Let’s be clear: Jeff Catalano is banned — BANNED! — from getting mentioned for “best in show” for at least a year. We’re just going to have to give him a Grand Master Lifetime Achievement in Audio Badassery award and walk away. He’s in his own category from now on. This isn’t just about his usual gear, either. He teamed up with Paul Manos of High Fidelity Services in Chicago for a system that was a change of pace from the familiar tubes’n’horns.
Paul’s lines did the heavy lifting. Solid state Audia Flight electronics (a $65,000 pair of Strumento No.8 amps and a $17,500 Strumento No.1 preamplifier) pushed some Verity Amadis S speakers ($34,000) for a more modern take on HiFi than Jeff’s usual gear. Jeff provided the sources, with a Miyajima Madake ($5,900) mounted on the familiar, white TW-Acustic turntable and tonearm. A production example of TW-Acustic’s new, adjustable eq, solid state phono stage ($17,500) handled the preamp duties.
And how was it?
I could tell you that it was tight, fast, and exciting. Or I could repeat that Jeff Catalano is banned — BANNED! — from getting mentioned for “best in show” for at least a year.