A real treat awaited me at the room sponsored by Edison, New Jersey-based Care Audio: a fully reconditioned Ampex ATR-102 studio reel-to-reel deck, fitted with Ampex MR-70 electronics (not for sale). Combined with the well-known KR Audio Kronzilla single-ended amplifier ($23,000) and a Canadian-built pair of Bastanis Audio Mandala Solo loudspeakers ($12,000/pair, including Crown amps for the system's specially treated 18" bass drivers), this provided the most timbrally natural and spatially present sound I heard at the show. (Perhaps understandably, the Care room was often crowded with listeners—and I noticed that the sound was notably better from a centrally positioned seat than when I stood off to one side.) Pure magic!
There are shows that raise our expectations and there are shows from which greatness is not expected. And after October 26, when the organizers of the New York Audio Show, taking place at the Rye Hilton in Westchester County this weekend, announced that they were capping the number of exhibitors at 30—imagine Mike Huckabee or Hillary Clinton announcing a limit on corporate donations—this event slipped into the latter. No amount of positive, industry-healthy attitude on the part of myself or anyone else can shiny that up.
This year's New York Audio Show, held at the Westchester Hilton in Rye Brook NY, was by most measures a small show. Twenty six rooms, reportedly (I didn't count), on two floors made for a fun, relaxing Friday. While I found the architecture and interior design off-putting, kinda like state sanatorium meets modernist lodge with a hint of old time NY, the rooms were nice-sounding with most offering a lovely view of the falling foliage.