CAF 2013: Robyatt Audio (updated!)

Will it spoil it much if I say that this was my favorite room? Probably. Oh well.

It was incredible.

Robin Wyatt of Robyatt Audio had a pair of Quad ESL-63 loudspeakers, reconditioned and then some, by Electrostatic Solutions. The refurb also included a pair of stands, so positioning was pretty much perfect. This is the second time I’ve found Robin showing off a pair of vintage Quads, thoroughly reconditioned. It’s mind blowing how good these loudspeakers still are. There’s nothing like them out there (except maybe new ones) — they’re going on my to-do list, for sure.

The speakers had the good fortune to be run from an all-Miyajima audio set up, featuring an all-new vacuum tube pre, the EC-5 ($4,995), and a pair of the Model 2010 OTL amps ($9,995) that I saw a few Years ago in New York. These amps are soooo pretty. Oh, I want them with a big hunk of burning want. El Corazon, by Don Cherry and Ed Blackwell, was otherworldly.

In Robin’s room, I picked up an LP from Robin from Peter Ledermann’s DirectGrace Label. Flower By The Dry River from Elio Villafranca & The Jass Syncopators is a double 33rpm record — the album looked interesting, and was the only LP I picked up at the show. The label seemed interesting, too, especially given my recent tirade. Ahem.

DirectGrace Records is a unique music recording company that weds a passion for high-end vinyl recording to charitable giving. Dedicated to the world’s most at-risk children, 100% of the profits from the sale of each unique, high-definition record goes to organizations rescuing children from extreme forms of slavery and poverty, engaging them in “best practices”.

On the custom TW Acustic GT, here with a Black Night platter and feet, I found a pair of Miyajima carts hung off the twin Raven tonearms: the magnificent Kansui ($3,600) and the new Takumi ($1,800).

On the big vintage Grey Research turntable (NFS) was “the best cartridge in the world”, a Miyajima Zero ($1,995). This was a honkin’ big ‘table, and Robin was very smug about scoring it, saying that decades of R&D had still not significantly bettered it.

TelWire cabling was used throughout.