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Capital Audiofest 2017: Odyssey chases the bull

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The Story

The story is value. Plain and simple. You have a total budget of $10k and you want all the magic and power you can get, then look no further and accept no substitutes. Klaus Bunge of Odyssey Audio has been on a crusade to eliminate what he calls the bullshit from the audiophile hobby for over a few decades now, and he shows no signs of slowing down, or relenting to the onslaught of value promising competitors that wash in and out like waves at on the beach, yet steady as a rock Klaus remains. Still in my opinion (and many others) Odyssey is the go to source for a one brand killer sound, done simple, and on a budget.  Klaus often demonstrated at CAF with a system that retails for $7,795 when purchased à la carte, but like at most shows the system is available as a package deal for only $6,900 dollars, and it includes a full set of Groneberg cables (not featured here at Capital Audiofest).

In the darkness of his exhibit room at CAF I overheard Klaus say that he has done over 130 audio shows. I can’t attest to what I heard being entirely accurate, it was dark as hell, there was Roger Waters playing on the hi-fi, and Klaus has a strong German accent. If that is true, it makes perfect sense as to why Klaus’ rooms at audio shows are known for having fantastic sound on the regular. Experience matters when it comes to exhibiting. Early on Friday of this years CAF I made my way into Klaus’ room and he was not pleased with the sound he was getting. Room anomalies and more, he wasn’t feeling it. Klaus knows what’s going on here, and so do I, he’s chasing the dragon, or better yet, the bull.

I say bull, because of Chicago. Where just this year at Axpona, Klaus and his Odyssey gear had one of the best sounds at the show, and probably the best sound Klaus has ever gotten from his exhibits. It was tremendous and you should have been there. Himself setting a high watermark for his presentations, Klaus’ competitive nature haunts him, petitioning him to repeat or top his own superior acts of audio heroism. Knowing this, I tell him, “See you tomorrow sir.”

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The Sound

He’s done it. What I heard in brief on Friday, the slightly off-center image, the unfocused nature of the treble, all was back in order. Bass was linear and sounded efficient, like every movement of the woofer was being heard loud and clear. Klaus staying up late on Friday night, tackling the room abnormalities, had everything room back in order on Saturday and was making a strong case for new lessons learned at Axpona. Klaus’ approach to the room at CAF was different than in 2016, and was better for it. Who said old dogs can’t learn new tricks?

Listening to Heart’s “Sing Child” I was reminded of how perfectly Odyssey Kimets do the full gambit of percussion instruments. For essentially being a sheep in wolves clothing (aka monitor inside of a tower’s body), you really do get all the extension and realism associated with larger speakers. Also of note, today there was something new in the chain, Klaus was exhibiting with Magnan Audio Cables of Muncie, Indiana. No extra color or effect that I can tell was added by them, and nothing was removed or veiled itself from the objective statements made by records we played, in fact, much of it was very emotional. Doing what cables do best, I’m feeling that things were well-connected.

The System

Odyssey Kismet Beryllium Reference Loudspeakers $4,200 pr USD
Odyssey Khartago Mono-Block Amplifiers $1,995 pr USD
Odyssey Candela Tube Preamplifier $1,600 USD
Magnan Audio Power, Interconnect and Speaker Cables

 

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2 Comments on Capital Audiofest 2017: Odyssey chases the bull

  1. Odyssey: Nice. As is Mr. Klaus Bunge’s commitment to great sound -proving it’s within reach to many.

    Quite unusually is the showing of the Magna cables -far too expensive for what it is and a 180-degree from the objective of Mr. Bunge’s Odyssey gear?

    Other than the high-priced cabling, the Odyssey gear appears to offer excellent performance and value -rare these days.

    pj.

  2. You failed to mention the very important- the source ($$$$ turntable).

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