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CES And T.H.E. Show 2013

Show Report: Part 2

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Wadax SA room

Audio Power Labs 833TNT Monoblock Tube Amplifiers

Audio Power Labs 833TNT Monoblock Tube Amplifiers


My favorite of both shows may just be the pairing of the TNT Audio amps and Kaiser Kawero Speakers ($66K)  in the Wadax room at THE Show. One of the most profound show turnaround stories was the appearance of the Audio Power Labs 833TNT Monoblock Tube Amplifiers ($175K) which were used in a less than acceptable system with the Leonardo Model 8 Ribbon-Planar Speaker at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. At that time I had said, “I believe, individually, these components have the capacity to sound far better and perhaps utterly enchanting, but this was a tough demo.” In a stunning about face the 833TNT was glorious when paired with the Kaisers!

Ricky Brown at Wadax had this rig set up superbly. Though the Kaiser is not a huge speaker, by placing them farther away than usual they were able to breathe and cast a monstrously large and utterly natural soundstage far closer to attendance at a live event than most systems at the shows conveyed. Both vinyl and file playback were neigh unto unassailable; hearing a comparison of Una Sera Noche first via a 24/196 file from the Wadax Hermes Server ($44K), then from the test LP through the Wadax Pre 1 with Phono ($34K) was a treat.

Magnepan and Bryston

Magnepan and Bryston

FALSE START: Magnepan at THE Show

The mystery shroud curtain of sound trick is getting old for this panel maker. Seeing two of the DWM and DW-1 (alternative appearing) woofer modules ($795 each) situated in front of the rest of the speaker system obscured by a veil was boring. It was evident that the additional woofer units lend needed support for the 3.7 Speaker ($5,495), however while macrodynamic impact was fortified, low end extension was not appreciably. The three-channel setups Magnepan typically uses preclude serious evaluation of the main speakers; the use of the center channel may localize the center image, but it also impedes a proper two-channel evaluation.

Voce Audio and MSB room

Voce Audio and MSB room

FURIOUS: Voce Audio at THE show

Voce Audio speakers appeared in two rooms at two decidedly disparate system price points. An MSB-based system put up by One World Audio featured the following MSB products; Data CD IV Disc Player with Power Base ($7,490), Analogue DAC with volume control ($7,990), 203 Monoblocks ($27,500/pr). An Auraliti L1000 Music File Server ($5K) was employed for file playback. The analogue front end was headed by the Scheu Premier MkIII table ($4,425), and 9” Tacco Tonearm (3,995) with Soundsmith Hyperion OCL Phono Cartridge ($7,500). All cables and power distribution were from WyWires Gold and Silver Series, the loom and conditioning total was approximately $10,800. The system was driving the Voce VA-3s Speakers ($29,575/pr), which were sitting upon Stillpoints Ultra 5 support ($6,060). Total system cost was $118,600.

Wells Audio room

Wells Audio room

Wells Audio Innamorata Amplifier

Wells Audio Innamorata Amplifier

FAST: Wells Audio at THE Show

A decidedly lower priced rig with the identical speakers was heard in the Wells Audio room, where Bybee enhanced gear was the order of the day, a Windows laptop (if I recall correctly) acting as file server to the Music Hall 25.3 DAC modded with Bybee Labs Music Rails ($2.5K),  Jolida Fusion Preamp with the same Music Rails ($2.5K), Wells Audio Innamorata Amplifier ($6K) and Bybee RCA Interconnect Bullets ($2.4K), fed by the Wells Audio “Petit Looking Glass” Silver Edition Power Conditioner ($2.5K) all feeding the Voce VA-3 ($29,575). Was the sound Bybee’d to death? Actually, no; it was engaging and extremely good for a system running at $20K including the WyWires loom. The system made a convincing argument for pairing select affordable components with more expensive speakers.

4 Responses to CES And T.H.E. Show 2013

  1. Hank says:

    Who manufactures the complimentary electronics driving the Kingsound KS-10? Were the 120W capable of pushing them up to reasonable listening levels?

  2. Ant Slappy says:

    They were driven by Kingsound amps & a KS preamp. I don’t remember the CDP. Yes 120 watts was enough!!!!!

  3. Hank,

    God’s Joy to you,

    Ant Slappy is correct; the Kingsound KS-10 was driven by the P-100 Amp, but they were using the Consonance D-Linear7 High Definition Digital Interface and the Consonance D-Linear8 24/192 Decoder, I believe, as front end.

    Douglas Schroeder

  4. R D SOLHEIM says:


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