Highlights of the 2011 Capital
Here's some of the
audio equipment that was shown at the Capital AudioFest in Rockville,
MD. Most of this stuff is really expensive. But it's nice to see that
the spirit of innovation is still alive, even with a down economy.
Dan D'Agostino's amps
pack tremendous dynamic capabilities. If you think your system is
underpowered, these amps can produce 2200 watts of dynamic power into a
one ohm load.
The Wilson speakers can recreate a grand
piano with a level of realism unlike anything you've probably ever
The Audience speakers are way
better than their appearance might suggest.
Here's a view showing the passive
radiator on the Audience speaker.
The McIntosh equipment has the same look
as it has had for decades.
Meridian showed one of the most fun to use
media servers, with touch screen capabilities.
Meridian makes a small
speaker with the amps and crossovers combined with the speaker.
The Surreal Sound
speakers (the smaller tower on the right) was one of the best sounding
at the show. They use extremely light materials, including a modified
Heil tweeter, for very fast transient response.
Polk's speakers had beautiful fit and
Polk's cutaway of their upcoming LSiM
speaker showed impressive construction quality.
The MBL speakers were certainly some of
the most unusual ones on display.
Deja Vu Audio from McLean showed some
very retro looking, but modern sounding, equipment.
A refreshing change from the huge amps at
the show were the small and attractive Synthesis amps. This one is an
integrated amp. These are made in Italy, but Deja Vu in McLean is the
Horn loaded speakers were quite prominent
at the show. These are made in Maine by Volti Audio.
Some of the most amazing sounding pieces
of equipment were the Border Patrol amps. These reproduce music with a
really effortless quality. These are designed and assembled locally.
Another interesting product being
represented was the upcoming DaVinci digital to analogue converter. It
handles sampling rates up to 384K. It wasn't really hard to hear the
difference when sampling rates were switched. A deeper and taller
soundstage, and a more airy sound quality was apparent with the higher