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Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2022 Show Report -- CAF 2022 premium luxury audio event coverage.

Capital AudioFest Chronicles 2022
Beautiful sounds on the 5th Floor Part B.
Show Report By Rick Becker

 

 

Room 541 Triangle Art
Triangle Art had their typical formal presentation with dual turntables (Anubis @ $15k, with Osiris Mk2 Diamon 12" arm, $8k, on the right, and Maestro @ $7500 with Horus 12" tonearm, $4k, on the left.

 

 

 

The Maestro was playing during my visit. It was feeding the new P200 tube phono stage ($15k) and the virtually identical L200 Mk2 Ultimate tube line stage ($25k). The gold record clamp ($1200) was reminiscent of the Shun Mook record clamp made with exotic old ebony root at close to five times the price of the Triangle clamp.

 

 

The speakers were the Metis Horn Speaker ($60k) which was also new. I appreciated the natural wood horn in contrast with the gloss black body of the speaker. It had a very Zen-like appeal and was easily driven by the Triangle M100 tube monoblock ($25k each?) placed out into the room. Cables included Triangle Rhea Reference power cord ($3k), interconnects ($3k), and speaker cable ($6k). In this darkened room the music was prominent, coming right out into the room to meet the listener, despite having the speakers up close to the front wall.

There was lots of air, transparency, resolution, and dynamics as you would expect from such an efficient horn speaker driven by tube electronics. Expensive? Yes, but also very impressive visually and acoustically.

 

 

 

Room 542 AGD Productions And JansZen Loudspeakers
The AGD room took on a decidedly different look at this show with the new JansZen Nine.Five hybrid electrostatic line array dipole speakers ($19.5k) replacing the more conventional dynamic speakers I've heard in the past.

 

 

Alberto Guerra was eager to show me his new Alto Reference preamplifier ($5k) which is designed to mate with either the Audion monoblocks or the Tempo stereo amp to form a compact combination capable of large-scale performance when space is a challenge.

 

 

The Alto is essentially a scaled-down version of the Andante preamplifier I reviewed very favorably without the built-in DAC and streamer of the larger unit.. The phono stage remains, however. This leaves you free to adapt to the future evolution of digital media. Like the Andante, the Alto features both single-ended and balanced inputs and outputs for flexibility.

 

 

Here it is in polished aluminum beneath the Tempo amp and flanked by The Audion monoblocks that look like tube amps, but are actually the GaNFET Class D amps that AGD has become so well known for. The Audion remains my personal solid-state reference amplifier, treasured for its resolution, transparency, speed, and dynamics.

 

 

In the hall, I met David Janszen, creator of the Nine.Five speakers which he touts as descendants of his father's famous KLH Nine electrostatic speaker introduced in 1959. I've raved about David's previous speaker design which I'll come to just a few doors down the hall, but I was not enthusiastic about the Nine.Five in combination with the class D amps in this room. The speakers sounded like they were decent enough to be very good, but the music didn't jump out into the room and come alive as I've heard with my own and other dynamic speakers driven by AGD amps. I suspected it was rather current hungry as most panel speakers are and Class D amps are typically not the best way to go with them.

A subsequent conversation with Alberto assured me the AGD amps had plenty of power to drive them. The problem was that being mounted on the long wall, the listening distance didn't give the dipole line array a chance to develop. They tried placing them on the short wall, but the dipole speakers cause the radiator to rattle. The room was simply too small for this speaker. I'll look forward to hearing these again under different circumstances.

 

 

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