Capital Audio Fest 2022

Fred Crane

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Apr 23, 2020
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Acora lived up to their reputation. I didn't catch the associated equipment. 20221112_154741.jpg
 

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Fred Crane

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Apr 23, 2020
261
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Audio Note. I missed the vinyl aspect of the room and the 211's. Still, a consistent Audio Note sound which acquitted itself well. The speaker stands are an improvement over the floor born speakers I've heard in the past.


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Fred Crane

Industry Expert
Apr 23, 2020
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It wouldn't be a show without Classic Audio and Atma-Sphere!! Atma-Sphere had their Gan Fet amps on display too. 20221112_153930.jpg
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Fred Crane

Industry Expert
Apr 23, 2020
261
415
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I had an interesting time recently closely going through the Daedalus Audio Site. Essentially trying to put the sound together with Lou Hinkley's inspiration for what he does. It wasn't hard to do at all. Organic designs that always sound good. I've never heard the Zeus but will before it's over.

They were together with the ubiquitous Lampizator DAC (ubiquitous for a reason) , while Linear Tube Audio (David Berning circuits) handled amplification. Predictably satisfying.

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Fred Crane

Industry Expert
Apr 23, 2020
261
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Chris Hildebrand is part of a team. I'm overtly familiarizing his name...it's Christopher and I can't help but wonder if he dislikes 'Chris' but is too nice to correct one on that front. (like another non-Chris, Christopher Hitchens, though Hitch would correct that faux pas immediately.) Making cabinets for Devore and having his fingers in all kinds of maker pies, it's hard to see the horizon of Fern and Roby...even more so for their parent company Tektonics. Anyway, as I mentioned, Chris is part of a team. In fact, you can read an entire review of his loudspeakers without so much as a mention of his name. That's the kind of person we're dealing with...disturbingly self effacing and uber talented with a team that he obviously values very much and acts in kind. Modern management techniques that evoke the best from a work force when familial work forces are hard to come by. All to say, congrats to F&R and your path forward. I actually think their ethos is more important than their sound...and the sound is quite good. Keep a weather eye on them...in some respect, I don't know to what degree they've been challenged thus far.

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Fred Crane

Industry Expert
Apr 23, 2020
261
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Goebel Audio makes great speakers. I spent some time with Oliver Goebel at his place about 7 years ago. That was before the Divin loudspeakers joined the Goebel family. The Epoque speakers are extraordinary and the Divin speakers don't disappoint. Oliver is a gentlemen with a countenance that belies his maniacal attention to detail save for a boyish love of his craft which one can pick up on if you pay close attention. He loves his work. Thrax was handling the amplification and they were a fine choice. Rumen Atarski is another one of those unique individuals that can manufacture just about anything. If I needed a great stereo and a jet airplane, I think Rumen would be on the short list of people that could build both.

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Fred Crane

Industry Expert
Apr 23, 2020
261
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Full disclosure!! I brought the racks for this room. Falken"Ohr makes the finest racks I've used. Calling them 'racks' seems somehow inadequate. If I could swing it, I would have Robert Mayr build all of my furniture but his passion is entrenched in music. I'm thankful for that which he shares with the world. Now that you know about the racks, do you really need to know about any of the other equipment? I thought not, but in an effort to cover all of the bases I'll talk you through the ephemera : for amplification we had the Westminster REI monoblocks and Quest preamplifier, the Lampizator Horizon DAC handled digital and of course, the GT Audio Works Planar Loudspeakers filled the petit room with wonderful sound despite the visual mismatch in such small quarters. There was also a Pass Labs Preamp in rotation. 'Angus Leung', the engineering brain at Westminster, is one of those names to put in your mental rolodex. He's an innovator and disturbingly young for what he's managed. I know he's been beating a path into more than a few systems here on WBF and one can hear why. 20221112_111823.jpg
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Fred Crane

Industry Expert
Apr 23, 2020
261
415
135
Haniwa first came to my attention years ago with their beautiful massive drivers which they largely sold OEM, though they had their own loudspeakers. They also make the no to low output mc cartridges which I find beguiling. Due the carts minute output, a current based phono stage may be a necessity. Well, Haniwa has given up on their beautiful giant drivers and adopted the point source approach you see below. They also have their own turntable (which was not at the show) and the always interesting Viv Labs tonearm. There's also a cool little gadget which is a Current to Voltage convertor. Keep checking back to see how that idea comes into play in the future. It seems I missed the pic of the their turntable and electronics. Woops. The sound was immediate, but thin compared to the meat fest that were their big drivers. It's possible, perhaps likely, that others had a different experience as I was biased due to my prior exposure.

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Fred Crane

Industry Expert
Apr 23, 2020
261
415
135
There's a relatively new Canadian electronics company called Infigo Audio. Though Infigo may be a newer name, Hans Looman isn't...so not a band of newbies. They had the same trio of electronics in two rooms...class A monos and a streamer/dac/preamp based on the Sabre chip. In this room were Alta Audio floorstanders which acquitted themselves well. I also very much liked their smaller Adam speakers when I heard them way back when. I made it to Infigo's other room but haven't come upon the pics yet.. After the show, I found out that the stand-mount monitors from that room came from the noodle of Duke LeJeune. Those monitors, whose stands are integral to the sound, are called the Alanas and come from Illusio Audio. Given my birthplace of New Orleans, just saying Duke's name makes me feel good. Historically speaking, and this outing was no exception, so do his speakers. It's been more than once that I've heard something from Duke, only to see his tech mimicked a few years later by another company. Glad he's out in front on this one. I'll add a stock pic of the Alana monitors. They were set up to cross well in front of the first listener to accomplish the task of being very good on or off axis. (and they were)




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gleeds

Industry Expert
May 29, 2018
422
593
180
Thanks for the great write up Sir Frederick! It was great hanging with you at the show.

Gary Gill did an amazing job and made everyone feel welcome. Kudos Gary! Next year your room count will be over 100 and well deserved. Definitely my favorite show for the vibe and variety of exhibitors with some exciting newcomers.
 

Fred Crane

Industry Expert
Apr 23, 2020
261
415
135
Thanks for the great write up Sir Frederick! It was great hanging with you at the show.

Gary Gill did an amazing job and made everyone feel welcome. Kudos Gary! Next year your room count will be over 100 and well deserved. Definitely my favorite show for the vibe and variety of exhibitors with some exciting newcomers.
I expect we'll see the same pattern growth and good vibe from the Pacific Audio Fest as well. It was great hanging out.
 

Elliot G.

Industry Expert
Jul 22, 2010
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www.bendingwaveusa.com
After having a cold for the last week and having many hours to think as I was having trouble sleeping because of trouble breathing properly I decided to make some comments about the show and about some of the things going on in the Industry.

I love doing shows. Its a wonderful time to meet new people, show off our products and hopefully some of our experience and skill and to share music with others that enjoy listening as well. My issues is this seems to have changed or morphed into something that IMO audio has nothing to do with. When I was downstairs getting coffee and having a few laughs with Gary in the lobby I noticed the number of yellow badges on the counter awaitng pick up. These are press badges. There were north of 70 press badges for the CAF. Yes 70!!!! Think about that for a second.
I doint know 70 members of the audio press and most of the ones I know don't attend this show and some don't attend any of the shows. What I then saw in my room again, as in PAF, was bunches of people with small video rigs or phones or ipads making video's. THe come in, try to take over the room and make a video of whatever may be playing and then run away, mostly never to be seen again. I thought this was funny and to be honest not very interesting until I started to recognize that was a trend. A trend you ask? Yes Audio shows are becoming a rating and judging game for these persons to get followers and gain ratings for their channels. These channels are for making money and gaining 15 minutes of fame off of someone else efforts. When I was young I always heard that those who can do and those who can't teach. Today its make a video channeloff the work of others. Its been said we are a nation of voyeurs and it seems audio is not immune form this behavior as well. I got into this with one of these youtubers a few months back after he ripped the Axpona show and many other things. I have since spoken with Mike and we have gotten past this and I think he is a interesting guy, however, many of the others are there to enhance thier own ego's and to make money by selling gear or getting sponsored to talk good or bad about. This bothers me because what are their criteria for being JUDGES? Critics? Experience? Its like the voice with amateur judges. No experience what the heck....
We have some long time, educated, worked hard to understand , reviewers in the audio business. I respect their efforts. I don't need to agree witht them always but when Robery Harley or Roy Gregory or Harry Pearson or Gordon Holt for example wrote people read their findings and opinions.
I have people judge my room by the music I played? The color of the drapes or how busy I was. Excuse me because you and your iphone wanted to make a video? No hello, no asking if they could, no waiting for their turn.
Guys audio is not a competion, shows are and were gatherings. These gathering were for exchange of knowledge, music, fun, new tech, new gear and a celebration of what we all enjoy. I had a lot of fun playing music for the people that filled or room for three days. That's why i was there. Period

Some other comments that are still true to me;
We can all hear we must learn to listen.
A collection of gear does not make a system
Set up and positioning are more important than the products you buy
Finding something new and improved does not mean the other products are now crap.
All high end audio is not at the same level of performance
How much you spend is not the determining factor for how good its sounds.
Comparing components does one thing it shows you what's different, knowing whats better thats a whole different subject.
To have a great audio system requires a lot of effort and work or hiring someone who can provide the level of effort and work.

I want to thank all of those who busted thier asses and spent their time annd money to put on a great show and to those who BOUGHT tickets to come see, hear, enjoy and learn. See you all again down the road. We will be at Axpona and this time some NEW surprises.

70 press badges and yet virtually no coverage of the show. Maybe Gary and Lou those press badges didn't help much?
 
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Gregadd

WBF Founding Member
Apr 20, 2010
9,693
1,388
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Metro DC
""A's" teach. "B's" work for the "C''s" [unknown author]

Nowadays not only does everyone have an opinion. They have a megaphone called the internet.
 
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rooze

Well-Known Member
Dec 29, 2012
32
43
325
USA
audioresurgence.com
After having a cold for the last week and having many hours to think as I was having trouble sleeping because of trouble breathing properly I decided to make some comments about the show and about some of the things going on in the Industry.

I love doing shows. Its a wonderful time to meet new people, show off our products and hopefully some of our experience and skill and to share music with others that enjoy listening as well. My issues is this seems to have changed or morphed into something that IMO audio has nothing to do with. When I was downstairs getting coffee and having a few laughs with Gary in the lobby I noticed the number of yellow badges on the counter awaitng pick up. These are press badges. There were north of 70 press badges for the CAF. Yes 70!!!! Think about that for a second.
I doint know 70 members of the audio press and most of the ones I know don't attend this show and some don't attend any of the shows. What I then saw in my room again, as in PAF, was bunches of people with small video rigs or phones or ipads making video's. THe come in, try to take over the room and make a video of whatever may be playing and then run away, mostly never to be seen again. I thought this was funny and to be honest not very interesting until I started to recognize that was a trend. A trend you ask? Yes Audio shows are becoming a rating and judging game for these persons to get followers and gain ratings for their channels. These channels are for making money and gaining 15 minutes of fame off of someone else efforts. When I was young I always heard that those who can do and those who can't teach. Today its make a video channeloff the work of others. Its been said we are a nation of voyeurs and it seems audio is not immune form this behavior as well. I got into this with one of these youtubers a few months back after he ripped the Axpona show and many other things. I have since spoken with Mike and we have gotten past this and I think he is a interesting guy, however, many of the others are there to enhance thier own ego's and to make money by selling gear or getting sponsored to talk good or bad about. This bothers me because what are their criteria for being JUDGES? Critics? Experience? Its like the voice with amateur judges. No experience what the heck....
We have some long time, educated, worked hard to understand , reviewers in the audio business. I respect their efforts. I don't need to agree witht them always but when Robery Harley or Roy Gregory or Harry Pearson or Gordon Holt for example wrote people read their findings and opinions.
I have people judge my room by the music I played? The color of the drapes or how busy I was. Excuse me because you and your iphone wanted to make a video? No hello, no asking if they could, no waiting for their turn.
Guys audio is not a competion, shows are and were gatherings. These gathering were for exchange of knowledge, music, fun, new tech, new gear and a celebration of what we all enjoy. I had a lot of fun playing music for the people that filled or room for three days. That's why i was there. Period

Some other comments that are still true to me;
We can all hear we must learn to listen.
A collection of gear does not make a system
Set up and positioning are more important than the products you buy
Finding something new and improved does not mean the other products are now crap.
All high end audio is not at the same level of performance
How much you spend is not the determining factor for how good its sounds.
Comparing components does one thing it shows you what's different, knowing whats better thats a whole different subject.
To have a great audio system requires a lot of effort and work or hiring someone who can provide the level of effort and work.

I want to thank all of those who busted thier asses and spent their time annd money to put on a great show and to those who BOUGHT tickets to come see, hear, enjoy and learn. See you all again down the road. We will be at Axpona and this time some NEW surprises.

70 press badges and yet virtually no coverage of the show. Maybe Gary and Lou those press badges didn't help much?
I’m one of the undesirables you’re referencing above. I’ve been in the hobby for over 40 years and enhance my enjoyment by running a small review website where I write about my experience with equipment, people in the industry, local audio retailers, and vendors at shows.
I was at CAF with my iPhone poking around and taking videos (unobtrusively) and talking with like minded souls who were all very warm, helpful, and receptive to what I was doing.
After the show I uploaded a few short video clips to my website and my hokey YouTube channel and hopefully provided a few moments of entertainment to a handful of people who probably were unable to attend the show in person.
Oddly enough, three of the four videos I posted were picked up and referenced by the manufacturer/dealer who’s rooms and space I invaded. One of the people involved used my video and blurb on their actual website as a positive endorsement of their product from the show. Another did the same thing on their Facebook page and another on their Circle over at that other forum. No one asked for permission to use my videos and I would never have expected them to. The point being, it’s a trade show and people like myself are providing manufacturers and dealers with free promotion and free advertising of their products and businesses.

As long as it’s done respectfully, and others in the room are not inconvenienced, I don’t see the problem.
And on the subject of YouTube and monetization, you have to be kidding. There’s a handful of people presenting themselves as ‘reviewers’ who make money from YouTube, the majority of us don’t see a penny, we just do it for fun.
 

Elliot G.

Industry Expert
Jul 22, 2010
2,602
1,928
1,260
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
www.bendingwaveusa.com
I’m one of the undesirables you’re referencing above. I’ve been in the hobby for over 40 years and enhance my enjoyment by running a small review website where I write about my experience with equipment, people in the industry, local audio retailers, and vendors at shows.
I was at CAF with my iPhone poking around and taking videos (unobtrusively) and talking with like minded souls who were all very warm, helpful, and receptive to what I was doing.
After the show I uploaded a few short video clips to my website and my hokey YouTube channel and hopefully provided a few moments of entertainment to a handful of people who probably were unable to attend the show in person.
Oddly enough, three of the four videos I posted were picked up and referenced by the manufacturer/dealer who’s rooms and space I invaded. One of the people involved used my video and blurb on their actual website as a positive endorsement of their product from the show. Another did the same thing on their Facebook page and another on their Circle over at that other forum. No one asked for permission to use my videos and I would never have expected them to. The point being, it’s a trade show and people like myself are providing manufacturers and dealers with free promotion and free advertising of their products and businesses.

As long as it’s done respectfully, and others in the room are not inconvenienced, I don’t see the problem.
And on the subject of YouTube and monetization, you have to be kidding. There’s a handful of people presenting themselves as ‘reviewers’ who make money from YouTube, the majority of us don’t see a penny, we just do it for fun.
Undesirable is your word Sir not mine. As with the rest I have no idea who you are and even here you don't identify yourself. I am quite sure that it wasn't you I was pointing out as some are not respectful, curtious, do present themselves as experts, and use the show to promote themselves and there are some trying to make money. I do find it interesting that people can only relate to themselves and their agenda but someone elese's experiences can't possibly be true.
 

Elliot G.

Industry Expert
Jul 22, 2010
2,602
1,928
1,260
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
www.bendingwaveusa.com
 
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Alrainbow

Well-Known Member
Dec 12, 2013
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When I enter rooms I’m always kind and stand in the back unless I like the room
at this point I’ll always say this is good and I’m not anyone on the industry and I’m not.
my issue is most read my face before I leave. in no way do I feel I’m a pro nor understand all there is in audio and it’s complexities especially at shows
but like most I know what I like over all. this in itself is tough on rooms I think.
one room I’ve heard many times and little to no mention is triangle art
this year at cap it was bad.
but I still was kind as we all should be.
 

Elliot G.

Industry Expert
Jul 22, 2010
2,602
1,928
1,260
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
www.bendingwaveusa.com
When I enter rooms I’m always kind and stand in the back unless I like the room
at this point I’ll always say this is good and I’m not anyone on the industry and I’m not.
my issue is most read my face before I leave. in no way do I feel I’m a pro nor understand all there is in audio and it’s complexities especially at shows
but like most I know what I like over all. this in itself is tough on rooms I think.
one room I’ve heard many times and little to no mention is triangle art
this year at cap it was bad.
but I still was kind as we all should be.
Al just go and enjoy , shows are a gathering and a celebration of whats cool, what's new, what's old, whats strange and hopefully what plays music well. It should never be a competetion or truly bring out any negative vibes. I think sadly this has entered into the shows but never there intent.
We are going to do somethings very very different at the next shows :)
 

Fred Crane

Industry Expert
Apr 23, 2020
261
415
135
Here are the 'new' Janzen KLH9's. They were served up with a healthy serving of gan fet tech from AGD.
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The speakers weren't fully ready for production but were very close according the to the maestro. From the look of the picture below, I think that AGD was also showing their relatively new flagship preamp.
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Fred Crane

Industry Expert
Apr 23, 2020
261
415
135
Robin Wyatt is always going to get his sound. For this, I'm thankful as are the many who visit his room. This year he was showing open baffle Miyajima field coil loudspeakers and their OTL's. 20221112_123939.jpg
The analog set up was a sweet looking custom plinthed VPI.
20221112_123946.jpg The Thai Scandinavian Bird of Prey tonearm was interesting to behold and garnered much praise from analog guys in the area. It was a great room that relied on analog...as one would expect.
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