The 3rd annual California Audio Show (CAS) opens on Friday, August 3rd and runs through Sunday, August 5th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Burlingame, close to the San Francisco Airport. Having attended last year’s show, I’m really looking forward to hearing a lot of fine sounds this weekend, and I hope many of our TAS readers will join me there. For more details about the CAS, including show hours and pricing, click here.
The CAS is produced by Constantine Soo and his staff at dagogo.com, and is sponsored by The Absolute Sound and Stereophile, among others. Given the number of new product releases I saw at last year’s show, as well as the stunning sonics in several of the rooms, I would encourage all audio and music enthusiasts in the Bay Area (and beyond) to attend. It’s a great way to hear some of the best that high-performance audio has to offer, listen to some surprisingly affordable high-value gear, meet some industry luminaries, hear some new recordings, and support a high-quality audio show, as well as local dealers in the Bay Area (for less than the price of a reissue LP!).
Last year, I thought I might be able to cover the CAS in a day, but there was so much to see and hear that I had to come back another day, and I still didn’t get to hear everything! This show will feature a lot of the exotic gear reviewed in TAS that many of us can only dream about, including the new Wilson XLF, YG Acoustics Anat III Studio Signature, Magico S5, Focal Scala Utopia, KEF Blade, Sony SS-AR1, and the MBL E MKII Radialstrahler and 120 Radialstrahler loudspeakers, among others. That’s just a sampling of some of the really high-performance loudspeakers appearing at the CAS.
Two of the US premiers will be of the Ayon Triton II monoblocks and the Ayon Spheris II preamp with an Ayon Digital Network Music Player S3 as the front-end for Lumenwhite loudspeakers, but there will also be several other products making their US debuts that I plan to check out and include in a follow-up show report (or two).
While not US premiers, Robert Lee will showcase his musically engaging Acoustic Zen Crescendo loudspeakers driven by Triode Class A tube amps. The mouth-watering Constellation Virgo Line Stage, Centaur stereo amplifier and Cygnus Media Player ($24,000) are in the MIT/Magico/Constellation suite.
Some of the Bay Area’s top high-performance audio dealers will be showcasing their wares. Music Lovers has expanded into two ballroom suites, with one featuring the new Wilson XLF loudspeakers driven by the VTL Siegried Series II Reference tube monoblock amplifiers with the dCS Scarlatti Digital Playback System and the stunning AMG V12 turntable outfitted with a Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement cartridge, and using Transparent Opus cables and power conditioner and HRS SXR audio racks. The other suite showcases the Aesthetix Janus Signature, Romulus, and Atlas electronics, Synergistic Research Element Series and Power Cell cables and power conditioning, and the Brinkmann Bardo sporting a Benz Micro LP-S cartridge.
Audio Image will be featuring the Magico S5 speaker system with the MIT Oracle Matrix HD cable system, driven by VAC tube electronics, an AMR DP-777 high-resolution DAC, a Bryston BDP1 music-file player and Accuphase DP-700 SACD/CD player.
Like last year, AudioVision of San Francisco will host four rooms and will feature the US premiers of several exciting products, with speakers at attractive prices like the DALI Epicon 6 Reference, KEF R700 and LS50, Dynaudio Focus 340, and Anthony Gallo Acoustics CL2 and CL2 loudspeakers. Check out the new Simaudio electronics, the surprisingly good Clearaudio Ovation and Performance turntables, the new Audioquest Firefly DAC, the Rega RP6 and RP3 turntables, and the Micromega AS400 integrated amp with wireless playback from an iPhone/iPad. There should be some excellent values among them.
A couple of dealers who did not participate in last year’s CAS will appear this year. Blue Moon Audio will demonstrate the Tannoy Westminster Royal speaker system, with Cary electronics, Kimber 6000 Series cable, and a Linn Klimax DS. Audio High from Mountain View will feature the KEF Blade loudspeakers with a Clearaudio Master Innovation Wood ‘table, Aesthetix IO Eclipse phono stage, Chord Electronics, and Kubala-Sosna cables.
Loggie Audio of Redwood City will not only showcase the YG Acoustics Anat III Studio Signature II but also the YG Carmel loudspeakers, driven by Ypsilon electronics and a Bryston DBP-1 and Esoteric P-02 and D-02 front-end.