Notes from the New York Audio Show – TOP 5

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New York Audio Show: TOP 5 ROOMS

General Impressions

Everyone wants to know what’s the best, the top ten, the ones I would buy and all that stuff. So I will tell you, but with the caveat that it means nothing. I have been out of the audio business for a long time. But top 10’s are so the thing these days, and most the top 10s on the Internet are useless anyway. They are fun and easy to write. So, here are my Top 5 Rooms from the New York Audio Show.

 

Best high-end sounding room: 707

Well Please Audio, Rethm Bhaava speakersLinear Tube Audio, Aqua Audio, Anti Cables

Some people claim that you can’t really hear a difference with high-end audio. Those people have never heard a real high-end system with a “high-end sound.” Or they just think everything is a rip off. If your confused by comments like these, you must listen to good high-end. It is instantly recognizable. Usually, it’s achieved through some type of planar speakers, or exotic exorbitantly expensive equipment, but not always. There is a sense of magic, pleasure and honor you feel when you hear it. You feel privileged. You hear it in this room. The Aqua Audio and little Rethm speakers are, if I can revive dead expression, awesome.

 

 

Most musical room: 714

Audio Note

I knew the Audio Note was going to be good. How could it not be, the engineering that goes into it is mad; Frankenstein mad. My interview meandered a bit perhaps. I was out of my league, what can I say. But when I went back to listen, I found myself forgetting about the gear and listening to the music. I wasn’t there long but I knew. This is how I choose my own gear. If I had to live with a system (from the show) for the rest of my life, and I didn’t have to worry about the cost, this would be my system.

 

Honorable Mention: 801

Ohm

If your not going to be sitting there on the edge of your seat in your dedicated audio room scrutinizing the sound, accuracy, imaging and all that; but you do want your system to sound like a live band is playing in your living room or tiny apartment while you work on your computer, or chill with an IPA. Perhaps money is a concern, or you don’t care about being in with the audiophile crowd and just love music; maybe you want something a little weird, a little cool, something unique… you just want the music of the spheres man. You want Ohm.

 

Best Surprise: 803

Plus Audio USA

This little Project turntable with an Ortophon red cartridge sitting on top of a powered heavily dampened speaker, reminds me of an old Mercedes 280SL convertible. Yes, it seems like the perfect Sugar Daddy purchase – fit for the Millennial hipster suddenly into Vinyl, but it’s more than that. Just like the 280SL was. It’s actually really cool.

 

Best Ugly Duckling: 701

Fidelis AV

I walked into this room and I thought I was in a time warp. The ugly little Harbeth speaker and extraordinary musical sound emanating from them, took me back to the high-end boutique audio stores that used to dot the Bay Area in the late 80s. Fidilis is indeed an old style dealer. Back in the day tailoring a system to the individual was the hallmark of a quality retailer. If you want someone to hold your hand through the process and your ok if you don’t end up with Absolute Sound or Stereophile’s top 10, this is the place my friend. Besides, you know how I feel about top 10 lists.