New York may be the biggest high-end market in the US, but strangely enough it has the smallest audio show. Still, energy levels were exuberant at the New York Audio Show held last weekend at the Park Lane Hotel. Sound quality was mostly excellent, as were the views of Central Park from many sound rooms.
Sadly, there wasn't much in the way of affordable gear, but attendees didn't seem to mind. They were there to take in the uber sounds, and commiserate with each other like a meeting of the audiophile tribe. Also noteworthy, I saw more young people and women taking in the sounds and music at the show.
ESD Acoustics is based in Hangzhou, China and their awe inspiring Dragon Five Way Horn speaker system was the talk of the show! It could play crazy loud, and yes, it sounded live, but the tonal balance was too bright for my taste. Bass was huge, but not terribly well defined. System price, including amplifiers is $500,000.
In the Robyatt Audio suite I expected the Electrostatic Solutions Quad 57's uber transparency, and got it, but the bass from these Quad speakers (on the right side of the picture) truly surprised me, it was deep and tuneful.
The PureAudioProject Quintet10 is a modular, three or five panel speaker system. The rear of each thin panel reveals an exposed driver, the Quintet10 is no ordinary box speaker. The sound is open and spacious in ways that conventional box designs can never fully match.
Vinnie Rossi had his electronics hooked up to these large Harbeth Monitor 40.2 monitor speakers. They have an old school, big and boxy look, but the sound makes you really sit up and take notice. I came back more than a few times to hear the 40.2 and L2 Signature electronics.
Ruel Audio's R+ modular full-range stackable speaker is designed to produce "line source" sound from the floor to the ceiling. Each speaker produces 180 degree horizontal dispersion and it's powered by a 1,000 watt amplifier.
The Sound by Singer suite was hosting the Spendor D9 tower speakers. The sound was at once highly transparent and musical. I've always admired Spendors, and will be reviewing their new A7 towers in the near future.
The Distinctive Stereo suite was playing speakers I never heard before, but I instantly fell in love with the Muraudio SP1 curved electrostatics. Not that I haven't seen curved electrostatic panel speakers before, but the SP1s are curved horizontally and vertically for improved dispersion. The speakers were paired with Merrill Audio Christine line stage and Element 116 monoblock amplifiers. The sound was breathtakingly realistic.
LP popularity shows absolutely no sign of waning, so we're seeing more and more high-end turntables like this stunning Palmer 2.5. Listening to the newly remixed Beatles White Album, the sound was deliciously palpable.
That's Tal Levy from Vitalis Audio, he transforms old instruments into speakers! From stand up basses to fiddle to bass drums, Levy works his magic on them. Sound quality isn't the point, it's more about the art of design.