There was some logistical confusion this year for us at Capital Audiofest which led to us planning for a much smaller room than usual. However, with the dynamic and fluid nature of life we ended back in our home-base in the Jefferson room. One problem, we brought smaller room appropriate products to showcase a modest size (and priced) system. After a momentary VPI huddle with our friend Ze'ev from Pure Audio Project speakers and Tim from Luminous Audio, we decided to push this modest system to the limit with four times the size!
The original plan was to run our new VPI Voyager Phono Preamplifier with both aCliffwood, and upgraded Prime Scout in white to match the PureAudioProject Speakers. In the late hour of set-up on Thursday we broke down the dialed in system and made our transition to the larger room. We also decided the system would need a bit of an upgrade and were fortunate enough to borrow a VPI customer's Avenger Reference turntable. Don't worry we brought all the essentials! A "Fat-boy" and a box of Rice Krispy treats.
With some fine tuning, hard work, and quality products we were able to fire up the system in the Jefferson room and were extremely surprised with the results. The Trio15TB open baffle with TanBand drivers measured up filling the room without a problem.
We switched between the modest priced Cliffwood at 900 USD to show where you could start in the audio chain. Avenger Reference ($20,000) with VPI "Fat-boy" ($6,000 complete) uni-pivot tonearm. This is the iteration and 99% near production arm that was expected to be seen at RMAF a few weeks earlier. A more refined version, the JMW Titan/Fat-boy features adjustable azimuth in the arm-tube, adjustable side-weights, fine adjustment on VTF, and stabilizer. We also used the Tr-lift accessory from Integrity Hi-Fi.
Showing both tables also demonstrated how easy it is to use the new VPI Voyager Phono- Preamplifier from the mind of our electrical engineer Mike Bettinger. The Voyager has two inputs being independent and MM/MC. Making it easy to run aGrado (MM) in one input and an Ortofon Windfeld (MC) in the other with each having their proper loading.
Using Luminous Audio Axiom line stage as well as their interconnects, we pumping out the Game of Thrones music just like last year. While we didn't have the same dynamics and sound stage as last year, it was still respectable, enjoyable, and musical at $300,000 less!
I was surprised by the Intervention Records recording of Joe Jackson "Summer in the City". I briefly heard this recording during a small event we had in our showroom and took a chance bringing it with us to CAF. It ended up being one of the more popular records we had playing. Others were Analogue Production's recording of Beach Boy's Surfer Girl album. Speaking of records, we have to give an honorable mention to Wax Rax for letting us use one of their record stand accessories, "Now Playing Album Cover Stand".
We hope everyone had just as much fun as we did in our room and we are already looking forward to CAF 2018!
We really can't wait for some more Smash Burger! Guest appearance by Eric Astor of Furnace Records and Eric Lader, and enthusiastic swell VPI customer!
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