which I would very much like to try.

 

Room 5205: Audio Vision SF / Focal / Naim / Rega / Nordost / Antipodes / Quadraspire / HRS

The Focal  offer a big sound – weighty and had good stereo separation.  I found this system overall to lean to the more clinical side of the spectrum and will appeal to listeners who enjoy that sort of sound.

 

Room 5106 iFi / AMR / Unisinger / Cardas

This room had an odd set-up on the long wall requiring listeners to sit almost in between the left and right speakers.  I believe these speakers would require a much much larger room in the future to get a better sense of the sound quality on offer.

 

Room 5201 Sound Lab / Bricasti Design / Ultimate Audio / A. R. T. / Roon Labs

Sound Lab Majestic 645 speakers are quite large and I always get the sense they would sound better with a lot more depth behind and beside the speakers.  I was impressed with the wetness on female vocals which have a live quality to them as if the singer is in the room.  But I also felt the speakers were clinical in nature leaning too far to the bright side of the spectrum for my taste.

(Per Dr. Roger West regarding the Majestic 645’s setup inside the room:

At the show the controls were set at the following positions:
Brilliance:  3 o’clock (Min – Max, 7 o’clock to 5 o’clock)
Mid-Frequency:  “0” (-6, -3, 0, +3)
Low-Frequency:  “0” (-6, -3, 0, +3)
These settings represent the flattest response in most rooms. – Pub.)

 

Room 5203 Zesto Audio / Joseph Audio / Merrill Williams Audio

The Zesto room sounded relaxing and smooth like butter.  The only source used as far as I could tell was vinyl.  And only vinyl that the show room operator approves.  I would have liked to have heard how the system would render music I like to listen to, that isn’t recorded too well as I don’t want to be forced into only being able to listen to audiophile approved but often banal recordings.  That said I liked the steadfastness of Zesto to stick to their guns to put their system in the best light with vinyl front and center.

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