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Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2016 Show Report
Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2016 Show Report
Alta Audio And Well Pleased A/V
Report By Kemper Holt


  Here at the Capital Audiofest 2016 is the debut of Alta Audio's IO bookshelf speaker ($3000 per pair), and like the big brother Celesta the IO first surprises with incredible bass extension. Michael Levy, head of Alta, told me their proprietary XTL bass tuning is responsible along with a cabinet material called DampHard that aid in producing low bass from small cabinets. The ribbon tweeter in the IO is consistent with other Alta designs and lends a clean and extended treble range contributing to the stable soundstage. Michael is noted for sweating every detail on his designs. He said the IO will get some more critical listening and maybe crossover massaging; such a perfectionist! He's also generous being one of the manufacturers involved in the Sunday giveaway system donating a pair of Alta Rheas to the event. Well Pleased A/V in Alexandria, Virginia, is run by Mark Sossa who collaborated with Alta in this simply musical system.



Mark used the Clones 25IR integrated amp ($1200) that is rated at 25 Watts, but punching way over the perceived number as it drove the IOs at 85dB/W/m @ 8 Ohms sensitivity without any strain to loud levels. Don't overlook this affordable integrated, it delivers smooth tube like sound quality, is built solidly, has a small footprint, and the remote is handy. The latest Antipodes DS SSD server ($4200) fed the AQUA La Voce DAC ($2700), and value laden Anticables from Paul Speltz strung it all together. Paul's Anticables prove you don't need to spend a fortune on cables to get a level of satisfaction that would require much more dough to exceed. I had Mark play some favorites from Chris Jones, Lyn Stanley, and Alison Krauss, and the system delivered great bass extension, focused vocals, and shimmering cymbals, a system that was affordable, involving, and had me visiting the room often to pop in and relax to music.





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