Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2010 Show Report
James Darby: Bill Dudleston's Legacy Audio wasn't showing anything new, but I had to
include the Legacy Whisper XD's (the big ones) because they sounded so good; not quite as good
as they do in my listening room (they're my references), but still amazing for their $20,000 tag.
Read our world's first review for details. Contributing to their remarkable sound was the Ayon Triton
tube amp we recently reviewed.
We all agreed that this was one of the most exciting rooms at the show.
We have reviewed almost everything Seth Krinsky of Virtue Audio makes. Our review of the new Sensation
(two pics directly below) is coming soon, but we'll give you a preview; it's....Sensational! Especially for its $799 starting price.
We're talking real high end here with the Tripath chip driven amp. Add Gary Dodd's tube section and Red Wine's Black Lightening battery power and you have
87 watts per side of pure greatness that will compete with almost anything. Combine that with the ability to customize the colors and the exotic wood top and you also have a bunch of fun. Cami Terpstra, Seth's Administrative Assistant, even made herself a hot pink Sensation (below) to match her shoes.
I asked Cami if she realized how many people all over the world were going to ogle her, um, amp...
Seth Krinsky, Cami "Mama Virtue" and Jason Terpstra
Cami is holding the tiny Virtue One.2 - the best amp on the planet for $299.
Virtue also makes a great CD player, "Piano M1" for only $699 that we reviewed
and loved for the bucks. (2nd shelf in the middle)
Seth does cables, too, or Jason Terpstra does them for him. Like everything else Virtue makes, they're darn good,
"...and I don't mark them up like everyone else does", he smiled.
What was equally exciting was these new speakers by Holistic Audio.
The big towers are the H3 Holographic Reference that use only 2 drivers, visible in the middle.
The rest of the towers are chambers; but it was the sound that floored us. Room filling sound that seemed to emanate from nowhere and everywhere at the same time.
There was a purity that only correct time coherence can produce.
Designer Jack Caldwell calls it "Symetrical Omini-Radial" that ensures the timbre of the music is nearly identical at all points in a very wide vertical window and a 360 degree circle
in the horizontal plane. He says the axial and power response are completely in alignment and reflections from room surfaces have a high degree of time and frequency coherence.
The presentation was extremely musical with copious body and soul. Much Mojo!
At $22,500 they sounded better than many of the systems at many times their price - and that was with the $800 Virtue Sensation!
This is not a subwoofer. Nor is it a room air cleaner. No, it's the H1, the little sister to the H3 above.
Starting at only $1,800/pr, we heard a large percentage of the sound of the big H3. The bottom section of the speaker
is plain white for a reason; you can paint it, paper it, carpet it or anything else you wish to match your decor - or not. Make it contrast if you want. It's up to you - and your wife. Jack will apply anything you want for extra cost if you don't want to DIY.
In addition to amazing sound, this speaker has a high "wife acceptance factor". One of the true bargains in Denver.
Dr. John Richardson: Having reviewed the Virtue Audio One nearly two years ago, I was eager to hear, among other things, the Virtue Sensation. What a beautiful amplifier this is, customizable in choice of color, top plate, and even addition of a tube buffer. Great on the ears, as well. However, the big surprises in this room were the Holistic Audio Arts speakers. Of these, I felt the real winner was the inexpensive H1, a true omni-directional speaker. These things, pricing in at a base of $1800, threw an amazingly realistic soundstage. With chamber music, you were in the room with the performers! Better yet, the speakers could be moved around and even placed behind objects with no change in sonic presentation. My wife would love these… And I thought the in-room equalization function using i-Tunes was cool as well. Here was a speaker to make any computer audio guy happy.
Also present were Jason (Terpstra) the cable guy and his lovely wife. (Her name is Cami "Mama Virtue" Terpstra...you don't want her mad at you John...hehe ~ Darby)
Jason had some nifty looking usb cables and he offered me one to take home! It’s in my system right now; a follow-up to come. Jason builds all the cables per customer request and hand terminates them himself. Finally meeting CEO Seth Krinsky was an honor, too.
I also noticed that this room was using the new Antelope Audio Plus pro DAC in conjunction with Sensation(s) driving the upscale Holistic H3s. This DAC is made for computer audio, as it looks cool, sounds great, does native hi-res via the usb, and would be a wonderful candidate for this reviewer… hmmmm, what do you think, James? (Go for it Dr. J!)