I had the same exact reaction to the Daedalus Audio and LTA room at the 2023 Pacific Audio Fest as I did last year–it was an absolute oasis (apologies to Dr. David Robinson). It’s a combination of things, really, such as the gorgeous wooden enclosures of the Daedalus speakers and the relaxed musical choices and, most of all, a sound that is open and luxuriant and hypnotic.
Words and Photos by Marc Phillips
Lou Hinkley not only ran PAF 2023 with Gary Gill, but he managed to set up a system around his Daedalus Audio Apollo 11 v.3 loudspeakers (starting at $27,500/pr) that absolutely vanquished any stress I harbored before I entered the room. With the help of LTA’s MicroZOTL Level 2 preamplifier ($5,750) and a mysterious prototype of a 100wpc set of monoblocks, along with another prototype of an R2R + ZOTL DAC, the Apollos simply cast a glowing spell on the room. Are these speakers mellow? They are, but in all the best ways.
Daedalus Audio and LTA were also joined by Small Green Computer, who brought the SonicTransporter i9 optical Gen 2 music server (starting at $2,999) and the Sonore Signature Rendu SE network player ($4,950). Cabling was all WyWires.
I realize it can be tricky to call a system relaxed and easy-going, as if that suggests a boring or lackadaisical tonality. I don’t know about you, but I listen to music to forget about the troubles of the world around me. If I nod off while listening to a hi-fi system, it’s one of the finest compliments I can offer. I will admit right now that the Daedalus room had me nodding off. I forgot about all the upcoming appointments I had that day. I simply surrendered to the power of the music, and I forgot myself. I emerged from the room a few tracks later, refreshed and eager to finish up my day at PAF 2023.
And if my snoring upset anyone in the Daedalus room, I apologize.