A Frugal Audiophile At The New York Audio
Report By Alfred Fredel
As the New York Audio
Show 2013 beckoned to all of us "audiophiles" new and old, there seemed to be something for everyone at
this event. Available eye candy featured most of the big guns of the
audio world, some new players as well as merchants selling their wares in the
many bins of recorded media located throughout the event. I don't know about you, but when on the rare occasion that
I actually come to one of these shows, I go straight to my favorite
manufacturers to see what is new. Wilson, Cary, Joseph Audio,
Coincident, VPI, Woo Audio, Krell, and many others have their audio delicacies
ready for us to devour giving us an almost "X-rated" fantasy that these
lofty products will suddenly appear in our listening room.
Snap out of
So I'm now going to appeal to your sensible side. Let
look at a few products at the show that present a strong value, great
performance and are easy on the pocket. In this environment, it can be
easy to overlook these finds that are less than $2500; but they are certainly
there if you look.
The venerable turntable company has two tables than makes it
to my list of 'good buys'. First, at $2000, the new Scout 1.1 is a
lot of table for the money boasting a unique unipivot arm and heavy aluminum platter.
Next, the Traveler is VPI's entry-level turntable but
there is really nothing entry level about this unit, plus a portion of each
table is donated to research for pancreatic cancer... good music and a good
This longstanding American company has re-introduced its
American Electronics brand designed to provide Cary quality components at a
more affordable price point. Two great values are its
Constellation preamplifier ($1495) and Hercules power amplifier ($1895).
Well Rounded Sound
A relatively newcomer to the game, this company produces
unique if not quirky loudspeaker solutions that just sound good. They
are designed for a desktop (Porgy, $799 a pair) application or for a small to
medium room with a subwoofer ($399). These speakers are hardwired, yet can be
changed to binding posts upon request.
This was one of the best sounding booths in the show but
hidden away was a little 8-watt gem that really caught my attention. The Dynamo 4SE is a great little high quality integrated amplifier for those
who wish to give tubes a go and experience the magic. At $999, it is an
The Mad Dog headphones are a magneplanar set of cans that
were very impressive. Handcrafted in San Diego, they are available in
unbalanced ($299) and balanced ($399) versions. If you need comfortable
high quality headphones, give them a try.
I was only able to attend the New York Audio
2013 show for a single day (Sunday) to search the shadows of the
exhibition halls, but rest assured that I will continue to unearth great audio
values unique products as we all enjoy the music!
---> Back to main New York
Audio Show 2013 page.