DALLAS (PTA) — Audio Crafters Guild (website coming soon) of Tulsa Oklahoma brought to Lone Star Audio Fest one of the classiest sounding loudspeakers at the show.
Norman Tracy is Audio Crafters Guild, which manufactures true hi-fi electronics and loudspeakers. Notice I said hi-fi and not high-end — because Mr. Tracy aims to deliver as much true fidelity as possible while still keeping his prices reasonable. So much so, that during my listening I was almost upset by how under-priced his components are, considering the prices I encounter from so many other brands that don’t really come close sonically to Mr. Tracy’s AGC gear.
The rooms system is simple, and helmed by some really interesting demo models of his existing 700 NTJ-FET Analog Signal Processor preamplifier and two-chassis 1000 Series Monoblock amplification. The preamp uses NuTube 6P1+J-FET amplification. The NuTube 6P1 is a direct heated triode, in combination with low noise J-FETs, the total sound signature of the system is stunning. Power amplification is ACG’s 100 Series Monoblock amps, and for the show were equipped with optional energy banks. Source was a laptop running JRiver feeding a Soekris Engineering ApS Discrete R2R DAC. The equipment rack is an ACG design that is CNC machined from Baltic birch plywood.
The AGC NT10 monitor rounds out the system and is inspired by the Yamaha NS10 of yore. Like the NS10 the NT10 is a sealed enclosure design, and the 7-inch mid-woofer though it looks like SB Acoustics — it is not. It is a cloth suspension paper cone woofer, similar to the one used in the Yamaha NS10. A high-reaching SEAS tweeter handles the treble duties on upwards of 30Khz.
Specific to the NT10 models on demonstration at Lone Star Audio Fest in 2019, is the usage or maple tone wood for the heavily braced enclosure, the addition of carbon fiber cladding as a finish, and the outboard crossovers featuring Mundorf caps, foil inductors, and bi-wired direct ground construction.
ACG’s NT10 monitor is a loudspeaker designed for a mature sense of taste, and I mean that entirely as a compliment. Younger people might hear this speaker and abruptly take note that it isn’t plump with bass, or crazy dynamic extremes, and then walk out of the room. Those who have arrived in more ways than one, they will find themselves slowly seduced by this “Mrs. Robinson” like sound — she’ll teach you a thing or two.
If this loudspeaker were a woman, she’d not be the type of girl you look for on a Saturday night. She is neither needy or easy or weak. She has a good relationship with her father, so act accordingly. Everything about this loudspeaker hearkens back to a time when holdings company executives and MBA’s didn’t influence the sonic character of a loudspeaker product. The NT10 doesn’t chase the trendy exaggerated bass of the day that most monitors have come to exhibit just to find competing relevance in the current market. This NT10 instead aims for accuracy and tonal enjoyment over all other qualities. Gone is the fat, and only remaining what matters.
Audio Crafters Guild
– 700 NTJ-FET Analog Signal Processor
– 1000 Series Monoblock Power Amplifiers
– NT10 OCD Speaker (in Carbon Fiber)
– ApS Discrete R2R DAC