Here at CAF, Jeff was showing his sensible side. One of his distributors, Paul Manos of High Fidelity Services, was on hand to demo Neat Acoustics and Audia Flight, and together, they put on a tasty spread here for those of us interested in picnicking in the high-end, but still wanting to send our kids to college.
Of particular interest were a pair of stand mount loudspeakers, the $1,095/pair Neat Iota minis dressed up in startling white, and a pair of $3,495/pair Neat Momentum 3i. The Iota, a 2-way bass reflex with a planar magnetic ribbon tweeter, is 6Ω and 84dB efficient. These guys are intended to be used near walls or on bookshelves to take advantage of those acoustically challenging placements to fill out their response. Paired here with an MJ Acoustics Pro50 MkIII sub ($895), the sound was surprisingly lively and engaging.
All in all, this room was and remained one of those talked-about destinations with the little Iota loudspeakers coming up again and again in casual conversation. A truly hi-fi speaker for a grand? Yes, indeedy!
Working back from the source, the server was the Command PC Premier and featured an external linear “triple power supply” to drive the CPU, USB card and the motherboard, all separately. The USB connection was made via Wireworld cables into an Audia Flight FL Three integrated (with DAC and Phono — $4,095) to create the sound for us.
The visually striking Vicoustic panels caught my eye — these Super Bass Extreme panels are made to straddle corners, and provide both low-frequency absorption and high-frequency diffusion. As a bonus, they’re also tuned as Helmholtz resonators, a frequency damping tool that tracks with volume. Price for these attractive boxes is $275 each. Vicoustic makes a series of absorbers/diffusors, including the Multifusor 64 I saw on my way in the room, a large solid-wood QRD wall panel that works between 300Hz and 8kHz ($415 each). Given the success some demo rooms have had with nothing but diffusors, I’ve been wondering if too much damping is a bad thing — diffusors are now on my to-do list.
Off to the side, Jeff and Paul had set up a small system built around TEAC electronics and an Aurender X100L-6TB Music Server ($3,495), and Paul showed me a little TEAC headphone amp, tethered to a portable phone. Pretty cool stuff.
Wireworld Cables were used throughout. The rack in the main rig came from Custom Design, while the small table rack came from Milan Reference.