Sensational speakers, powerful processing and amplification, and world-class recordings had audiophiles in delight.
Induction Dynamics
Phase Technology
KEF
Nordost, Nola and Rowland
Veloce
Lawrence Audio
Chapman
Zesto and TAD
Ayon Audio
Sony
Magico and Synergistic Research
Adam Audio and Cary Audio
GoldenEar and Clearaudio
Audio Element 1
Audio Element 2
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Slide 14 of 18
Audio Element 1

Local dealer Audio Element had a pair of rooms outfitted with some of the finest audio gear around. In this room, the stars were the Sonus faber Amati Futura loudspeakers ($36,000/pair), powered by VTL MB-450 Series III Signature tube amps ($18,000/pair) and VTL linestage and phono stage preamplification. The sources switched between a Grand Prix Audio Monaco turntable and the dCS vaunted Vivaldi SACD playback system (a stack of four components, on the left in the rack pictured, that range from $14K to $40K and include the transport, DAC, upsampler and clock). VTL’s Luke Manley and dCS’ John Quick led some tremendous demos, going from a Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab pressing of Natalie Merchant’s Tigerlilly album and “Carnival” track, to a regular CD of Keith Richard’s solo “Words of Wonder” reggae-sounding cut. Natalie Merchant sounded lush and buttery smooth, while the Keith Richards’ track had some serious thump to it but an absolutely clean reproduction and detail spilling forth throughout.

Read more: Amazing Audio Rooms from T.H.E. Show 2013