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Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2016 Show Report
Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2016 Show Report
Dynamic Sounds Associates
Report By Kemper Holt

 

 

  The picture above highlights the two of the additions made to this room that separate it from last years' presentation, DSA Amp 1 Class A Mono Blocks ($25,000 per pair) and Spendor SP-100R speakers ($11,995 per pair). The Amp 1s deliver 125 Watts of Class A power, uses a bias current of four amps, and does a great job of passing a 10kHz square wave plus it sounds natural. As usual, David Sckolnik was doing the MC job and he was quite busy changing records plus switching phono inputs to match the three arms and cartridges allowing us to A/B carts. DSA partnered with Ortofon this year and they supplied three carts, MC Anna ($9000), MC A-95 ($6500), and the Cadenza Mono ($1280). The three Ortofon cartridges rode on a VPI Avenger Magnetic Drive turntable sporting three 12" 3D printed arms that will set you back $30,000. DSA used it's own DSA Phono II ($13,500) and DSA Pre 1 ($16,500), Stillpoints room treatments, and Luminous Audio cables. Michael Garner from Tweek Geek contributed a Stein Harmonizer ($2995), Tweek Geek Bybee Power Purifier, and other bits on top of and hanging off the back of things.

 

 

You might think an A/B of the two stereo carts would lead one to a favorite, but you'd be wrong! David played one record, and the crowd favored the Anna. Trying a different record, same performer Neil Young, yielded the opposite choice as we felt the A-95 sounded better. Moving on to mono, Analog Productions pressing of Masterpieces by Ellington showed how stunning mono can be, gorgeous piano sound and a wide soundscape as well.

 

 

The system had a relaxing inviting quality that made you want to stay and listen to the next record, no boom, bass was tight, superb vocals, and a great stage. At dinner Saturday night at dinner we were discussing the rooms at the show, a good friend, who is a tube only fan, commented that the DSA room with those Class A mono blocks was the first time he relaxed and enjoyed music, the longer he listened, to any solid state system. In fact he asked David if there were any tubes in the chain, no was the answer, very nicely done DSA!

 

 

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