The New York Audio Show was held this past weekend, November 4-6 at the Park Lane Hotel. I had a great time seeing old friends, and meeting lots of Audiophiliac readers!
I kicked off the show listening to Bob Carver's new Amazing Line Source Loudspeakers, these ultra skinny towers unfurled a huge sound, with life-like transients, and played crazy loud without strain. Carver has a long history of design firsts, starting with the first high-power consumer amplifier, the Phase Linear 700, a 350 watt per channel amp that debuted in 1972. Later he introduced his high-powered, but incredibly tiny Sunfire subwoofers that spawned in its wake a long line of imitators. The Amazing Line Source Loudspeakers might be Carver's best ever design.
Then I walked into a room with a pair of huge round Sadurni Acoustics Miracoli horn speakers being driven by, get this, a 1 watt per channel amp, the Linear Tube Audio MicroZOTL 2.0! The sound was clear, tonally rich, and spacious. The Sadurni horns also feature powered 8-inch (203mm) subwoofers, so the 1 watt amp didn't have to supply the mojo required for deep bass extension. Some horn speakers have what audiophiles call a "cupped hand" coloration, but these Sadurni horns did not.
Some of the very best sound at the show came from the Harbeth 40.2 speakers and VAC electronics in the Sound by Singer room. I reviewed the 40.2s late last year, but the sound was even better at the show than it was in my system! These speakers are so natural and highly refined it's actually hard to focus on the sound, I was too busy enjoying the music.
The GamuT RS3i speakers, teamed with the GamuT D3i preamplifier and D200i power amplifier, and Pear Audio Blue turntable made me sit up and take notice in the Wes Bender Studio NYC room. We were listening to Vanessa Fernandez's "When the Levee Breaks" all Led Zeppelin covers LP, and the sheer potency of the music blew me away. The RS3i stand mount speakers are small enough to be apartment friendly, but they have what it takes to deliver high impact sound without sacrificing transparency.
Over in the Audio Doctor room Paradigm's radically new Concept 4F speakers were all about precision; the sound, from the deepest bass to the highest highs was spot-on. The speakers feature Beryllium 1-inch (28mm) tweeters and TruExtent Beryllium 7-inch (178mm) midrange drivers with perforated phase-aligning lenses, and four Ultra-High-Excursion Differential Drive 8.5-inch (216mm) woofers in a vibration-cancelling configuration (two front-firing, two rear-firing). Each woofer pair is powered by a separate DSP-controlled 700 watt amplifier.
Next, I ran into one of my mastering engineer friends who told me to check out the upcoming Alta Audio Titanium Hestia speakers. Well, I'm glad I did, the towers had a pro sound neutrality, matched with effortless power, and clear highs. The towers were being driven by two Krell Solo 375 Mono (watt) amplifiers, and when Rondi D'Agostino, Krell's Managing Director and I got to talking, she told me big things are in the works for Krell in 2017. I will definitely try to review at least one Krell here on the Audiophiliac next year!