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Southwest Audio Fest 2024 Premium Audio Show Report

 

SWAF 2024 Show Report Part 3
Featuring Classic Audio, Technics, Kimber Kable, Terry Audio, AGD Productions, and more!
Southwest Audio Fest 2024 Show Report By Paul Schumann

 

SWAF 2024 Show Report Part 3 Featuring Classic Audio, Technics, Kimber Kable, Terry Audio, AGD Productions, and more! Southwest Audio Fest 2024 Show Report By Paul Schumann

 

  One of the rooms I was anticipating was Classic Audio. I had been following these Michiganders since they started with the rebuilding of JBL Hartsfield horns. Dominating the room was the massive T-3.4 Field Coil Powered System ($59,950) with its associated Dual Output Tungar DC Power Supplies ($8,000). Two power amps were being used, an Atma-Sphere Novacron Mk.3.3 ($26,500) and a Classic Audio Push-Pull 300B prototype.

The preamp was an MP-1 Mark 3.3 Preamplifier ($23,890). The vinyl setup was an upgraded Technics SP 10 Mk III, Tri-Planar Ultimate 12 tonearm ($11,500), and a Van Den Hul Colibri Stradivarius Reference Cartridge ($13,000). A Studer 810 reel-to-reel was also a music source. Purist Audio Design cables were used throughout.

 

 

On the second day of the show, I was able to sit down and have a good listen. I was lucky enough to be in the room when the Studer was in operation. The sound emanating from the T-3.4 speakers was highly detailed and deeply involving. Wish there was more time to listen within the Classic Audio room to fully understand all of the charms of this system. I hope I get to see them next year.

 

 

 

One of the displays I enjoyed was the Kimber Kable demonstration of their headphone cables. This display had two setups to make a direct A-B comparison between their AXIOS-CU ($698/1.2 m) and AXIOS-AG ($2850/1.2 m). Each setup had a laptop with digital files connected to a Bricasti M1S2 Digital to Analog Converter ($13,000) which was connected to a HeadAmp GS-X mk2 Balanced Headphone Amp/Pre-Amp ($2990). The GS-X mk2 has two unbalanced outputs. Plugged into each unbalanced output were two identical headphones, one using the AXIOS-CU and the other the AXIOS-AG. This allowed for a well-designed comparison between the two.

 

 

With an open mind, I listened to both cables carefully, switching between them often. It was no surprise to me that I preferred the silver cabling. To my ears, it sounded more refined in tonality and was more airy in the upper registers. When I relayed my findings to the Kimber representative, he told me that quite a few people preferred copper over silver. It just confirms that we all hear things differently. That's one of the reasons I love this hobby so much!.

 

 

 

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