MC Audiotech, VPI, Linear Tube Audio, Luminous Audio, Weiss, Wolf Audio, Audience | CAF 2021











MC Audiotech continues to gain some new fans (myself included), LTA does some heavy lifting, Luminous Audio reunites with old friends, along for the ride: Weiss, Wolf Audio, VPI, and Audience.

The Story

I’ve been watching the MC Audiotech Forty-10 since it’s first showing late in the last decade. Following the story, while also taking a part in writing it. Our own Marc Phillips reviewed the speakers recently (linked here), so I’ll let you refer to that for in depth information and commentary.

Mark Conti of MC Audiotech — that’s where the MC comes from — was our host this day, along with Tim Stinson and Mike Bettinger of Luminous Audio Technologies. There were on hand to speaker about the Ariom MK II phono stage, also reviewed recently (linked here) by Marc Phillips. Again, I’ll refer you to that for in depth information and commentary.

What I came to see was the new TOP SECRET Axiom III Preamplifier from Luminous. Tim Stinson had seen me leaving the exhibit room on Friday after gathering all my show report information and listening notes, and asked me to come by on Sunday for a sneak peek at the new Mike Bettinger updated Axiom III.

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Without a doubt, I replied yes. But I planned to also bring our trusty Dave McNair to lay his ears of gold upon the system and new preamp.

On sunday I returned with Dave, and the introduction of the new Axiom III began with Mike Bettinger explaining the circuit philosophy of his design, and how the new Axiom III receives it’s much awaited upgrades. Alas, I can’t wait for Dave to get a chance to review the preamplifier in his home system.

The Sound

The new Axiom III sounds like — you’ll just have to wait for the review. Plus, it’s not like we can precisely credit or discredit a single component out of a system that is unknown for us in an audio show environment. As for the LTA helemed system, I’ll tell you what I heard. Refinements. Several of them, across the board, and seemingly unfiltered by the Forty-10 speakers.

Yes, the Forty-10 are not the end-all-be-all of high-end sounds, and they exhibit with a darling character all their own. But the fact remains, you just know clean when you hear it. The LTA electronics, in our history with them, have exhibited a stellar sense of openness and depth of detail that few else dare claim.

The linearity given to the Forty-10’s upper array was right in line with the namesake of the LTA brand. What’s more, the woofer cabinets melded together quite well given their Parasound Halo 23+ power amplifiers that were more or less out of sight.

The System

MC Audiotech Forty-10 Speakers – $40,000 – $60,000

VPI Industries Turntable – (unlisted)

LTA MicroZOTL Preamplifier – $6,800

LTA Reference 40 Amplifier – $5,700

Luminous Audio Arion MK II Phono Stage – $7,999

Luminous Audio Axiom III Preamplifier – (suspected to be ~$8K)

Weiss DAC 501 Processor – $8,400

Wolf Audio Alpha 3 Server – $9,895

Audience Frontrow Cables

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Capital Audio Fest 2021 Show Coverage powered by ModWright Instruments Inc.

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Capital Audio Fest ModWright
Capital Audio Fest 2021 Show Coverage powered by ModWright Instruments Inc.

For more Capital Audio Fest 2021 coverage—CLICK HERE!

 














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