TAMPA, FL (PTA) — Classic Audio Loudspeakers, Purist Audio Design, and Atma-Sphere host one of the best getaway rooms at the Florida Audio Expo. Technics, Tri-Planar, Van den Hul, Air Tight, and Studer come along for the ride to an audio oasis.
Seeking fresh air and a cocktail on Friday afternoon, the boys (Marc Boyle, Jameson Mourafetis) and I make our way out to the sunny 2nd floor patio to take in the sun and good weather after a previous night of torrential storms and damaging winds. The Florida show is in full swing at this point, and the music on the patio is being provided by Classic Audio Loudspeakers, however not everyone caught on to that right away.
See, it’s not that CAL had loudspeakers on the 2nd floor patio, it’s that their large exhibit room sits away from the main tower of the Embassy Suites. Being a separate building they are allowed to play music at volumes which truly show off the ability of their massive horn loudspeakers.
As we’re sitting outside enjoying the sun and music, and Jameson Mourafetis keeps looking over his shoulder towards the pool. I ask him what he’s looking for, and returns fire with a question of his own — “Where’s the band?”
I giggle at his folly and remark condescendingly as if I’m so ‘in-the-know’ about things — “That’s no band, that’s Classic Audio Loudspeakers.” Jameson’s eyes get bigger, and we’re up and off to give the room a listen with cocktails in hand.
Classic Audio Loudspeakers once again had two monster sized field coil speakers at the Florida Audio Expo, and it was business as usual. Firstly the Hartfield loudspeaker from the Classic Line. Not running at the time we visited but worth a mention for their unique design. Using a front loading corner horn design, a 15-inch woofer handles frequencies all the way up to 800Hz, handing off to a 2-inch high frequency driver that delivers its mid-range payload through a unique horn-lens. From 12.5 kHz upward, two ultra-high frequency bi-radial transducers provide overtones and gloss to the mix. Inside and out, the craftsmanship is state-of-the-art, despite the conceptual design being based on a classic blueprint.
Playing before and during our time in the Classic Audio Loudspeakers room, the T-3.4 Project loudspeakers. Which if you were here last year, were not the loudspeakers I heard then, that was the T1.5’s which look similar, but are most easily identified by the black horn super tweeter.
The T-3.4 Project loudspeaker begins with two 15-inch woofers. One is front firing for speedy, snappy upper bass tones, while the floor-firing one is used for true 20Hz low frequency extension. Above that a 4-inch beryllium diaphragm (by Truextent) is loaded into CAL’s 6475 2-inch throat compression driver to carry out much of the duties of vocals and sparkly treble bits. The large black horn super tweeter really only carries out the duties of providing air and spaciousness in the soundstage.
The experience is like that of a live band. As evidenced by our dear friend Jameson’s first reaction to them from the patio. In the room, the added feature of the sound is bass that you can feel as it passes through your clothes. Stand too close and you’ll know what I mean. While taking photos, the sensation brought a smile to my face a few times.
Returning to my seat alongside Jameson for a listen, we sit and focus on the sound. The image is big and lively, and we’re enjoying the music and kind of forgetting about the great weather outside. It’s a nice day outside, but it’s just much more happenin’ in here with the T-3.4’s.
Classic Audio Loudspeakers
T-3.4 Project Field Coil Power System – $54,950 pr USD
Purist Audio Design
Neptune Series (AC, Interconnects, Speaker) Cables w/ AC Extension Boxes – $30,000 USD
Novacron Mk3.3 Monoblock Amplifiers – $22,200 pr USD
MP-1 Mk 3.3 Preamplifier – $18,900 USD as optioned
SP 10 MkII + Music Technology & Krebs Upgrade $10,000 USD – $13,000 USD
Ultimate 12 Tonearm – $9,800 USD
Van Den Hul
Colibri Crimson Signature Stradivarius Cartridge – $13,000 USD
Crimson Stradivarius – $5,500 USD
Opus Cartridge – $15,000 USD
Model 810 Reel-To-Reel Tape Deck – Priceless!