Florida 2019: Mobile Fidelity, Primare, Dr. Feickert, Koestu, Cardas, SolidSteel

I love me some Bill Evans jazz so this was a really fun room.  Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs is putting out a “One Step” album of his Portrait in Jazz and they had for us listeners an early gift: a MoFi test pressing of the album: Yowza!  The detail and dynamics were fantastic! Beautiful piano timbre.

Loads of bass for a tiny cabinet.

The Falcon “BBC LS3/5a” monitor ($3k) was producing a big sound out of impossibly small monitors on stands.  Apparently, these Falcons are the product of Malcolm Young (he was the #2 guy at KEF) doing his best to create the classic LS3/5a design as precisely as possible.  In the company’s own words…

The drive units are the renowned Falcon B110, and the Falcon T27 tweeter, both designed by Malcolm Jones, the original designer of the KEF B110 and KEF T27 that were specified in the original 15 ohm LS3/5a version designed by the BBC. Both drive units are handmade in the UK to ensure the highest quality, grading and consistency, and are identical to the original LS3/5a drive units. They are unique to Falcon.
The matched 15 ohm BBC Specification FL6/23 filter networks are made exclusively by Falcon in the original transformer-style to BBC Specification and contain inductors specially made in Britain for Falcon to the original specification.
 The cabinets are hand made from specially selected graded Baltic Ply, and use selected grade Beech fillets. They are British made to BBC Specification, and are available in a variety of natural wood veneers (see below for pictures of current veneers) with a Tygan Cloth front grille.
 Falcon Acoustics LS3/5a’s are sold in matched pairs only, and are supplied with an Instruction Manual, Individually Numbered Certificate of Authenticity and come with a 5 year Guarantee.

The cabinet is a compact 305mm H x 190mm W x 165mm D. Weight is at 5.35 kgs each box.  Tweeter is a Falcon T27 and the midwoofer is 138mm B110, both drivers graded and computer matched.   Sensitivity is 83db. Frequency response is 70hz to 20khz. +/- 3db.

The Mobile Fidelity Distribution team had put together a really nice sounding $15k system perfect for downtown condominium living featuring on analog a Dr. Feickert Volare turntable ($3,495) and a $1,500 Koetsu Black cartridge.  Phono stage was the MoFi Studio which Norbert Schmied called the best $1,200 phono stage out there!  LOL, he’s joking because it’s only $295.  But honestly, it sounded a lot better than that.

Digital was a DAC/streamer built into the Primare I25 integrated ($3,995).  In Primare’s own words:

At the heart of this DAC stage is the new flagship of AKM’s Verita series, the AK4497EQ chipset, a premium 32-bit stereo DAC, incorporating the companies VELVET SOUNDTM technology, and capable of achieving -128dB (stereo) S/N and -116dB THD+N, while supporting up to 768kHz PCM and 22.4MHz DSD. This ability to handle higher resolution file formats will allow for the potential of future software upgrades.

This piece uses the new reworked Class D amplification of the UFPD 2 circuit.  This integrated provides a very linear 100 watts into 8 ohms.  The focus is on the power supplies and keeping the signal path as short as possible using 2 and 4 layer boards and surface mount components where possible.  The OLED display was created using automotive technology to ensure long life.

Jonathan Derda cued up Yello’s Touch album at my request using the terrific-sounding Qobuz streaming service.  On” Till Tomorrow”, trumpet player Til Bronner filled the room with superb detail and spot-on trumpet timbre.  The Primare digital performance was sublime.

Jonathan next cued up the Wailin’ Jennys singing Neil Young’s “Old Man”. This was spectacular.  Guitars with presence and rich layers of vocals.

Cabling was provided by the seemingly omni-present Cardas Clear and the new Nautilus power strip.  Equipment racks were by SolidSteel.  I use a SolidSteel amp stand.  Norbert explained that SolidSteel originated from an Italian manufacturer of motorcycle frames.  I know their stuff to be solid.

What else can I say?  Another great stand-mount showing in Tampa.  Nice work Norbert Schmied and Jonathan Derda and the ever-present, always-friendly Cardas “Joshela ™” team!

About Lee Scoggins 118 Articles
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Lee got interested in audio listening to his Dad’s system in the late 70s and he started making cassettes from LPs. By the early 80s he got swept up in the CD wave that was launching which led to a love of discs from Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs. Later while working on Wall Street in the 90s, Lee started working on blues, jazz and classical sessions for Chesky Records and learned record engineering by apprenticeship. Lee was involved in the first high resolution recordings which eventually became the DVD-Audio format. Lee now does recordings of small orchestras and string quartets in the Atlanta area. Lee's current system consists of Audio Research Reference electronics and Wilson Audio speakers.