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Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2016 Show Report
Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2016 Show Report
Alta Audio And Viva HiFi
Report By Kemper Holt


  This room at the Capital Audiofest 2016 oozed quality and finesse. Scott Dalzell who operates Viva HiFi in Vienna, VA, teamed up with Alta and Zesto to make a beautiful looking and sounding system, if you fancy tubes it was breathtaking. Sourced from Alta, Scott used the Celesta speakers ($12,995 per pair) and matching stands ($3995 per pair), and added a lot of Zesto. For the East Coast debut of Zesto, three components were chosen. The Zesto Audio Andros 1.2 phono preamp ($4700), Zesto Leto Line preamp ($7500), and Zesto Bia stereo power amp ($12,500) were linked with WyWires Platinum series cables.



The VPI turntable was not the one listed on the room's press sheet, but a Harry Weisfeld prototype non-production model that Scott landed. The VPI prototype had a cogless direct drive motor, advanced power conditioner, 12" 3D printed arm, Nordost tonearm wiring, air bladder feet, and an Avenger plinth, ($unobtainum). A Dynavector XX2 cartridge sat at the end of the printed arm. WyWires supplied a Power Broker conditioner ($2999), and Bel Canto lent a BC One DAC 3.7 ($4495) for digital sources.



You cannot be prepared for the low bass reach, impact, and tightness from these bookshelf Celestas. Here we had a wide and deep soundstage, crystal clear vocals, easy to follow upright bass lines, and crisp attack and long decay on cymbals. We listened to cuts from Alison Krauss' Paper Airplane and enjoyed the picking and singing, the start of the plucked strings was particularly notable, the initial transients being very well rendered. If the room had been cooler (tubes) I would have spent much more time just enjoying the music. This was without a doubt a great sounding room!




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