Now Listen Here, a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania dealer located at the edge of several bedroom communities that serve the I-95 corridor between Washington, DC and Philadelphia proper, showed large at Capital Audio Fest 2021. Three exhibit rooms in total, each showcasing a system for a different level of customer, commitment, and good ole’ audiophile insanity. The middle of those three exhibit rooms contained a seriously capable floorstander based system from Fyne Audio, Chord Electronics, VPI Industries, Innuos, Transparent.
The story begins with the Fyne Audio F1-10 loudspeakers, which represent the flagship offering of point source design that comes from decades experience on the matter. Drivers are loaded into a concentric time-aligned array, and cover every frequency from 26 Hz up to 26 kHz. The mid-woofer is large at 10-inches and makes good use of itself being coupled to a twin-cavity BassTrax ported cabinet.
Speaking of the cabinet, it’s just gorgeous. Stately in aesthetic, and finished at the highest level, there’s hardly a decor that the F1 series of loudspeakers from Fyne wouldn’t bless with their presence. Features are something we don’t often have to address with loudspeakers, but the F1-10 feature high quality potentiometer controls for HF energy and presence. These controls are for tailoring performance of the loudspeaker, and make the challenges of room size or placement less of an issue when it’s all said and done.
There are systems, and there are serious systems. This was one of the latter, and that designation arrived once I saw the Chord Electronics used throughout. Several Chord Electronics dealers only stock the DACs. Not so with Now Listen Here. They build systems around Chord Electronics on the regular, and much like the one exhibited at CAF using the Chord Ultima 5 amplifier, Ultima Pre 2 preamplifier, Symphonic phono, and DAVE DAC.
Serious speakers deserve serious electronics, and as they say — he was no slouch. Also on static display were two monitor versions from the Fyne F1 series, pictured below.
Ultimate refinement was the first instinctive note from my listening session. The point source focus from the F1-10 across the soundstage was to date the best I’ve heard at an audio show. Chord products have legendary status, and I can see why. Everything in the sound was expansive and detailed without any proclivity of edge or brightness. Distortion in this hyper clean digital playback system was stout in character without feeling colored. A supremely good showing by Now Listen Here.
Fyne Audio F1-10 Loudspeakers – $31,995
Chord Ultima 5 Amplifier – $13,195
Chord Ultima Pre 2 Preamplifier – $17,995
Chord DAVE DAC – $12,995
Chord Symphonic Phono – $4,495
VPI Industries Prime 21 Turntable – $8,250
Innuos ZENmini Sever w/LPSU – $2,298
Transparent PowerWave X Conditioner – $3,895
Transparent Ultra Cables (Gen 6)
- speaker – $4,000
- XLR – $3,000
- RCA – $1,700
- phono – $1,700
- power – $625
For more Capital Audio Fest 2021 coverage—CLICK HERE!