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Capital Audiofest (CAF) 2023 Show Report -- CAF 2023 premium luxury audio event coverage.

Capital Audiofest 2023 Show Report / Chronicles Part 1
The 8th Floor Part A
Show Report By Rick Becker

 

 

Room 821 Gershman Acoustics
Eli Gershman pulled another rabbit out of his hat, coming up with Infigo monoblocks to drive his 30th Anniversary Grand Avant Garde speakers ($18k). I told Eli and Ofra I knew exactly what I was going to write about their room here before I even walked in the door: "If you think this room sounded good, you should have heard them in Montreal this year when they were among the five Best Rooms at the show." These speakers can play in much larger rooms than seen here at CAF and sound much better when they have more air around them. Note the new vibration-absorbing footers that premiered last month at the Toronto show.

The Infigo line is establishing a fine reputation. Eli frequently uses a different brand of amplifier at each show but always employs Cardas cables.

 

 

At the side of the room was the relatively new Studio XdB ($12k) which looks like a monitor, but the stand is actually an extension of the cabinet, adding volume for the bass. It goes unbelievably deep to a claimed 23Hz. If that's a lie, it is only by a couple of Hz from what I heard in Montreal. The disc on top is firmly affixed and is there to add mass to the speaker. If it bothers you, think of it as a pedestal for your Lladro sculptures.

 

 

Gershman Acoustics is frequently a recipient of Best Rooms awards from me and their poster outside the room confirms I am not the only admirer.

 

 

 

Room 823 Infigo Audio And Alta Audio
Infigo amps showed up in the next room along with Alta Audio speakers. While the Alta speakers are more commonly shown in wood veneer, personally, I like the gloss black better on these speakers.

 

 

 

Room 825 PureAudioProject
Ze'ev Schlik and I go back to the earliest days of PureAudioProject when Rachel at Grant Fidelity arranged for me to do their first-ever review. I loved the review sample but did not buy it because I could see many improvements could be made in the design. The current product incorporates those improvements and the company has become not just a success story but also has stimulated more interest in open baffle designs bringing other companies into the field.

 

 

I stopped back a couple of times and the room always had visitors. From the top down on the rack was a VPI Scout turntable, Aurender server, Pass phono stage, Denafrips DAC, and a Pass INT-25 integrated amp. It is an efficient speaker and I was able to get even better music driving them with my parallel 300B monoblocks putting out 18 Watts each.

 

 

Silversmith Fidelium speaker cable decorated the back side of the speakers while prototypes of Silversmith interconnects were used in the rig. I've borrowed a set of these from an audio buddy and they are the real deal. He uses them to drive current-hungry Wilson Sabrina speakers with a Classé Delta stereo amp that puts out 250 Wpc into 8 Ohms. They are also very durable as I learned from tripping over one and ripping it off both the amp and speaker. No problem. They may get a little crinkly from use, but this does not affect their performance.

 

 

Jeffrey Smith of Silversmith Audio stopped me in the hall to show me the final production samples of his new flat woven XLR interconnects whose availability is imminent. Note the thin red thread woven into the sheath of this right channel cable. The devil is in the details!

 

 

 

Room 826 Mon Acoustic
I was a bit skeptical about this company when I first encountered them (a couple of years ago?) at Axpona. But they have refined their product as well as their presentation. I was handed one of their small monitors to examine the fit and finish, as well as the weight of the machined aluminum housing. It is first class. And the styling has been greatly improved, too. The large silver Supermon Isobaric with an isobaric woofer inside was $25k, including stands. Inside those were the Platimon VC One ($6,500), and the little Supermon Mini was $2k.

 

 

They provided an excellent cheat sheet with almost everything pictured, labeled, and priced. On the top shelf was a Triangle Art Maestro turntable ($9k), a Chord DAVE DAC, and a Chord CPA 5000 preamp. The Chord SPM 1200 Mk II stereo power amp was below the preamp and the Triangle Art P200 phono stage ($18k) was to its left. A Peachtree GaN 1 power amp (200 Wpc, $1300) was below the phono stage and an Aurender N20 ($12.5k) was on the lower right shelf. A Sanctus power distributor (conditioner?) was in front of the rack and Sanctus power cords ($2500) were in use here. With such fine components, the Mon speakers sounded very good here.

 

 

With no screws showing from the front, access to the ported enclosure was from the rear. A very clean look.

 

 

Part of the excellent resolution was due to the roller-bearing interface of the speakers with their stands — on all three models! Shades of Symposium Acoustics, here.

 

 

 

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