The PAF Saturday Highlights were copious, with so many good-sounding rooms during the day and lots of celebrating late into the night. That means I’m writing these words with blurry, bloodshot eyes and a somewhat cranky attitude, but here we go.
My favorite of the PAF Saturday Highlights was perhaps the Joseph Audio/Doshi Audio/Cardas room, which shouldn’t be a surprise. I always love this room, and I’ve reported on this particular system three times in 2022, but this set-up was unusual because the room was so large. The Joseph Audio Pearl Graphenes still energized the room with smooth, dynamic sound that’s always to my liking. Even the small Pulsar Graphenes sounded pretty darned nice. Nobody figures out a room like Jeff.
Margules Audio presented one of their most ambitious systems ever at PAF, including their U-280 SC power amplifier ($10,000), SF-220 preamp ($7,000) and a $60,000 pair of Raidhos. This system had extraordinary dynamics and could play, loud, clear and precise.
The new ModWright Instruments Analog Bridge ($2,900) is a tube buffer that offers three different tube choices so you can tailor the sound of your system. That might sound like an equalizer, but anyone who’s ever used a tube buffer knows the differences are subtle but important to those who prefer to listen to valves. In A/B comparisons, I heard a softer and more realistic presentation, especially with vocals, but the ModWright/Revel system already sounded superb either way. It was an enlightening demonstration, another of my PAF Saturday Highlights.
Just because Lou Hinkley of Daedalus Audio is one of the show organizers, it doesn’t mean I can’t give him a shout-out for two Daedalus rooms that were relaxing oases for weary souls. Lou’s speakers have an open and warm sound that is truly addictive. Definitely one of my PAF Saturday Highlights.
While I was reviewing the Rosso Fiorentino Pienzas last year, I had my eye on the next model up–the Fiesole ($9,750/pr). While in Skip’s Audio Thesis room at PAF, I finally got to hear them and they were absolutely stellar with Norma electronics. Nice, deep and well-defined bass in a small room–that’s my jam.
The final entry for my PAF Saturday Highlights involves two brands with which I was unfamiliar–Infigo Audio amplification and Alta Audio loudspeakers. I was pulled into this room by an industry friend–you gotta hear this room!–and it was unusual how this system slowly cast its spell. The longer I listened, the more I loved the detailed yet musical sound.
That’s it for the PAF Saturday Highlights. I have to get back out there and hit more rooms. The exhibit rooms at the venue are spaced out, and yesterday, right before the day was over, I discovered a new hallway full of rooms I didn’t even know was there. Stay tuned for my in-depth show reports, all coming over the next week.