John & Cam Wolff's Classic Audio Reproductions of Brighton/MI proudly sport a tuba in their company logo and specialize in classic hornspeakers based on the pioneering work of world-famous James B Lansing Hartsfield and his lens-plate assemblies. Multiple classic corner-loaded and more modern models are available, some of them with the famous TAD drivers.

In Denver, their speakers were powered by some older Atma-Sphere amps prior to the reportedly hostile recent takeover by Harry Blazer which thankfully left Ralph Karsten the rights to continue operating under his own banner in case the rumors about the nature of the recent ownership change of Atma-Sphere are true.

The vast open room of Classic Audio Reproductions seemed to contain no active audio despite clear aural evidence to the contrary until you spotted the speakers tucked into the far corners and some outboard crossovers and amps squatting on the floor between them. Hey, there's something to this scheme if you have the lateral space necessary.

Lou Hinkley's Daedalus Audio room of Ferndale/WA showcased his $6,400/pr limited production 96dB-efficient DA-1 reference speaker system with paralleled 1" silk dome tweeters and 3-position attenuation switch, one 5" mid and two 8" woofers in a solid hardwood enclosure with dovetail joints and either 1.25" thick Baltic Birch or solid Walnut baffle. Weighing 102 lbs each, these speakers measure 45" x 11" x 16" and are spec'd for 25Hz-20kHz in-room response.

BK Butler's mindblowing $9,995 A100 300B amplifier with its conservatively rated, Class A single-ended, zero NFB 100/200-watt output into 8/4 ohms sporting 2,000,000uF of power supply capacitance provided the muscle and rewrites everything we think we know about SETs. A Butler Audio TDB 2250 amplifier with 250wpc of go juice is already enroute to yours truly for a bit of under-the-sheets action.

Among other goodies, this room also featured the Reference MC-3R tube preamp by Response Audio which modifies the eponymous Ming-Da line stage with V-Cap reference-grade Teflon caps and other upgrades.

One of the unequivocal "Best Sound of Show" contenders was the giant Dali Megaline line-source array powered by four Oasis monoblocks which incorporate, under license, the circuitry and biasing system of the famous Forsell Statement amps, are manufactured by HDL Scientific and were run in Darrin O'Neill's large Audio Limits exhibit. With 24 custom-made woofer/midrange units, 6 Dali-developed ribbon tweeters and separate active crossover networks, this was Infinity IRS stuff aided and abetted admirably by deluxe front-ends. Paralleling first-rate drivers minimizes excursion demands and thus pushes distortion artifacts below the audible threshold. Many experienced showgoers could be overheard casting their votes for this room in particular.

Also on display was Einstein's tubed reference CD player dubbed The Last Record Player which yours truly already has on the books to review in conjunction with their integrated amplifier. This was my first encounter in the flesh. Now I'm doubly stoked. I had never before laid eye balls on the Italian Lector CDP either which Harry Pearson put squarely on the map [below right]. So many toys, so little time.

The first lady of tubes, Kara Chaffee of DeHavilland Amplifier Company, had her wares in multiple rooms which showed off not just the customary stellar sonics but different finishes - grey with engraved nomenclature, red for Steve Rochlin's Ferrari Jones and in custom wood caps and fascia in the Overkill Audio room.

Using an Ampex tape machine is clearly and patently unfair when you're trying to woo showgoers used to digital with good sound but if you've got it, flaunt it - and Kara's got it. She's also nailed the diagonal setup to minimize room-induced distortion and Richard Bird of Rives Audio has already penned a new column on Tradeshow Room Acoustics in which this room will make an appearance for smart real-world applications of basic principles.

Demonstrating properly devout form by kneeling in front of the equipment, trade show veteran Steve Rochlin of EnjoyTheMusic.Com could be seen furiously punching the keys on his mobile keyboard to prepare his real-time show coverage which routinely goes live before anybody else's. If speed's the thing, Steve's got you covered.