Nothing more exciting than mixing a solid direct drive turntable with some fine tube equipment. OK, maybe we can find more exciting things but this is still worth talking about! We were proud to spin at the Florida Audio Expo with our friends at Convergent Audio Technology (CAT), Magico Speakers, Essential Sound Products, and Van Den Hul Cartridges.
This was actually a world debut since we have finally gotten through the HW-40 Anniversary Limited Edition 400 tables. We are now ready with plans to keep our Direct Drive Technology going in a standard piano black finish model, standard serial plate, easier ability to change the arm, and dust cover as an option.
Paired on the front end was the Van Den Hul Master Signature Cartridge. One of AJ's finest and it truly sang this past weekend. We have found the Van Den Hul combo to be a great one with our Fatboy tonearms.
Connected together with ESP power cords the CAT amplification gave the music a kick while still being quiet between the notes. Ken Stevens plays some pretty wacky and weird music, but it sure sounded great while it was playing! We have always enjoyed using his product in the VPI House.
Fun fact, this room was the only one where my whole family (wife and kids) came in, sat down and stayed and listened. I can only assume it's because only children can understand and appreciate Ken’s choice of music (I’m kidding it wasn’t that bad!) Regardless, there is nothing more amazing than having a whole family with children being captivated by music. Especially when that music is coming from a top shelf system!
We appreciate and love having the opportunity to be part of this system paring for the Florida Audio Expo and can't wait to see this team spin together again at future shows.
As long as I can remember the MBL room at audio shows was considered a full blown audio listening experience. However, I never had a chance to fully appreciate and enjoy the room because of how busy things get at a show. When I had the opportunity two opposing magazine reviewers got into a “fistie cuff” fighting situation over who has the best ears and it all went from there. Needless to say I was still hungry to sit in the hot spot and really listen to the system.
This year at the Florida Audio Expo 2022 I stumbled into the MBL North America with United Home Audio room after hour listening and decided I was going to make it happen! Even if a Mad Mag Reviewer brawl broke out I was going to listen to this system! Jeremy Bryan was kind enough to get the hot spot open for me to fully immerse into the listening experience. I MELTED! I absolutely melted into that couch and thought I would never leave that spot! It was natural, the sound was surrounding me, the impact of the bass could be felt right in the middle of my chest. You had no idea there was a speaker in the room, and (most importantly) they were playing fantastic music!
They played the Wall, some Blood Sweat and Tears, and much more. At one point the music sounded so real I had to open my eyes to break the illusion because for a split second I actually thought a helicopter was about to crash through into the listening room.
From a visual standpoint I personally love the look of Radialstrahler mbl 101 X-treme. They look industrial and modern with almost a tesla coil feel! I believe we were listening to four Mono / Stereo Power Amplifier mbl 9008 A. I love the visual of multiple mono blocks when working with a top shelf system. And clearly with four of these babys this system was not going to run out of gas. Greg Beron, from United Home Audio, was slinging reel-to-reel and making it look easy. His latest product is certainly doing something right!
Picture borrowed from TAS Facebook page by Lee Scoggins
I’ve heard people comment how past MBL rooms were bright but that 100% was not the case for this setup. No one wants to admit it because the system has a heck of a price tag, but with the price tag comes highest level of performance. This room was one of the best rooms at the show! I'm saying (typing) that and there wasn't even a VPI table in there.
This system has certainly given us a lot to think about and we hope everyone had a chance to experience it during the Florida Audio Expo 2022!
Picture borrowed from TAS Facebook page by Lee Scoggins
Cardas certainly had the right idea by setting up their own "Mobile Booth" which on the surface might sound silly but in actuality it is a genius idea for an audio show! Of course everyone wants to come to a show and preview and hear about new products. But having a chance to sit down, talk, and have a drink (or several) with someone from the industry is what we are all trying to do.
Angela and Josh Cardas were doing it right by making themselves available and having conversations with anyone in the industry who "stepped into" the Mobile Booth. One visitor was having such a great experience they stayed for the hugs! Which might have let do us coining the new Cardas show tagline, "Booze and Hugs!"
Anyone at the show looking for more information on Cardas, Booze, or Hugs, you can more than likely find the team on the second floor working harder than ever!
The past two years have certainly been difficult for public events especially audio shows. Capital Audiofest has always been one of our favorites! However with it being cancelled in 2020 and other shows cancelled for good or postponed, we weren't sure what would be happening for 2021. Having the positive news that the "show will go on" VPI was excited to start talking to our partners about who would be featuring our products. One enthusiastic partner Joe Parvery owner of House of Stereo and Wolf Audio. House Of Stereo who had a fantastic room featured our new Avenger Direct with T+A elektroakustik , Synergistic Research, Wolf Audio Systems, Tad Steak House.
Bringing out the big guns, House of Stereo was one of two rooms who used our brand new VPI Avenger Direct Drive turntable. This was a product which had a soft release in 2019 with the expected proper release at CAF 2020, but we all know what happened there. The goal of the Avenger Direct (30K) was to take the advanced Direct Drive Technology we already offer in our HW-40 (20K) and provide it in our Sandbox-Type turntable design in our Avenger body. This was also inspired by having a more reasonable price point as the only other Direct Drive with this level of tonearm diversity is our Vanquish at the price tag of 80K (it you think that price is nuts, you should have herd the distributor who said the price tag is too cheap!)
More on the Avenger Direct in a future post, but for House of Stereo they ran the table with two of our 12" Gimbal Fatboy arms. One mounted with an Analog Relax and Phasemation Cartridge brands, both sounding fantastic on this system.
Words from House of Stereo Owner, Joe Parvey:
"Capital AudioFest 2021 is a wrap. You'll see our room in photos above, but I can tell you that our room, driven by the TAD Compact Reference stand-mount speakers was easily in the top 3 rooms of the show. M 40 HV amps drove the SDV 3100 HV Reference DAC, and my Wolf Audio Systems Red Wolf 2 SX - it was a world debut, but I decided last minute to wait a bit on the announcement. Connecting everything was a combination of Synergistic Research's Galileo and SRX Cabling, as well as several devices like their Black Box sympathetic resonance devices - when we first heard the bass bloat in that 35x50 room I was terrified, envisioning ridicule and abject sonic failure - it's a huge room, and no matter how good the equipment is, if it sounds like the ceiling might fall in on you, you've got a problem! But once Dave Weintraub got to work tuning the room, the fears went away and elation prevailed. The room sounded damn good, and I have him and Synergistic to thank for it. Show attendance was nowhere near as low as I feared, but it wasn't as much as I had hoped. Either way, we are getting back to normal and that is good enough for me!
Another company near and dear to my heart is VPI. They called days before the show and asked my opinion on hardware they could use, and I came up with PA 3100 HV and MP 3100 HV for them with the JBL Project Everest speakers. Harry and Mat were over the moon with the sound quality, and I have promised them M 40 HV's and the SDV or P 3100 HV for next year. Two more converts to T+A! In addition to that, consider this: a turntable manufacturer also had a digital section in their room, and it was driven by my Wolf Audio Systems Alpha 3 SX server with the MP 3100 HV DAC and a Synergistic Research Galileo SX USB Cable. It sounded amazing, and that Harry was comfortable using the Audio Server for such a critical listening space is awesome, and a testament to what we do over with Wolf and T+A.
Other T+A developments at the show included Linear Tube Audio using the Solitaire-P headphones to show off their newest amp, and come to think of it, the P-SE's were also borrowed by one guy to demo in his space and he came back excited as well.
We'll be adding more show pics and posting more quotes from reviewers, visitors and dealers alike once we get unpacked and get our rooms put back together here in Florida. Thanks Everyone!"
- Joe Parvey
Thanks to the House of Stereo team and all other partners involved in creating such a great room and experience!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.