Okay, I got back from the New York Audio Show last night, and it's my first time going. I was curious. I came away impressed with several things, and I've been stoked (too much, unfortunately). At least I stuck to my planned targets. Mostly.
The room I spent the most time in was VPI's main room (they had two). Both Harry and Matt Weisfeld were there, with Matt's girlfriend working the door. All were available to answer questions. They were demoing their new Classic Prime turntable, which comes with a new production 3D tonearm. It replaces the Classic II, essentially, and will retail for $3500. It doesn't have the same style as the Classics, though. It has an outboard motor, a Classic platter, and the configuration bears some resemblance to the HRX. The amp is an upcoming VPI integrated, which is a remake of an old Scott tube unit. The Prime has most of the performance of the Classic 3 for less money. By the way, VPI won't be offering the Classic 3 in Rosewood much longer—get yours now if you want it.
The Prime is an amazing unit. The design would have to grow on me, but it sounded great. You know you're in trouble when you just sit and listen to the music, forgetting what else you're doing.
I was impressed with the Legacy Aeris and Focus SE, in the Legacy and Audio Classics rooms respectively. If they weren't so heavy. . .Audio Classics was using a MCD500, and it crossed my mind. . .The power came from their own amp; Audio Classics makes their own tube amp, a large chassis, reminiscent of a Marantz. And they used a C2300, so some familiarity there.
The Stereo Exchange room was another good-sounder (Totem/Transparent/Devialet). I'm thinking more about going over to all Transparent cables (interconnects), despite not being displeased with my AQ King Cobra (I even have one pair still in the box). The Totems were from the Element series (Fire) and went pretty low for what were stand-mounted speakers. The speaker cable was simple Transparent MusicWave, bi-wire configuration. According to the SE buy, I'd have to go to MusicWave Plus to better my Kimber 12TC.
I also liked the Nola Metro Grand Reference. I didn't stay in the room long, just long enough to know I liked their sound character. Not bright, musical, easy to listen to.
So coming out of the show, I felt as if I might go for the Transparent cables and maybe a new VPI down the road. If the logistics worked, maybe I'd get some Legacys. I'm past curious; I'm intrigued. Maybe it'll pass later. But I must be realistic on what I can really afford to do, and whether I should do anything. Perhaps today I'll get a chance to play music and see if that counters my current mindset. The Legacys stuck with me a bit, too. I can't afford the Aeris, and the Focus would be a big stretch, plus the practical considerations of something so heavy (about 145 lbs. per speaker).
I did pick up a copy of Yes' Fragile from Acoustic Sounds, only to get home and find I already have one. An unnecessary expenditure of $30. This is what happens when you buy impulsively.
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