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

Capital AudioFest Chronicles 2022
Rick Begins... 6th Floor Part A
Show Report By By Rick Becker

 

 

Room 604, 606 Geshelli Labs
The Geshelli name rang a familiar bell, but I couldn't place it until I entered the room and saw the beautiful custom-made wood chassis on the integrated amplifier. Last year I raved about their cute little headphone amps and DACs, which are also available in a handsome wood chassis. The Zoofa integrated amp meters read input or headphone gain and had XLR as well as RCA inputs. A switch on the back of one of the RCA inputs sends the signal to either the internal phono stage or directly to the line stage. Power is class A/B. And do you remember tone controls for treble and bass? It's got 'em as well as a switch to take them out of the signal path if you wish.

 

 

 

XLR pre-outs suggest where future products are headed. The headphone amp produces two Watts of output. The Zoofa was shown with a metal faceplate laminated with Plexiglas, but production versions will be aluminum in black, silver, or whatever color you want, as they do powder coating in their shop all the time. Geno tells me production versions of this prototype should come in around $1500. Along with their J2 DAC, the Zoofa was playing a pair of small stand-mounted speakers that sounded very good.

 

 

Geshelli comes from foreshortening Geno and Sherry Bashellia a good Irish name. Geno's dad does all the fancy dovetail and sandblasted woodwork, so it's a family affair that looks like it has a bright future with its unique look. I liked this room a lot as might be expected from my background in the furniture world, but I suspect I am not alone.

 

 

Room 609 Bache Audio
Coming out of Brooklyn, NY, the Bache Audio 002 Limited speaker ($22,500) included a passive mid-bass and active lower bass driver that goes to 22Hz. A five-position adjustment was also incorporated for the limited edition Fostex super tweeter. An 8" wide-range driver with a bamboo fiber cone has no capacitors in its path and the crossover has only four elements. Sensitivity is 96dB/W/m so it is definitely in SET territory. Greg Belman told me they can do custom colors on the cabinet at no upcharge.

 

 

 

The speaker was driven by an Alexus Audio stereo amp with parallel Psvane 300B tubes putting out about 15 Wpc. The amp had very interesting architecture and produced excellent music with the Bache speaker. A very significant turntable was the source of this system. Lest the price of the 002 Limited speakers scares you away from the brand, let me add they have five other models ranging from $2350 to $6900, as well as monitors priced at $2200 and $2780.

 

 

This is a company that deserves more exposure from what I heard in this room and this speaker can be auditioned in their showroom in Brooklyn. Sadly, I missed the shot of the speaker, but I can tell you it was a basic block, 11.5" wide, 47" high, and 13" deep and weighs a manageable 77 lbs.

 

 

Room 612 Audio Group Denmark
The host in the Audio Group Denmark room was in serious lecture mode and there was no literature posted, so I'm at a bit of a loss here. While the Borresen speaker does not look similar to their previous top models, it looks very expensive with a carbon fiber front baffle and speaker cones. The special vibration-absorbing footers (rather than spikes) were the first of many at the show, becoming something of a trend. The footers were coupled to a thick constrained layer damping base. It was not clear if that base was part of the speaker or a separate platform, but visually (and acoustically) they integrated very well.

 

 

 

 

They were also indicative of the razor-sharp resolution and crystal-clear transparency of the music. With the ribbon tweeter, there was virtually zero roll-off in the treble. The bass was the tightest and most tonally correct I heard at the show. All this made for a very exciting presentation of Joe Bonamassa's "High Water Everywhere," but also very much 'in your face' and tiring, even in the short time I was in the room. Perhaps a handkerchief draped in front of the ribbon driver would have made it more inviting. In all other regards, it was an astonishing presentation with the Aavik electronics and Ansuz cables. Speakers can be very personal, so I suggest a long listening session with your favorite familiar music.

 

 

 

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