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Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2016 Show Report
Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2016 Show Report
Gershman Acoustics And Valve Amplification Company
Report By Kemper Holt


  Audio shows like Capital Audiofest are a great place to see and hear what's new, and in this room Gershman Acoustics debuted a new speaker, the Studio II ($3000 per pair) and proved that good things come in small packages. Having heard their larger, yet not dominating, Grande Avant Garde speakers ($12,950 per pair) last year at CAF, I kind of expected an encore. Instead I was rewarded with a great sounding pair of monitors that were seemingly underpriced. In the halls of the Hilton these Studio IIs were among the hot topics being tossed around, superb sound at real world pricing.



It always pays off having world class electronics driving your speakers, and Kevin Hays brought some choice tubes to make this room special. Biasing tube amps is just a pain, so Kevin's VAC Signature 200 iQ amp ($14,000) incorporates his patented Continuous Automatic Bias System that holds each tube's idle current steady at all times, thanks Kevin. A VAC Signature SE preamp with internal phono stage ($26,000), VAC DAC Mk II (discontinued), Esoteric KO3 disc spinner, and a VPI Avenger carrying another NJ made item, the VAS Nova MC cartridge ($1500), and Shunyata Anaconda cables and Triton & Typhoon conditioners completed the system.



I listened to many of my cuts on a CDR and the voices were nicely centered and focused, beautiful string tone, tight tuneful bass with surprising extension, and a sweet top end. The system sounded even better when the Avenger spun a record, the soundstage was very layered deep and wide, well beyond the speakers which just vanished. The combination of Canadian speakers and an all American supporting cast made for a great sounding room which kept you engaged with the music and focused on the musicians.



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