Saturday, November 23, 2019

Audio Show Report!
Capital Audio Fest 2019
Speakers, TT's, Amps
Highlight East Coast Show!

MC Audiotech 40-10's at 2019 CAF

by Paul Elliott
(Special To EAN)
Part 2 In A Series

   At CAF, the Jolida/Black Ice rooms are always fun. This year, the new Black Ice Fusion F100 mono blocks powered the Vienna Acoustics Beethoven Concert Grand loudspeakers, an the sound was impressive. The Jim Fosgate design, fully balanced, 140 watts per channel. I heard lots of drive with these amps. The Black Ice F360 preamp, also in demo, is new for 2019. It is designed with a range of Jim Fosgate-designed controls, giving the user complete command over the sound.

Black Ice Fusion F100 Monoblock

  What's great about these CAF exhibitions is you get to see and hear equipment you would never experience anywhere. One such product is the MC Audiotech Forty-10 loudspeaker, built near Philly. This is a full-range, two-way system with an unusual cloth-covered, curved array consisting of 100 in-house designed drivers. Frequency response is 100 Hz to 20 kHz, sitting on a bass unit which they call a folded cube. I believe it is two 18 woofers firing into a chamber that is ported out the back.
  Each woofer’s back wave is ported out its respected grill on the front. This design provides a very efficient way to plumb the depths to 20 Hz. They are claiming 93-96 db at 1 meter. They were using a PASS XA 25 for the arrays and a Parasound A23+ for the low frequency units. A PS Audio DAC, Wolf Audio Systems music server for the digital source and VPI HW-40 TT with Luminous Arion phono stage managed by a PASS XP22 preamp. The sound was very full of life. I liked it.

Verdant Audio Blackthorn 1

  Verdant Audio, in Room 525, had a great looking display of their monitor speaker line. The top-of-the line carbon-fiber cabinet, Blackthorn1. Powered by Art Audio Quartet Mono-Blocks and Conductor Preamp. The stereo image  was quite involving. Analog duties were commanded by the Art Audio TT, with Ortofon tonearm and Cadensa Blue cartridge. Digital bits and bytes were from a Roon Nucleus Server and PS Audio DirectStream DAC. I would loved to have heard the bamboo cabinets but had to move on. 

Art Audio Quartet Tube Amp

  I have met David Janzen many times at previous audio shows and once at a special presentation of his speaker to the DC Hi-Fi Group of his speaker. I have recently gotten involved with electrostatics in rebuilding a few pair of Quad ESL (57's). I like them so much I kept a set for myself. There is something about the speed and transparency that just draws me into the music. It is just more interesting. David was showing his latest version of the Valencia, the P8 electrostatic. This is an active speaker with dual 500W Hypex NCore amps bi-amping the woofers and electrostatic panels. There are both digital and analog inputs.

Jansen P8 Valencia electrostatic tandem

  Linear Tube Audio supplied the micoZOTL preamplifier. David said it took much effort to get a balanced sound in the difficult hotel room. He settled on a placement along the long wall, which put the listener in almost a near-field placement which was fine for me. (Other vendors chose to exhibit this way, as well, and those rooms all sounded very good) The sound sucked you into the music. It was rich, full, life like, and rewarding.

Sota Sapphire Series TT

  Room 549 was the ModWright/Sota exhibit/demo. I have had a Sota TT since 1985, a Star Sapphire, which was rebuilt and upgraded to a Nova four years ago. Sota was a major player in the late 80's early 90's. They went through some changes and got lost a bit, but they now are making a surge forward with aggressive marketing and development. Sorta makes both suspended (higher priced ) models and non-suspended (entry level) models. I am pretty sure you will be seeing very positive reviews in the near future. The tables have an understated look, not calling attention to itself — except for the musicality of the sound they produce. 
  The Studio Electric F2 floor standers were playing when I got into the room. These small floor standers produce a great, easy listening presence. ModWright electronics were doing the heavy lifting with aplomb.

  Paul Elliott is a long-time audiophile, based in Baltimore. He is a freelance writer and member of the DC Hi-Fi Group. EAN is an audio review web site/blog. Founder John Gatski has been evaluating consumer, audiophile, home cinema and professional audio gear since 1988. In 1995, he created Pro Audio Review, and he has written for SoundOnSound, Audio, Laserviews, Enjoy The Music, The Audiophile Voice, High Performance Review, Radio World and TV Technology. Everything Audio Network is based in Kensington, Md. Articles on this site are the copyright of the ©Everything Audio Network. Any unauthorized use, via print or Internet, without written permission is prohibited. John Gatski can be reached via email:

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