PureAudioProject, Luminous Audio Technology, Pass Labs, VPI Industries, Audio-Technica | CAF 2019

PureAudioProject CAF 2019

WASHINGTON DC (PTA) — PureAudioProject and Luminous Audio Technology put together a system that remains one of the continual gems of the audio show circuit. Featuring Luminous Audio Technology’s passive preamplifier and cabling, amplification from Pass Labs, a turntable from VPI Industries, and cartridge from Audio-Technica.

PureAudioProject CAF 2019

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

The Story

One thing about this room stands out immediately, and it can be seen in the first two photos. If you noticed it as well, make a mental note of it as there may be a prize given out at the end of this article. What I noticed was the speaker placement of the two open-baffle towers. Remarkably close to the back wall (windows) in contrast to what I’ve heard over the years to be “the open-baffle recipe” (or rumors) for good sound.

PureAudioProject CAF 2019

The 6-foot tall modular Quintet15 loudspeakers with the Horn1 high-frequency option as show are two-way passive loudspeakers with minimal crossovers, and four large fast-moving 15-inch drivers. As for their placement, once I sat down to listen all worries and concerns were dismissed. Which is relieving as I’ve read many comments and emails from our readership who take concerns with open-baffle loudspeakers thinking they can’t sacrifice the living space, or offer up proper speaker placement in their listening rooms. Thinking all open-baffle loudspeakers need to be 7-feet out into the room to achieve proper sounding bass. To which the Capital Audiofest exhibit from PureAudioProject disassembles that theory with every bass note.

PureAudioProject CAF 2019

Also showing from PureAudioProject, their newest non-modular ready-to-play loudspeaker, the Trio15 Classic. I’m sure the Trio15 Classic worked its way into the system at Capital Audiofest, but I wasn’t around to hear it. Sad I know, but I did have my chance in the summer to experience them up close at the VPI House in Cliffwood, New Jersey. You can read about that experience HERE.

PureAudioProject CAF 2019

The Sound

It’s been awhile since I last heard the Quintet15 line of speakers with the Horn1 high-frequency driver option. The last go-round was in 2017 and driven by Whammerdyne Tube amplification, which was telling of the efficiency of the PureAudioProject way of designing high-efficiency open-baffle loudspeakers.

Since 2017, I’ve heard Pass Labs on PureAudioProject loudspeakers, but not with the big boys. The XA160 monoblocks from Pass Labs aren’t a requirement, but they do offer up exactly what you would imagine. Variety. The differences manifest across the audio spectrum, and though most noticeably in the bass region, the Horn1 (and other high-frequency modules I’ve heard) are affected still by the changes. The Horn1 on the pass labs sound less reserved at the edges. Willing to cut flesh with treble if the song calls for it. It’s quite impressive, and adds a good balance to the amount of bass drivers used in the modular system.

The bass of the Quintet15 line when driven by big and resolving solid state, delivers gobs of thrust and action. Already a large sounding speaker when driven by low-watt tubes, the large 15-inch drivers transform mightily from the added amplifier headroom.

PureAudioProject CAF 2019

The System

VPI Industries

– Prime Turntable – $4,250 USD


– AT-OC9/III Phono Cartridge – $549 USD

Luminous Audio

– Arion Phono Stage – $6,995 USD

– Axiom II Walker Mod Passive Preamplifier with Remote – $1,199 USD (as optioned)

Pass Labs

– XA160 Monoblock Amplifiers – $20,000 pr USD


– Quintet15 Horn1 Loudspeakers – $9,995 pr USD

– Trio15 Classic – starting at $7,990 pr USD

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