Studio Electric, SOTA, ModWright Instruments, Skogrand Cables | CAF 2019

I was eager to hit this room at the 2019 Capital Audiofest for two reasons–first, I wanted to hear some of the Studio Electric loudspeakers after Eric Franklin Shook’s very positive review of the stand-mount 2-way M4 monitor. Second, my friend Knut Skogrand of Skogrand Cables was at the show. I last saw Knut at High End 2019 in Munich for about ten seconds when he smushed his face in the window as I passed his exhibit room. We had the opportunity to sit and talk before CAF got underway, but when I visited this room he wasn’t there. I miss sitting with him, drinking single-malt scotch, listening to music and fantasizing about those beautiful Skogrand Cables in my system at home.

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!

Studio Electric had a strong presence at CAF–I listened to several different models in more than one room. I have to admit that I didn’t know the brand until Eric’s review. Studio Electric, therefore, was the single unknown in the room. I’ve long admired SOTA turntables and even use one of their record cleaning machines on a regular basis at home. You probably already know how I feel about ModWright Instruments from my show report of the bigger Fern and Roby room–one of my absolute favorites at the show. In other words, I was focusing on Studio Electric.

This system featured the Studio Electric F2s ($6900/pair), a moderately-sized 2.5-way floorstanding speaker with outstanding fit and finish. The rest of the system included the ModWright KWH 225i integrated ($8500) and ModWright 9.0 phono stage ($2900), SOTA Cosmos turntable ($9,700) with Origin Live arm ($4600) and Dynavector DRX XV-1 cartridge ($5650), all wired up with those gorgeous Skogrand cables. The F2s excelled at deep bass, with plenty of complex textures and engaging rhythm. This was yet another relatively conventional tower loudspeaker that was surprising in the way it delivered inner detail within a large soundscape.

I’m not about to judge Studio Electric from this one encounter, but I wouldn’t mind spending more time with the F2s. As Eric pointed out in his review, the M4s delivered “a more taught and complex rendering of the bass regardless of amplification or source material choices.” I heard the same thing in the F2s, on a larger scale. Eric described the M4s as having very fast and accurate bass, and the F2 was astounding in this regard. Studio Electric may be new to my ears, but I think they’re going to be around for a while as long as they offer this kind of performance at these prices.