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A Frugal Audiophile At The New York Audio Show
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 it!

So I'm now going to appeal to your sensible side. Let us 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.

 

VPI
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 cause.

 

Cary Audio
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.

 

Coincident Speaker Technology
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 absolute "no-brainer".

 

Mr. Speakers
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.

 

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