High End 2016: Air Tight makes Blumenhofer sing


This was a great show for Blumenhofer Acoustics, and the matching with Air Tight was the best I’ve heard in recent times. Not that other years they offered bad sound, but this time around the pair of ATM-3 monos driven by the ATE-2 preamp and a gorgeous Pluto Audio 10A with 2A tonearm and ZYX 4D cartridge, showed absolutely no discrepancy between the horn loaded tweeter and the big woofer, the usual culprit of Blumenhofer’s issues.

The Genuin FS 1 MK 2 sounded great with both the show classic Hugh Masekela Hope LP and with the Sheffiled Lab Drum Record. It had punch, timbre and detail boxes all checked, it actually sounded far more organic than other years. Some credit must be attributed to the Pluto analog front end and the ZYX cartridge. While ZYX manufactures notoriously good cartridges (and remains my personal choice), I am not sure how many are aware of the fantastic tables and arms made by Dutch designer Eddy Driessen. He has been making tonearms for more than 40 years and let me tell you that they are marvelous, same goes for his tables which never took the gargantuesque fashion of nowadays.

Show curiosity, a single huge horn speaker was sitting at the room entrance, Andrea Vitali of Blumenhofer told me that it was part of a client’s system and after the show would make for the two front channels of a 5.1 arrangement. Not sure if Andrea in typical Italian fashion was trying to be funny but here you go, huge horns are good for home theater systems too!

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