Lotus Group. PTE. High End Electronics
Another huge suite and exotic setup featured the Lotus Group's Granada G2 loudspeakers ($75k), Audio Power Labs TNT833 amplifiers ($175k), WAVAC MD-805 Mk IIs ($59k), Steve McCormack's SMc Audio VRE-1C preamp ($16,500) and a Hanss T-60 BL turntable ($8k) that featured a Durand Talea tonearm and Lyra Olympus cartridge ($8500 ea).
The Granada G2 is a three-way, open-baffle designed transducer that comes equipped with its own active DSP-based crossover and room correction software. Here you can see a tri-amp setup was being used with the Audio Power Labs driving the mids, the WAVAC driving the tweeters and 500-watt power modules located inside the Granada crossovers. All cabling was Pranawire. As much as I enjoyed the sound of Joe Cohen's products - even their more expensive loudspeakers that feature the super expensive Feastrex midrange driver - somehow this year sounded even better with the less expensive speaker. Go figure. I enjoyed the sense of scale, openness and truthfulness this system conveyed. Now, when you've got over $200k in amplification, you damn sure ought to have an excellent sound. This was certainly among them.
Watching Scott Scheaffer of www.found-music.com setup the Hanss turntable in the Lotus Group suite was worth every second of this recording. Although I only caught a few minutes of it here, I think this might prove valuable to all you vinyl junkies out there.
Making my way up to the 4th floor of the T.H.E Show where the rest of the exhibitors were, and in regular sized (read: small) spaces no less. The huge PTE Acoustic Phoenix monitors were sounding as good as I remembered: dynamic, transparent and lively.
One of the nicest things about visiting the PTE room is their love for vinyl and hi-rez tape (which they decided not to bring this year in addition to their monster-sized Statement loudspeaker). A modest, but slick looking Townshend Rock 7 turntable (above) was used to great effect. Key Kim could not have been more appreciative since he too now has a stunning vinyl rig himself.
I asked Alfred Kainz, owner and operator of High End Electronics, to smile and his reply was "I am!" I'm assuming Kainz is the most serious type of music lover....The top photo shows Kainz imports most of his wares from Europe that feature: The ARTOS Audio 3-way, 92 dB efficient loudspeakers ($50k), Valvet 3.5 mono amps ($6,400) and tube preamp ($3,750 with external power supply). Music was by way of Kainz's own High-End Electronics MusicServer1 ($995). Digital and cables through and through was by way of Synergistic Research.
My most recent review was on this most unusual type of resonator called the High End Novum PMR Premium (reviewed here). What became most exciting, for me at least, was having so many industry designers as well as other reviewers whose ears I trust, conclude the PMR Premium does as advertised.
Left to right: Jeff Wells of Wells Audio, David Caplan of Shatki and Albert Von Schweikert were enjoying the sounds company of friends inside Alfred Kainz's High End Electronics room.
One of the best times I had this year was simply enjoying music and camaraderie of industry folks. Here's Albert Von Schweikert, myself, Buffer Ergmann and our own Don Shaulis take a moment out for the camera.