There are quite a few high-end shows these days, so each is trying to find its own niche. Judging from last year’s event, CAS seems to be developing an intimate, friendly vibe. While it has fewer rooms than October’s Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, crowd sizes usually are manageable enough that there’s a good opportunity to get questions answered, demo multiple tracks and return to favorite systems for follow-ups.
Alpern was kind enough to let me sneak a listen to his system at midnight before opening day (!), and it will definitely have me returning for a full demo during the show.
The Audion stereo amps feature hand-wound output transformers and provide 8.2 watts per channel. Don’t call this a flea-watt amp, though. It’s more like an elephant, with the heft to drive even panel speakers, according to Alpern. They also are built (in France) like proverbial tanks, and recently survived falling off a truck with hardly even a scratch.
The Spatial speakers are said to be a good match to get the most from the single-ended 300Bs, with 100dB sensitivity and 4 ohm nominal impedance. The open-baffle design uses two 15-inch mid/woofers and a wide-bandwidth compression driver.
We’ll have more on this set-up, including the surprising price tags, as coverage gets under way this weekend. Part-Time Audiophile will have three writers on hand – myself and the veteran team of Mal Kenney and Kirsten Brodbeck-Kenney – to provide plenty of details and photos.
We’ll be posting frequently, so check back from time to time. Now where did I put my demo copy of “Back in Black?”