New York Audio & AV
Report By Steven R. Rochlin
nightmare from yesterday (Friday the 13th no less!) and the lost two hours of
work, today fortunately went much smoother. There was also some big
news from Chesky Records, which I have all the delicious info for you in
today's show coverage. My first stop was in the AVM room
where they had their PA8 ($10,000) modular amplifier. Those seeking to shop ŕ
la carte can start with the basic unit and add an AM/FM radio module, a 24-bit/192kHz
DAC module, tone control module, etc. Users also have a choice between using
the a solid-state or tubes amplification section for the preamplifier's
output. AVM will soon be releasing their M8 that starts at $15,000.
At the Audio Doctor and KEY room they have a few
premiers including the east coast premier of the DO2 DAC, EMM Labs DAC 2XSE and Merrill Williams Real Turntable
($23,500, $15,000 and $6000 on up depending configuration, respectively). The DAC 2XSE is a 24-bit/192
and DSD unit with XLR and balanced out. They also had the Manly Labs Steelhead
phonostage for analog replay. Various Chord Electronics were put to
good use for source and amplification. My note says this room has very good
sound, with nice harmonics and smooth sound.
Walking through the hallways i ran into none
other than Luke Manley of Vacuum Tube Logic (VTL), who as always
is very enthusiastic and loves music. Instead of an equipment list or specs
sheet, here i simply enjoyed the music. As many of you know, VTL has earned --
well deserved i might add -- many awards over the years. VTL had their MB-450 Series III Signature monoblocks, VTL TL-7.5 Series III Reference and VTL TP-6.5 Signature with MC step-up transformer ($18,000/pr,
$20,000 and $10,000 respectively). For analog duties was the Spiral Groove SG2 turntable with Centroid tonearm ($20,000)
whilst Transparent cabling and power conditioning rounded out this system. Needless to say their
setup did not disappoint and had a great time. Bravo Luke!
MBL had their excellent Coronation
lineup in full force in sexy white. Of course the soundscape was wide, deep
and enveloping from the always impressive MBL speakers. As many of you know, i
personally love the system approach and here is where MBL can easily meet
those needs. They just released their C15 monoblock power amplifier (€9600) that implements LASA-technology (Linear Analog Switching Amplifier). They says that the result of this technology is that output power throughout the range "is totally unaffected by distortion therefore each instrument at each volume level will be played genuinely". Of course with 500 watts @ 4 Ohms on tap, there is plenty of power to drive virtually any speaker to full volume output. MBL's intelligent SmartLink network enables the Corona devices to talk with one another via standard Ethernet cables. Updates for equipment software can simply be uploaded via the integrated SD card reader. The MBL C15 is available in white or black, each with a choice of Gold plated, Palinux plated, and various lacquer finish options.
LessLoss had their full line of gear plus they are
the exclusive distribution of Kaiser Acoustics. Seen here is the model
Kaiser Vivace that employs the Mundorf AMT tweeter and ScanSpeak drivers ($43,000 on
up). Being time and phase aligned, the user still has the option of changing
the positioning of the tweeter top unit as desired. On the rear of the unit
and more drivers. They had a large room, with the speaker quite a bit away
from the side and rear walls. Another great room with excellent imaging and
very deep soundscape. Even with this large room, the speakers easily filled it
with excellent sound.
Sony had their SS-AR2 speakers ($20,000)
being driven by the always extraordinary with Pass Labs X600.5
amplifiers. While some may wonder what Sony would produce for $20k, they
really are high-end speakers. Hopefully Sony stock fares a bit better once they
restructure their business model. As for the Pass Labs... do I really need to
tell you how great their amplifier are? I mean, c'mon, just check out our
reviews, or those by virtually anyone for that matter.
Ok, so i covered one room yesterday that used
YG Acoustic speakers, yet there is that something that does keep me coming
back to hear this brand of speakers. Fast, clean, tight sounding... Brinkmann
Audio front-end was used as source.
In the Zellaton Concert speakers
($59,750) that use special custom sandwiched foam membrane with notified foam and
foil drivers. One of the key aspect is that this is all handmade in Germany
and the speaker uses a semi-open baffle. Front end duties were the Holborne Analog 2
turntable ($5275) and David Berning amplifier.
A nice trio of Gradient Revolution speakers
were on-hand for listening. The white speakers, their Helsinki 1.5, are also
available in Oak, White oak, Black oak or Walnut.
really big news of the day comes from David Chesky of Chesky Records and
HDtracks fame; with their new Binaural+ Series of recordings soon to be
released in two weeks. Binaural records are specially made for headphone
enjoyment, as a 'dummy head with microphones where a human's ears would be is
used to create a 3-D stereo sound for the listener. It can sound strikingly
realistic as if the listener is actually in the room with the performers or instruments.
Chesky says their Binaural+ Series recordings will sound great both on headphones and
speakers. Recorded in high-resolution 24-bit/192kHz sound, headphone users will hear the same three-dimensional
sound and imaging as audiophiles have for the past 25 years with Chesky Recordings.
The 2012 Binaural+ Series releases include Explorations in Space and Time
by Lenny White, Jamey Haddad and Mark Sherman; Wycliffe Gordon’s New Orleans Project
by Wycliffe Gordon and band; and lastly Dr. Chesky’s Amazing Binaural Sound Show.
A forthcoming album from new folk singer Amber Rubarth with accompaniment from David
Eggar is planned as well.
Click here for Sunday's