WASHINGTON DC (PTA) — GTT Audio & Video of Long Valley, New Jersey was exhibiting three new products in one stellar performing system. New for 2019, an integrated from Audionet, a turntable power supply from Kronos, and a DAC from Mola Mola. Along for the ride: YG Acoustics, Kubala Sosna, Auralic, Roon Labs, and Air Tight.
Staying gassed up during an audio show can be difficult. It’s easier to do breakfast, skip lunch, and make dinner plans with friends for the after-hours. The show day from 10am to 6pm can be exhausting when traipsing up and down the stairways, as elevators take too long with show crowds forming more traffic.
It’s mid-day, I’m hungry, and the breakfast carbs have long since been sweated away. I’m tired, and I think I’ll settle into an exhibit room for a little longer to catch my breath and catch some tunes. I find myself face to face with Bill Parish of GTT Audio & Video, he invites me to come have a seat and take a listen. Little does how know how much I will take him up on that offer.
Bill Parish is GTT Audio & Video, and I honestly don’t know which of the two is more popular. Bill Parish for being a good host and dealer, or GTT Audio & Video for again Bill Parish being good at what he does. GTT Audio & Video is located in Long Valley, New Jersey about 45-mins due west of New York City in a rural and beautiful part of New Jersey. Yes that exists.
As I review the GTT room-sheet that contains a piece by piece system breakdown, Mr. Parish highlights that three of the products in the system are all new and premiering. As I settle in the music begins, and I’m quite floored at what I’m hearing. I am floored because what I’m hearing isn’t the norm for me. Everyone loves YG Acoustics, and I’ve been generally luke-warm on the brand as a whole. But more on that later. Let’s talk about the gear on debut status.
From Audionet of Germany, a new integrated amplifier made it’s world premiere. Audionet to me is one of the more fun and sexy audio companies out of Germany. Their social media page is always fun, and I find their understated but refined casework to be some of the sexiest in Europe.
Audionet’s new HUMBOLDT shares sibling DNA with both STERN preamplifier and HEISENBERG mono-block amplifier, which imbues the new integrated with some of the best technology Audionet has. Features for the HUMBOLDT include a dual-mono layout of all circuitry and power supply. Magnetically and capacitively optimized circuit and device design without any ferro-magnetic materials. Floating Pane Design for resistance against microphonic effects and temperature stability. Specifications include amplifier output power 320-wpc into 8-Ohms and 460-wpc into 4-Ohms.
Kronos of Canada was making a US debut with their new SSCPS, which is an optional power supply for their Sparta turntable. The SSCPS in my own words is like a schoolmaster, an authority figure or an editor. Considering turntables operate off of power, it would be certain that the new optional power supply would be for whipping things into shape, and with total control. Who doesn’t want that?
Making its Capital Audiofest debut, the Tambaqui DAC from Netherlands company Mola Mola. The Tambaqui digital-to-analog converter is a two board stack. On the first board, all incoming digital audio is up-sampled to 3.125MHz/32 bits and converted to noise shaped PWM. On the other board are two mono DACs, in which a discrete 32-stage FIR DAC and a single-stage 4th order filtering I/V converter, convert the PWM into analogue with a 130dB SNR.
Here’s where I come back around to the YG Acoustics loudspeakers, which are the rather normal sized Carmel 2 two-way floor-standers. The Carmel 2 feature tons of trademark technology borrowed from YG Acoustics more esoteric models. Even those these 41-inch 76lb a piece towers represent a “budget offering” from YG, they are anything but.
As for the sound of this system through the presentation stage of the YG towers, I’m floored by how much I want to kick back and listen as we plow through record after record, and scroll through digital menus while doing right by customer requests. The sound is clean, deep, scaled to fit the room, and as close to perfectly analytical without missing soul and instrument tone.
This goes down as one of my favourite rooms at the show for sound alone, but it’s truly so much more than that, as Bill Parish is the consummate host, and consistently the curator of excellent experiences in sound.
– Sparta Turntable – $24,000 USD
– SSCPS Power Supply – optional $9,500 USD
– Helena 10.5” Tonearm with Armboard – $8,550 USD
– Opus 1 Cartridge – $15,000 USD
– Tambaqui DAC – $13,400 USD
– Aries G2 Streamer – $4,350 USD
– Nucleus+ – $2,500 USD
– HUMBOLDT Integrated Amplifier – $55,000 USD
– PAM G2 Phonostage – $10,100 USD
– EPX Power Supply – optional $10,100 USD
– Carmel 2 Loudspeakers – $24,200 USD
– XPander 7/10 Outlet – options at $5,400 / $6,500 USD
All cabling by Kubala Sosna from their Sensation and Realization lines.