New York 2014: High Fidelity Services with Audia Flight and a new Parsifal


Legacy_at_NY_Audio_Show_2014In what turned out to be a rather ironic moment, I was flipping through Facebook this morning and saw that Art Dudley had visited High Water Sounds‘ Jeff Catalano’s demo room at the New York Show and had walked away with a great impression, but no photos. “Ha!” I chortled to myself, and then when to browse my rather enormous archive of photos … and found that while I do have some photos, the ones I wanted were utter crap. So much for my smart-alec self.

Anyway, I did manage a few photos, thankfully. And that’s a good thing because this room was both “very good” and “very surprising”.

The latter bit, first: seeing Jeff out of his wheelhouse is pretty hilarious. I want it noted that I actually saw Jeff play CDs on the Zanden Audio Model 2500 signature ($22,500) player, and for the record, no one was holding a gun to his head. Pretty remarkable in itself. Just prior to that, I caught the new flagship Miyajima cartridge, called Madake ($5,900). This cartridge has the unique (?) design of using a bamboo cantilever, instead of metal or stone, which supposedly provides superior resonance control. This cart was mounted on the well-loved TW Acustic Raven GT SE ($12,500), here kitted out with a pair of Raven tonearms ($5,500 each) — the other arm was carrying a Miyajima Zero ($2,000), a mono cartridge that Michael Fremer has been raving about.

Guess what? Both experiences — analog and digital — were downright excellent.

The accompanying electronics, sourced from Paul Manos’ High Fidelity Services, had a tremendous impact here. An Audia Flight Phono Preamp ($5,995) was paired with the matching Strumento No1 preamplifier ($17,500) and hulking 200wpc (doubling into 4Ω and again into 2) Strumento No4 amplifier ($27,500). I haven’t had much experience with the Italian brand, but Audia Flight made a big impression here.

The new Verity Audio Parsifal Anniversary ($25k/pair) boasts a frequency response from 25Hz-50kHz, a 1″ dual-ring tweeter, a 5″ midrange and a rear-firing bass-reflex woofer cabinet with an 8″ driver. Overal, the system is 89dB and 8Ω nominal, with a recommended amplifier output of >18watts. The cabinet is a sleek, upward swoop and here finished in a luxurious piano-black.

I can’t pull apart any particular component for exaltation or crucifixion, so let me use that as a bracket around my general reaction, which was “Wow”.

This room’s sound was very dynamic, impactful, and linear. Definitely one of the best at the show!












About Scot Hull 1062 Articles
Scot started all this back in 2009. He is currently the Publisher here at PTA, the Publisher at The Occasional Magazine, and the Executive Producer at The Occasional Podcast. There are way too many words about him over on the Contributors page.

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