If you were lucky, in-the-know, or possibly even lost at the show, you might have stumbled upon Michael Chafee Enterprises‘ absolute stunner of an exhibition room at the Florida Audio Expo. Generally it’s the system which demands a story, and not to say this one does not meet that criteria, I can’t help but defer to another subject. The true story of this exhibit room, is in fact Michael Chafee himself.
Michael Chafee has a long and legendary career as a manufacturers representative for nearly more brands than I am willing to list here. By the time he stepped away from the life as a road-warrior, he had gathered forty-four years of experience with brand marketing, along with a masterful expertise in system design and tuning. Michael Chafee has tuned and calibrated over 300 home theaters, recording studios, mastering rooms, sound reinforcement systems, and commercial movie theaters. Michael is TEF licensee #13 worldwide, attending the landmark Richard Heyser seminar in 1979. He is known to use many advanced measurement systems, the most important being his ears.
He also serves as the audio consultant for the Audio Engineering Society Convention’s Special Events Room, bringing his years of varied experience to deliver audiophile quality reproduction for the opening ceremonies, and presentations by the world’s greatest recording and mastering engineers, record producers, scholars, and musicians.
Changing direction, I can’t help but mention two of the electronics devices that intrigued me most. Those would be the TC Electronics BMC-2 monitor controller and Gyraf Audio Gyratec G23-S equalizer. The Benchmark and Genelec, to my knowledge, are fairly well known inside of the home electronics culture-sphere. Many audiophiles use Benchmark and Genelec products in their systems, or home studios. So explaining anything more about them, in the shadow of my current intrigue is mute.
The TC Electronics BMC-2 monitor Controller seems like the fantastic desktop (or nearfield) solution for DAC duties, along with headphone based systems. Even though this was used in conjunction with a monitoring system that was optimized and tuned for a larger service area, I doubt I would want to utilize its functions in the same manner.
The Gyratec G23-S is a tilt-type equalizer, where an added selectable option for either solid-state or tubes in the audio path is available. The G23 family of equalizers are aimed at situations where you have a mix that is already nearly-perfect balanced, but you want it a tad darker or brighter without messing up the overall definition. How it was used in this “live” playback system, is foreign to me, but exceedingly tempting for experimentation.
Imaging was completely natural, and cohesion across the coaxial 3-way driver complement was focused and full-range. The subwoofer integrated completely without flaw, but I do not know what the crossover point was, and/or if the subwoofer was even needed. I moved around the room, often positioning myself off-axis and found the loss of imaging to be minimal compared to non-concentric designs. My take-away gut-feeling, this system belongs in my home. Detailed, fast, and powerful. As long as Michael comes out to tune it.
– DAC3 DX Digital-to-Analog Converter
– Gyratec G23-S “Ambler” Tilt Equalizer w/Solid State Option
– BMC-2 Monitor Controller and DAC with Calibrated Referencing and Jitter Reduction
– The Ones 8341 SAM™ Coaxial Studio Monitors w/ Subwoofer (self-amplified)
Digital Source by Oppo