Gershman, VAC, Nordost, Audio Technica with the Titan at Axpona 2018
We can thank Ofra Gershman from Gershman Acoustics for getting me on a plane to Chicago this year. With the recent addition to my family I was on the fence about Axpona this year not wanting to miss any milestone daddy moments. Receiving a call from Ofra and the idea of creating music with the Gershmans and long time friends at Valve Amplification Company / VAC and Nordost Cable made me think twice about Axpona 2018.
The system was featuring the top echelon of the Gershman, VAC, and Nordost product-line. With their stunning Posh speakers at the forefront of the system, nothing less than a VPI Titan seemed appropriate for this match up. The timing couldn't have been better since we recently started shipping our "Fatboy" Tonearm and a lot of people have been anxious for a live demonstration.
Another sign the planets were all in alignment, we don't usually have a Titan sitting around but one was about to ship for review and was literally sitting in-front of me! We snatched up the Titan, (sorry Dave Robinson! over at Positive Feedback) and with a little help from our new dealer, the Audio Surgeon, the Titan made its way out to Chicago for some deep dish and music!
Besides the hefty weight of everyone's products, installation was quick and relatively painless! Eli from Gershman and Kevin from VAC had a chance to flex their muscles and help me get the Titan assembled. We didn't realize how much the Posh speakers and Titan ascetically matched until they were next to each-other. They are truly a perfect visual (and musical) match!
Some fine adjustment and dialing in we had our Audio-Technica ART1000 Direct Power Cartridge ready to spin on the Titan. In the past I found the ART to be a bit fussy with the through holes, but this installation was extremely easy and fast to dial in. The ART and Fatboy Gimbal was a fantastic match both in set-up and sound being beyond rewarding for the music.
Kevin Hayes, owner and operator of VAC configured his electronics with the appropriate settings for the Audio Technical ART 1000. Having multiple inputs on the VAC phono, it is a shame we didn't have a second arm-board! Nothing like the warmth of tubes to make up for cold Chicago weather.
Fired up with music all respective manufacturers were able to subtly dial in each components to accommodate the room and achieve the sound signature we were lookign for. I was very impressed with how versatile the Posh speakers are and how much you can adjust them for the room. One visitor thought that Gershman and VPI coordinated on the designs of our products because of how well the industrial design matched with each-other, I guess great minds think a like!
At first blush we were worried about the base not having enough dynamics, I only mention this because you should always let their system run before being hyper critical! Roughly 30-45 minutes all components started to come alive and the expected punch and dynamics fell right into place. We spun the usual musical suspects to make sure we were satisfied. David Brubeck was first up with the layering of instrumentals and wide sound stage. Topped of with a 45 test pressing of Peter, Paul, and Marry. The imaging was dead on and Marry's voice was a natural and detailed as can be.
While we are all in this industry for the music, it is the people that really make it great! Having a chance to finally spend some real time and get to know the Gershmans was the highlight for me about this year's 2018 Axpona! Looking forward to playing more music with this top notch team and very happy I received that call from Ofra that twisted my arm to come out to Chicago this year!