Mytek introduced their latest addition to the Brooklyn series. After the DAC, DAC+ and Amp now there is the Brooklyn Bridge. The best description for this new offspring is a DAC+ with built-in streamer. It has the same preamp functionality, dual headphone connection, phono stage and Roon Ready designation as the DAC+. Extra are the LAN RJ45 port and USB for local storage and WiFi antenna. With a tablet or smart phone, the Bridge combines into a complete streamer. Michal Jurewicz demonstrated the streamer in a headphone setting while elsewhere in the room, the DAC+ and dual Amps were used playing off a laptop with Tidal.
A nice visual match in the next room where Davone Grande loudspeakers and a Charles Eames Lounge Chair. Power amps were SPEC RPA MG-1000 monos which will arrive early next year at our digs for a review. Analog came from a Bauer Audio DSP3 turntable while digital sources were handled by a SPEC M3 EX, top left, separate power supply below. Manley Labs provided the Steelhead phono stage. On top of each Davone Grande sat a SPEC Sound Processor meant to absorb the counter electromotive force from the loudspeaker so that the connected amplifier has an easier task.
This year had a smaller setup in the Blumenhofer room. Model FS 2 loudspeakers were driven by Mysound Cube monos. Their 12-watt output derived from EL84 tubes in push/pull proved ample to drive the sensitive German speakers. Source for digital was a complete set of SOtM including their new sMS-200 streamer, sCLK-OCX10 external clock and tX-USB USB isolator. More upper/lower case showed up in two sPS-500 external power supplies.
Brinkmann turntable, Airtight amplification and DeVore Orangutan O/96 loudspeakers showed together with a power block and equipment racks by Franc. Vinyl, tubes and a simple 10" paper cone with 1" silk dome tweeter and a small horn load can be the golden ticket to a very nice sounding system. And yes, the setup in this room proved it so. We listened to Anna Maria Jopek and Gonzalo Rubalcaba on Minione – when in Rome as the saying goes.
Honesty demands that we mention not only interesting and fair-to-good-sounding setups but also the misses. So the next room got our award for biggest standing wave. For amplification there was a Gryphon Audio Antileon Evo Stereo amp with dCS Vivaldi digital. Loudspeakers were Wilson Sasha DAW premiering for Poland but during our visit, doing a bad job of it.
What a difference in the next room. Same distributor, different—excellent—setup. Danish Gryphon signed for the electronics including their Diablo 300 integrated amplifier with built-in DAC and phono stage. Scorpio was the name of their CD player. Vinly spun on a Double X by Acoustic Signature. Final part in the audio chain were Gryphon's Mojo S stand-mount speakers. Paper cones on two 6" Seas mid/woofers shook hands with a Mundorf AMT tweeter for the upper frequencies. Combined the result was great and made our stay worthwhile. This was one of the better sounding rooms of the show. Simplicity with quality always wins.
More potential success due to simplicity was promised by the J.Sikora room. Mr. Sikora's reference turntable is not really a simple affair on weight and size but the turntable itself is: 18kg, oversized platter with ceramic inverted ball bearing, four motors, a belt and a cylindrical arm board. On that mounted the new Kevlar 12" tone arm. Another new item on the J.Sikora hit list was the phono stage. A pair of 6C33C-based mono by Burdjak & Sikora, Mr. Sikora's previous company, fed hORNS Symphony loudspeakers. Here a 1" titanium tweeter front-loaded in a horn mated to a 13" paper cone woofer in a bass reflex cab. At 95dB rated sensitivity, it was an easy load for smaller amplifiers. It was good to see that the future of J.Sikora is secured as Sikora Junior is also involved in the business now.
T+A had something to celebrate and did so in blue light. The company could blow out 40 candles on their cake. As a more lasting celebration they introduced the M40 HV monos. With these 550-watt 6SN7 + Jfet hybrids (60w atts in pure Class A), they also brought the PDP3000HV CD player and P3000HV preamplifier. The 3-way transmission lines went by S 2200 CTL.
TAD Labs are one of the few strong survivors in the audio market. The company dates back to the 1930s when it was part of Pioneer. This year the Technical Audio Devices Laboratory showcased the new Evolution 1TX floorstanders. The D1000 was matching USB DAC/CP/preamp. Another premiere was the M1000 power amp in 'K' guise, meaning solid black. This amplifier rates at 250wpc with an S/N ratio better than -112dB. Noteworthy is the built-in vibration control technology. The floorstanders were of the 3-way persuasion with a 16cm aramid composite woofer and coaxial 9cm midrange with embedded 2.5cm beryllium dome. Bandwidth is 29Hz to 60kHz. More noteworthy speaker items were the 'bi-directional ADS ports' at the sides, front and back. Together they avoid cabinet vibrations and undesirable port chuff.
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