Daedalus Audio, LTA, LampizatOr, WyWires, VPI, Soundsmith | CAF 2019

Part-Time Audiophile has been covering Daedalus Audio high-efficiency loudspeakers for years, but I’ve only listened to them once before–at last year’s Capital Audiofest. The Daedalus Audio room was the very first room I covered at this year’s CAF, and for no particular reason other than the beautiful acoustic guitar sound from within the room. (It was Ry Cooder’s Paradise and Lunch, which I instantly recognized.) The show had just opened, I was still waiting for the coffee to kick in, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to ease myself into the show with a quiet, reflective system.

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!

Once inside the Daedalus Audio room, I was met by WyWires‘ Alex Sventitsky–I’ve known Alex for years and his wife Nina Rosenblatt Sventitsky writes The Reluctant Sommelier column for The Occasional. Alex ran me through the system–Daedalus Audio Apollo11 speakers in a gorgeous figured baked maple cabinet ($22,800/pair); Linear Tube Audio‘s microZOTL preamp ($4450), Ultralinear power amp ($6800 each); an additional LTA ZOTL40 power amplifier ($6800) powering the Daedalus Audio Bow subwoofer ($2290 each); LampizatOr Vinyl Phono 1 phono stage ($6600), Golden Gate 2 DAC ($16,500) and Super Computer music server (from $8500); WyWires Diamond and Platinum cabling throughout the system. A VPI Prime Signature turntable with a Soundsmith Hyperion II ES cartridge was playing the Ry Cooder LP.

The large Daedalus Audio system was one of the few at the show positioned at a diagonal to the room–one of my favorite ways to go for the best soundstage–but the angle was only about ten degrees off the back wall, which looked unusual at first glance. But this positioning resulted in some of the finest imaging I’ve heard in a while. You could easily hear every note played on Cooder’s guitar, and when additional guitars joined in you could still hear the sublime counterpoint in a clear, logical manner.

If you’re familiar with Daedalus Audio, you know all about the lovely wooden enclosures. “Figured baked maple” was stunning in person, even more so close up. The sound was equally bewitching, easily setting the tone for the rest of a wonderful show.