12 November, 2021

Capital Audio Festival 2021

pic from Stereophile.

Stereophile's Report on Capital Audio Festival 2021  

Ken Micallef's Report

This is a brief posting alerting you to one of the first Audio Shows around these days. It is, as usual, well written by Ken Micallef. From his musician audiophile series, I know he has a youtube channel, and you may want to search there for some videos (I rarely use VPN to surf youtube here in China, so I'd not know)!

I have never been to this show, even if I have relatives in D.C! Have always wanted to go, and then covid hit. But I have read all the reports, and Stereophile has always done a great job with this one. It seems to me the Show is changing a bit, with more upscale stuff and less bargains. I hope that's not a permanent trend. As an example, I probably know why VK Music, a regular at the show, is not there this year. During these stressful times, it can be a combination of logistics and personal factors.

The borrowed pic shows a horn with field coil driver that took 240 hours to make. It is not cheap, but if you ask me, much more deserving of its price than the many machined and assembly line manufactured loudspeakers. Still, no, I'll stick with much cheaper horns...

I was surprised by the many Linear Array Loudspeakers (all very expensive). Given that my NYC friends who whole-heartedly embrace classic Infinity's and I have heard them to great effect, I am pleased.

I cannot help but notice that Ken mentioned some manufacturers refrained due to mask mandate. As a physician and a civically minded individual, I can only sigh. Yes, if this covid thing drags on (likely) it will polarize even the audio world! You have heard me. I was entertained also when I read that Ken was asked to remove his mask among friends who all have been vaccinated to share cocktails. Wonderful, but this also illustrates the tenuousness of "post-covid" (we're not quite there) contact. I personally regard wearing a mask as respect for others. Here in Shenzhen, we have currently no cases. When I am on the street I wear no mask, but when I enter a mall or shop I don one as a courtesy.

Anecdote: I have a personal connection to this Show. I have exchanged emails and spoken with Victor of VK Music many times, but to this date I have never met him. My friend Richard C, whose system and endeavors have been featured in this blog, who is an essential worker in NYC, went  to the 2019 show and met VK and took back an Elekit amp for me to play with (still, many thanks). Forward to 2020, a reviewer for a trade magazine encountered a minor hiccup in the system. After a barrage of phone calls, Richard C knew a technician nearby and helped solved the problem in no time. Rescues off the scene! Bravo, audiophiles

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