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CAS 2013: Napa Acoustic

CAS4Napa Acoustic was on hand to demonstrate, once again, that quality sound and affordability are not actually mutually exclusive. Stunningly, one could have walked out with everything in this room (three systems!) for less than $6,000. And the sound was truly nothing to sneeze at. Looking for an analog system for your office? Napa has put together a sweet little set up: NA-208A hybrid integrated amp ($399), NA-208S monitor speakers ($199), a Denon DF-300F turntable ($329), and 14 AWG speaker cable ($89). You can have a complete set-up for about $1,000. If digital's more your thing, you can replace the Denon turntable with Napa's NA-208C CD player ($399) and you're good to go! And it really sounds great, perfect for desktop listening. This was highly tempting for me as a second system for my desk at work.

What really intrigued me, though, was the larger system. I had never had a chance to hear the Bow-A2 floorstanding speakers ($2,299), and I was a bit blown away. These aren’t just “great for the price,” they are genuinely excellent. These were matched with Napa’s MT-34 integrated tube amp ($1,199) and outfitted with Napa Acoustic speaker cable ($249) and the NA-3900 Power Conditioner ($239). The source was the aforementioned NA-208C CD player. The Bow-A2s are very, very good looking, with high-gloss veneer. They feature two 4″ midrange drivers, a ribbon tweeter, a supertweeter in a separate enclosure on top, and a 10″ side-firing woofer. The various drivers integrated well, and the musical result was dynamic, exciting, and full-sounding. The MT-34 is also streamlined and visually appealing, with its shiny black casework and comfortably chunky volume knob. It struck me as sounding satisfyingly organic and a touch “tube-y,” but not so romantic that the music suffered. All in all, this set-up offers an exceedingly pleasant and rewarding bang for your buck.

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