Capital Audiofest Saturday Highlights | CAF 2019

My Capital Audiofest Saturday highlights really begin and end with the Von Schweikert and VAC room–I was in that room very late Friday night, woke up early feeling a bit rough, went back to the room to hear a little more music to start the day, and lo and behold I spent late Saturday night in the room as well listening to Greg Weaver’s annual DJing of some of his rare classic rock albums. Jonathan Derda of MoFi also brought us a tease of the upcoming Dire Straits remasters, and it floored the crowd. As Greg called it, “so much meat on the bone.” Indeed.

Tenacious Sound
Capital Audiofest 2019 brought to you in part by Tenacious Sound.
Verdant Audio
Capital Audiofest 2019 brought to you in part by Verdant Audio!

If my Capital Audiofest Saturday highlights stopped there, I could finish this up quickly and go back to sleep. But one more day of the show awaits, and then it’s time to drive home to Rochester.

I started of the day in the McGary Audio and Salk Sound room. I’ve listened to this system before, but there was something special about it first thing in the morning. The sound was warm and intimate and incredibly soothing, and it occurred to me that this is why we listen to tube amplification–it’s just restorative and refreshing. Absolutely gorgeous sound.

One of the biggest Capital Audio Saturday highlights revolved around one of my favorite things in high-end audio–the two-way stand-mounted monitor that surpasses all expectations. In this case it was Sonner Audio–Eric Franklin Shook is currently reviewing the smaller Legato Unum but I have my heart set on the top of the line Allegro Unum, which was still small but sounded so incredibly good.

Doug White from The Voice That Is! is a master of room set-up, and by now I feel familiar with his Tidal Audio-based systems. But this was another unexpected Capital Audiofest Saturday highlight–just walking into this incredible room and hearing music sound so real, so moving, so…well. everything. My gosh, that was a superb hour of my life.

Christopher Hildebrand of Fern & Roby was able to accommodate a 12″ arm on his Montrose turntable on Saturday by installing his custom arm extension, and he asked me to come back and listen. I thought the sound was great on Friday, but it jumped up a notch. The overall presentation was much fuller, with much deeper bass.

Finally, my buddy Shayne Tenace of Tenacious Sound asked me to visit his room after show hours to hear the new speakers from Fyne Audio. Do they remind you of classic Tannoys? That’s because Fyne Audio is made up of former Tannoy employees who wanted to keep the traditions while embracing the future. Big, warm, loud with plenty of visceral impact at a reasonable price, all made in Scotland.

That’s it for my Capital Audio Saturday highlights. One more day at the show, then I’m driving home and getting started on not only these show reports, but we’re finishing up our annual Buyer’s Guide for The Occasional!