Capital Audiofest 2016: Daedalus goes BorderPatrol, stirring wood

I suppose it shouldn’t have been surprising to see, but the team-up between two American-Made brands was unexpected — and delightfully so.

Daedalus loudspeakers, a visually striking example of modern design meets retro styling, paired with BorderPatrol electronics, a visually striking example of modern design meets retro styling. Like I said, I should have seen that one coming.

A Daedalus loudspeaker is iconic — all-natural all-wood cabinets. No veneers. No paint. Just a towering sculpture of nature’s finest, outfitted almost PA-like with high-sensitivity drivers. BorderPatrol is equally iconic, all 300b-based vacuum tube amplifiers, the warm thermionic glow belied by a bass-grip and top-end extension that “ought not be possible” to wring from such a tube. Together. Sweet! And to ice this All-American cake, it was all tied together with Triode Wire Labs — more on TWL soon, as I have a full set to play with — but I can tell you up front that this is some of the least expensive and highest caliber wire currently available in today’s high-end.

The sound here was pretty familiar, I’ll have to admit. Ha! Fine — yes, this is perilously close to the system I reviewed not too long ago and was very happy with, so I’ll refer you to the link for more detailed comments.

In-room, the sound was warm and inviting — this was an absolutely non-fatiguing set up arranged for all-day immersion. Well. It almost depended on who was running the room — Gary Dews of BorderPatrol, Pete Grzybowski of Triode Wire Labs, or Lou Hinkley of Daedalus Audio, the triumvirate responsible for the room. I heard, by turns, rich renditions of “female vocals”, audio show standards from Mark Knopfler, and some loud-as-hell ZZ Top. Music range? Handled. This was a kick-ass room.

Daedalus Audio

  • Athena v2 loudspeakers: $11,850
  • DiD: Daedalus Isolation Devices: $480/set


  • BorderPatrol 1543 DAC: $1250
  • BorderPatrol Control Unit Preamplifier: $6,500
  • BorderPatrol P20 EXD stereo amplifier: $16,750

Triode Wire Labs

  • Obsession Power Cord: $1,299
  • Silver Statement Power Cord: $1,199
  • Gold Statement Power Cord: $999
  • Seven Plus Power Cords: $549 each
  • Ten Plus Power Cords: $399 each
  • American Speaker Cables: $699/set
  • Spirit Interconnects: $349/set
  • Spirit 75 S/PDIF: $349 each