Pursuing the Ultimate Music Experiences

Audio Federation High-Fidelity Audio Blog

Chillin’ 2

Welcoming a new member to the audiophile Chillin’ community.

Yes, quite a story behind this opportune side-by-side comparison of the similarly priced Acapella “Cellini High” speakers and their “Campanile 2” speakers.

Let’s just say, in my opinion [and I think the others present], in this size of a room (20 feet by 30 feet) the Campanile was better in just about every way and in some ways much better [dynamics, general openness of the sound from bass to midrange].

 

This looks so much more comfortable than putting our feet up on our glass-top table…

Neli, wearing socks! Also chillin’…

Capital Audio Fest 2019 – photos of our giant room

Our room was quite large, and we filled it with music that was musical, well-controlled [except for a little bass overhang around 100 hz and a room resonance freq around 500? hz], smooth, harmonically rich and etc. etc.

It invited comparisons with a ‘live’ performance [not talking here about the overly simplistic demos that are primarily percussion and electric guitar we see out there sometimes]. Wasn’t quite THAT good, but, for me, this is what high-end audio is all about.

Convincingly live music in my room at a push of a button by any artist from any decade. 

 

We are exhibiting at Capital Audiofest 2019

Audio Federation will be showing at Capital Audiofest CAP 2019. We have a very large room this year and it should be a blast.

What we are showing:

  • Acapella Audio Arts “Campanile 2” loudspeakers (Porsche agate gray horns with white cabinets)
  • Acapella Audio Arts “La Musika” integrated 2000 watt amplifier
  • Acapella Audio Arts “Audio One” music server.
  • Audio Note U.K. “DAC 5 Signature” digital to analog converter.
  • Harmonic Resolution Systems (HRS) SXR equipment rack and M3X2 isolation bases and Nimbus Couplers/Spacers (feet)
  • Assorted cables from Audio Note U.K., Acapella, et. al.

Neli went last year but this will be the first time I have been at an east coast show since Stereophile New York in 2005

I will try and record video and high-res audio of all the rooms… if you can’t make it with ‘your own eyes’ and ears!

 

 

Acapella “Apollon” speaker disassembly after Munich HiEnd 2019

This video was taken on the 3rd, the last, day of this year’s Munich HiEnd Show at the Munich Marriott. The elapsed wall clock time of this 11 minute video was from 6:00pm (show close) to 8:30pm. As we were scheduled for a see-ya-next-year dinner with Audio Note at 8:00pm [luckily, we were by no means the last to arrive! 🙂 ], we had to stop videoing before the speakers were completely disassembled. It doesn’t usually take this long to do this – but it does seem like the Acapella crew take a more relaxed approach to tear down than some others who are almost frantic (some exhibitors are amazing – all done and off to supper they go) – but they did have the other room with a ton of speakers on static display to deal with as well – so there is that.

People in the video: Neli, of Audio Federation. Alfred Rudolph (speaker designer and co-founder), Richard Rudolph (runs the factory) and Robert Rudolph (marketing and Silver Surfer) of Acapella Audio Arts.

The Acapella Audio Arts’ Apollon speakers weigh about 900 lbs each, use a powered plasma (ION) massless tweeter and have four 10 inch woofers per speaker. The top bass unit is about 200lbs heavy [I love the pained look on Richard’s face as they take each one down off of its perch 😉 ].

 

Acapella Apollon speakers here at Audio Federation

s We just swapped  the Acapella Campanile [means ‘bell tower’] speakers for the larger Acapella Apollon speakers [who knew all those games of magic squares – now called sliding tile puzzles – we played as kids were training us for things like this?]. Hallway is chock full of boxes of Campanile top and bottom bass units. Campanile horns fill the dining room. And the garage? Every time we do ANYTHING it seems like half of the crates are out in the driveway making room for the other half of the crates.

The Apollon look like bigger Campaniles. Looking at before and after photos: Same color speakers, same color horns, same rack, same basic shape, but a bigger cabinet and bigger horn [better crossover, better drivers, more expensive, etc.].

The Campanile speakers that were here just last week will be playing at Capital Audio Fest early this November [in a few weeks] and then make their way from there to a new home.

The “Before” picture with the [cute, little] Campaniles. Neli is there ‘decabling’ things.

The HRS (Harmonic Resolution Systems) VXR equipment rack.

The Acapella Apollon without speaker grills or horns and with only one side-panel installed. The substantial side-panels [about 35 lbs I think] both reinforce the rigidity of the speaker as well as being aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

The Acapella Apollon speakers with horns but still no grill cloth.

The Acapella Apollon speakers with horns but still no grill cloth [but the rack is back in place]

The Acapella Apollon speakers in place. The Acapella La Musika integrated amplifier has been added up front as we put the system through its paces.

More resolution and integrated sounding [but less dynamic in the mids] than the similarly-priced Acapella Triolons. More open and dynamic and musical [but ultimately less resolution] than the Marten Supremes.

We are very happy with the sound. With what we have learned about system setup over the last many years, we expect we will eventually be able to make this the best sound we have ever had. O… M… G. we are so happy.

Should take about 30 to 90 days to fully break-in the speakers. [and the poor EMM Labs DV2 is STILL breaking in – it has been off for several weeks during the last 2+ months we have had it as we keep tearing down the system to nuts and bolts and cables over and over again…]

Have a lot more photos and videos…. just need to find time and I will post them all.

 

On holiday at the Audio Note U.K. factory

[Our backgrounder, from the video…]

On the way to the Munich Hiend 2019 show we stopped in Brighton U.K. for a few days so we could enjoy some time with the Audio Note folks and check out the factory and, in general, see if, you know, there was any There There [hey, most factories are kinda, you know, boring…]. What a blast. These people are more crazy wacky mad scientists than anything else. Thank goodness they are extremely successful at it…

In this video you will see mostly Peter Qvortrup, Audio Note founder and CEO, and Neli Davis, my partner in Audio Federation. The Chinese importer, nicknamed ‘TH’, also makes an appearance.

Audio Note U.K. is a high-end home audio technology research and development company that also builds and sells products. They make everything from resistors and capacitors to turntables and cartridges to cables and speakers to amplifiers and digital-to-analog converters.

Audio Note is years, if not literally decades, ahead of everyone else when it comes to advanced audio reproduction technology and, ultimately, quality of music reproduction in the home. This is because, as we know from other industries, innovative R&D takes courage and investment not found in larger companies (too much CYA bureaucracy), nor smaller companies (can’t afford it), and the vast majority of same-size companies find it more convenient to just sit on their laurels raking in the money while putting out yet another version of last year’s products with a new-and-improved name tag on the front.

Through aggressive trickle down, products range from several hundred thousands of dollars down to a few thousand.

 

 

 

The Harmonic Resolution Systems VXR equipment rack – Uncrating

In this video we uncrate the middle section of HRS’s statement triple-wide VXR audio equipment rack and wheel it into the listening room.

Several more videos about this process are forthcoming.

Have to say I am getting attached to the look of this modern rack next to the modern-looking speakers [especially the Porsche Agate gray on wide cabinets] in this mid-century modern home.

It was also nice that there a definite sonic improvement over even HRS’s previous state-of-the-art MXR equipment rack – most notably in the control and articulation of the bass and midrange 🙂