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Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2016 Show Report
Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2016 Show Report
DejaVu Audio And Aldo D'Urso
Report By Kemper Holt


  Vu Huang, proprietor of DejaVu Audio has a wild card up his sleeve from Italy by the name of Aldo D'Urso. Many times we hear of vintage gear updated with all the latest caps, resistors, etc., but Vu and Aldo don't care for the sound of these new parts, and instead search out components, horns, drivers, and enclosures from the pre-war era. They also employ vintage parts within Aldo's circuit designs. In a very tidy unassuming room, music simply flowed from the large speakers. I didn't need to know all about the equipment being used, I just wanted to sit back and have more music wash over me. Maybe there wasn't all the detail possible, and although there were two speakers, the single mono amp operated them in mono so the imaging wasn't pinpoint, but the result trumped all of those parameters pouring forth music that had tone and texture to die for, and true emotional involvement.



They played a glorious jazz combo and the piano was dynamic and played with dramatic emotion, with the bass and drums sounding live with far better imaging than expected. After the show, a couple of my friends suggested the "current" crop of systems are missing something from live music, a sense of "aliveness", I'll call it dynamic tracking. With the resurgence of horn speakers, and more efficient speakers of all kinds, help to bring back the excitement you hear live and apparently so do the vintage parts used by Aldo and Vu.



The blue glow from the amp is from the mercury rectifier tubes in the WE 271A tubed mono amp, DejaVu Vintage Collection by Aldo ($25,000), which produces 6 very fine watts. Also in the signal chain was a Vintage Collection 421A tube integrated amplifier ($19,000), a Western Electric Phono Preamp ($19,000), and a WE tube DAC ($19,000) all built by hand in Italy by Aldo. That beautiful turntable was a Garrard 301 with an Ortofon arm and Koetsu Rosewood cartridge.



Finding the grills off on a later visit, I got an idea of why it sounded so "lively". They were using a compression driver and horn too. The semi-open baffle speaker has a thin rear panel that allows sound to pass. It uses a vintage 15" woofer with Alnico magnet, and inspired by Western Electric, Yoshimura elliptical horn and compression driver from Japan circa 1960 topped off by a vintage horn loaded supertweeter. All this unobtanium can be yours for $35,000 per pair. This room stunned many people for it sheer musicality, and for being fooled into thinking it was stereo. Sorry, but it was in fact mono. Vu's collaboration with Aldo is a wonderful winning combination.



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