Black Ice Audio taps the talents of Jim Fosgate, along with Clearaudio, Benz Micro, Vienna Acoustics | CAF 2019

WASHINGTON DC (PTA) — Black Ice Audio was showing the full line of electronics at Capital Audiofest 2019, with partnering components from Clearaudio, Benz Micro, and Vienna Acoustics.

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

The Story

Black Ice Audio has tapped the talents and wisdom of audio legend Jim Fosgate. You may have heard of Jim Fosgate before, and if not that’s okay — sort of. Jim is well known in hi-fi circles for pioneering technologies in car audio, home theater (for which he won an Emmy) and developing some of the most influential products ever put to market.

At Capital Audiofest 2019, Black Ice Audio is showing large with a slew of new products, including the new Fusion F159 phono-stage designed by Jim Fosgate. The F159 is a tube phono stage preamplifier with a Cross-talk Reduction Circuit (XT-R) that increases channel separation and in doing so creates a more realistic sonic image compared to normal phono stages. It achieves this by electronically eliminating cross-talk caused by the turntable’s cartridge, and issues by consequence of axial tilt.

Along with the many other electronics products designed by Jim Fosgate, which included two new integrated amplifiers, and preamplifier — including a prototype Foz DAC DSD that uses a cascode circuit with a tube feeding into a JFET.

The star of the weekend however was the new Fusion F100 Mono-block Tube Amplifiers. The new Fusion F100 is a fully balanced differential push-pull design that outputs 140-watts into 8-ohms. Truly smaller than I expected when it comes to tube mono-blocks that can output 140-watts, I was duly impressed by their sound.

The Sound

Components from Black Ice Audio look the high-end part, and sound as equally affirmed to their role. The new Fusion F100 mono-blocks delivered the goods when it came to the Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Concert Grand loudspeakers. The last time I heard these speakers was earlier this year in Florida on massive solid-state Class-A mono-blocks, and at the time I thought they couldn’t sound better. I was wrong.

The power and kick delivered by the new Black Ice mono-blocks is delightfully reminiscent of the best solid-state designs I’ve heard them on. What’s new here is the top-end air and smoothness offered by the tubes. It’s magical honestly as I haven’t always been overly excited about Vienna Acoustics loudspeakers, and here I am grinning ear to ear.

The System

Black Ice Audio

– Fusion F100 Mono-block Tube Power Amplifier — $5,499 USD

– Fusion F11 Tube Integrated Amplifier – $1,499 USD

– Fusion F35 Tube Integrated Amplifier – $2,199 USD

– Fusion F360 Tube Preamplifier – $1,999 USD

– Fusion F159 Tube Phono Stage – $1,499 USD

– Fusion DAC Tube CD Transport – $2,499 USD

— (Prototype) Foz DAC DSD


– Ovation Turntable w/ Benz Ace Clear Body Cartridge

Vienna Acoustic

– Beethoven Concert Grand Loudspeakers

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