GTT Audio brought the big guns to the NYAV show. YG, Soulution, Brinkmann … size, power, skill — it was like a parking a Navy warship in the middle of a carnival. Let’s just say they got some attention.
This room was way bigger than the last time I’d seen the mighty $119,000-a-pair Anat III “Professional Signature” loudspeakers from YG, here in a custom titanium finish. The Waldorf=Astoria saw the speakers well off the front wall and, happily, still a good 12-15’ back from the front row of listeners (though I think they could have slipped another 5’ in there with no penalty).
I know it’s a party when I lay eyes on On a Higher Note‘s Philip O’Hanlon. “Dapper” is the word the comes to mind, and quite frankly, it’s not a word that comes to mind very often. But very few men can carry off a bowtie, vest and feathered cap, and this dapper Irishman is one. It doesn’t hurt that he also has fantastic taste in music.
Today, he was slinging vinyl around on his Brinkmann turntables, which is a bit jarring as I’m far more accustomed to see Philip with his trademark mix-CDs full of some audiophile rarities, oddballs, and mainlines — all spectacularly recorded.
No, today it was all a stack of 45rpm reissues which he shuffled like a blackjack dealer at a Vegas card table. His “green felt” today was a $24,000 Brinkmann Balance turntable, configured with a $7,500 Brinkmann 12.1 tonearm and a $15,000 Air Tight PC1 Supreme cartridge. The $10,000 Brinkmann Bardo with Brinkmann tonearm and a Shelter cartridge stood by, ready for duty, but I didn’t hear it on any of the three trips I made through the room.
Power delivery and line signaling came from Soulution: $55,000 501 monoblocks and matching $45,000 720 preamp. Discs could have been played from the $32,5000 Soulution 540 SACD player in the rack, but I was only treated to vinyl on my visits.
$100,000 of cables came from Kubala-Sosna’s Elation lineup.
At AXPONA, I thought the Anats, both visually and aurally, created a wave of sound that threatened to swamp the listener (think: Poseidon Adventure), but here at NYAV, the room was far more coherent and approachable. The sound was dynamic and detailed with no sterility or coldness, and Philip, ever the showman, put the system through its paces with elegance and aplomb to the delight of, well, me. I really enjoyed my time here and as this room was the most consistently full the entire 3 days of the show, I got the feeling that the rest of the ‘goers appreciated it too.