CAF 2011: D’Agostino, Wilson, Nordost, Meridian
I almost missed the JS Audio room, tucked away back into the corner of the hotel. I happened upon it by following the Gentleman Dan D’Agostino back to the room (all surreptitious-like) and I’m really glad I did. The sound in this room was amazing.
Wilson’s Peter McGrath was doing demos all weekend long — except during the time I came by, of course. Sheesh. Anyway, I did get a chance to quiz Gentleman Dan on a couple of things:
1. No, it generally is not okay to lick an amplifier regardless of how drop-dead sexy it is.
2. No, there is no such thing as a “breeding pair” of D’Agostino amplifiers.
3. I need to ask better questions.
I did find out that D’Agostino will be releasing a stereo version of his luscious Momentum monos (pictured lovingly below), and, happily, the price will come down dramatically — Dan mentioned a $25k price point. Features will be very similar to the monos, as will the look and feel. Likewise, at around that same time frame (this fall, campers!), D’Agostino will also release a preamplifier and a stand-alone phono preamp, too. Again, the $25k price point was mentioned as a target — for each. While that certainly prices out yours truly, all you budding oligarchs now have something to put on your aspiration-list.
BTW, yes, I did get my autographed D’Agostino Momentum poster. It’s sitting on top of a 2nd reflection panel as I type!
But with looks like this … wow. Can’t touch this!
Wilson Sashas were cranking out the sobering and altogether too weighty for my taste “tunes”, and I have to say that, while I was not a fan of the music, I couldn’t help but appreciate what those speakers were being asked to do — and how awesomely they delivered. I was captivated.
Later that morning, I chanced to hear a pair of audiophiles that had recently left that same room, discuss how the sound quality in the Wilson room was unbelievable — and they meant it in a bad way. The word “non-plussed” summed up my face, I guess, because they immediately asked me what I thought of “those Wilsons”. I shrugged and said I thought they were great! At which point — I shit you not — I got sniffed at and then both ‘philes turned their backs on me. Say, whaaa? Seriously? Sniffed at?
I guess Wilson is just one of those brands — you either love them or you don’t actually listen to them, instead taking comfort in your comfortable, borrowed biases like they’re some kind of magical armor. Whatever. The Wilsons sounded great. So there.
While I was in the room, the [insert superlative here] Meridian 808.3 was driving the D’Agostino amps directly, all wired up with an entire loom of Nordost Odin cables — speaker cables, interconnects and power cords, everything (Wow. Talk about some C-A-$-H). I had zero complaints about the sound quality.
Last but not least was this little Meridian gem I so desperately wanted to take home. He’s so cute! I think he’d look perfect on the kitchen counter, don’t you?