New York Audio Show
Show Report By Rick Jensen
The pastoral setting of the Hilton Westchester distinguished the 2015 New York Audio Show from any previous show I had attended. The late arrival of autumn meant that the leaves were still abundant and fairly colorful. Compared with shows situated on city streets, the venue was perhaps less so, especially in the evening. I don't have stats on the relative number of exhibitors, although it seemed less crowded than in past years. There was nonetheless good sound to be found, often from a prime seat rather than by standing in the back of a crowded room. Was able to attend only Friday and as this was a small show, and thus it was relatively easy to cover. This report will be a brief one and will reflect those rooms I had time to visit. From the perspective of a Friday attendee, the show space was well organized (I can't speak for the exhibitors), and it was easy to move around.
Enjoy the Music.com colleague Ron Nagle said that Saturday saw a bit more attendance, and that his group had to park at the bottom of the long-ish drive leading up to the hotel.
Room 4019: Gershman Acoustics
The Gershman room featured the Grande Avant Gardes ($13,000), with which I am most familiar, having reviewed them recently here. Ofra and Eli Gershman, as usual two of the people who make this hobby an unalloyed pleasure, were showing the GAGs with the Lamm LL 2.1 Deluxe preamplifier ($6500) and M 1.2 Reference monoblocks ($27,000/pr.), the Oracle Paris CD player ($6000 when new), and their proprietary isolation elements, the LVCs (Levitation Vibration Control). The sound was superior to what I had heard over months in my home, perhaps due to the superb amplification. The GAGs which, we should emphasize in a New York report, are modestly sized, had all of the authority I remembered and an extra dollop of immediacy and excitement. Ofra and Eli underlined the contribution of the LVC isolators, which cost less than $400 and will vary with the weight loading. These opposing magnet pods are said to insulate the system from vibration-induced noise, and it was indeed very quiet. A more pleasant interlude could not be found in any big show.
Room 4020, Adirondack Audio
Adirondack Audio, led by Jason Tavares, has had a successful store in Queensdbury, NY for many years. Queensbury is near Glens Falls, if that helps. Defying industry trends, and at the suggestion of loyal customers, they plan to open soon in New York, on East 57th St. The main system in the Adirondack room consisted of a Souline Kubrick DCM turntable ($4000), the Plinius SA-REF amplifier ($22,000), a PliniusKaitaki preamp ($6500), and a Plinius Tiki DAC. I listened to the analog, which was liquid and lively at the same time. the Triangle Signature Alphas ($10,000/pr) sounded impressive, making me forget I was in a hotel room. The Soulines turntable is one of four from the Serbian manufacturer. It is the top of the line, at what seems a modest price for the technology and quality of fabrication. The plinth and sub-plinth are each separated with cork and rubber layers for noise attenuation, and the entire setup is both elegant and quiet. With a Rega RB-2000 and a Sumiko Blue Point cartridge, the sound was quite rewarding without demanding a mortgage-heavy price.
Other Soulines tables were also displayed in the room. I focused on a small, apartment-friendly system consisting of the Triangle Titus EZ stand-mounted speakers ($999) driven by (new-)Technics amplification and digital source equipment. a $1600 integrated and a $1000 CD player. the sound was delicious, and something I could live with for many happy years. I remember when the "old" Technics components were introduced way back when, and they were pretty good. Dormant maybe 20 years, they are back and quite welcome. Rune Jacobsen of Triangle (yes, he lives in France!) emphasized that the venerable firm continues to control the manufacture of the drivers and the components of the speakers in their line. At the same time, Rune stressed that it may be unwise to think of Triangle as a "classical-only" speaker — the new models have great dynamics. To me, the Titus seemed a great New York apartment speaker, and I would be happy to listen to one in my home.
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