CAF 2018: MoFi, Tenacious Sound and a Whole Lotta Real Estate

Tenacious Sound, one of my old dealers out of Syracuse, New York, has been busy expanding over the last couple of years–owner Shayne Tenace has moved his base of operation into Augusta, Georgia and has just purchased a store in Jacksonville, Florida. Shayne teamed with industry stalwarts such as Jonathan Derda from MoFi and Lenny Mayeux from Audience to make a big presence at the 2018 Cap[ital Audiofest. Tenacious Sound had a total of eight systems set up in four separate rooms, covering nearly all price points.

An Audio System in Every Pot

The Tenacious systems ranged from a Primare I15 Prisma ($1999) with Wharfedale Diamond 11.4 loudspeakers ($1199/pair) to the big guns in the Lincoln Room–assorted gear from TAD, BAT, Wolf Audio, Isotek, Feickert and, Soundsmith. The in-between rigs were heavy on Quad, Primare and Audience and all sounded great. Oh yes, there was the new Unison Research Due integrated amplifier/DAC ($3500) in room 319–my last official act as an importer and distributor was to deliver this to Shayne for the show some months ago.

One system in particular compelled me to sit and stay and relax. This included the TAD E1TX loudspeakers ($28,995/pair), TAD c600 preamplifier ($40,000), TAD M600 monoblocks ($75,000/pair), the BAT REX DAC ($19,995) the Wolf Audio Alpha 3 media server ($6000), Isotek EVO3 Mosaic Genesis power conditioner ($10,000) and a Feickert Analogue Firebird turntable with an Origin Live Arm and Peter Ledermann’s brilliant Soundsmith Hyperion 2 cartridge ($8000). Everything was wired with Audience’s top-of-the-line Front Row series cables. Big guns, indeed.

Hug Me, Fiona

Jonathan Derda played some absolutely stunning tracks for me, and I was embraced by a big, warm full sound that was relaxing and even a tad hypnotizing. He played an interesting album for me–a new reissue of Fiona Apple’s Tidal from the Vinyl Me, Please label. I scribbled a note telling me to buy this ASAP. I haven’t done it yet, but I will.

This was one of the last rooms I visited at CAF, and it came at the right time. I’ve really liked the TAD speakers for a long time, and it was a pleasure to hear both the E1TX and the smaller but no less impressive ME ($14,995/pair). I also have my eye on that beautiful little Feickert Volare turntable ($3500) that was playing tunes in one of the other rooms. Shayne brought plenty of great gear to show, and I’m pleased he’s becoming a major dealer in the US.