This year’s Capital Audiofest was once again held at the Hilton in Rockville, Maryland. It provided a convenient chance to demo various high-end 2-channel audio systems. In order to beat the weekend crowds, I attended on Friday, November 3, which is the first day of its three-day run.
My modest goal this year was to drop by a dozen or so rooms, check out the systems from the seats for a few minutes, and then shoot a video clip with sound. Throughout the day, I used a Sony a6300 mirrorless camera equipped with a Tascam TM-2X stereo microphone to record these demos.
For 2017, I found this typically low-key show felt even lower-key. There was plenty of vinyl on tap, with lots of tube amplification. I am waiting for the connected streaming audio revolution to arrive in the world of high-end audio, but in the meantime it appears Capital Audiofest is glad to be a happy anachronism.
As you’d expect from the high-end world where money is an abstract concept, cables are thicker than ever, prices keep going up, and casual dismissals of digital audio go unchallenged in room after room. Good times!
Here are the first five videos I shot, out of a dozen total. I plan to post the remaining videos over the next 24-48 hours, so check back here for that.
Capital Audiofest 2017 demo videos:
Zu Audio from Utah is an eccentric company that brought a rock and roll spirit to the show.
Studio Electric FSX towers sounded good when fed analog music from this VPI Avenger.
One of my perennial favorites, Classic Audio Loudspeakers are huge, full-range, and beautiful.
Kudos to VPI Industries for showing an affordable system that sounded great. Check out these Pure Audio Project Trio15TB speakers.
The Salk Sound demo of the Song2-A towers was hampered by an A/B test of isolation feet that was not conducted on a level playing field. Check out the video to find out more…
Here’s a $350,000 system from Tidal Audio (makers of cost-no-object stereo equipment). It looks and sounds the part of a “millionaire’s system.” Somewhere in there is a $7500 power cord, among other eccentric goodies.
This awesome system from audio legend Bob Carver filled a small ballroom with big sound.
The prize for the most outrageous system at the show went to this VAC and Von Schweikert rig.
This show represents the first time I’ve heard the true potential of MarkAudio-SOTA’s spirited Cesti T towers. Crisp and punchy!