Last weekend was spent in the delightful company of Audiophilia writers and our wives. The destination for this annual ‘audiophiliacamp’ is Saugerties, NY, about ninety minutes up the Hudson from the city. Nestled in seven peaceful acres, Mike and MaryAnn Levy’s gorgeous home sits atop a bluff overlooking the Saugerties Lighthouse and the meandering Hudson River.
Mornings are spent on the large raised decks drinking coffee and watching the deer forage. Evenings are for stars unencumbered by pollution and a symphony of fireflies. Sometimes, a train on the opposite bank can be heard rumbling along with a distant horn echoing over the water. Yes, idyllic. That we listen to the most glorious music, on fantastic kit, eat great food, drink superb wines, all in the company of our loved ones is a very rich icing on the cake.
Our host Mike Levy is a very talented man. One of the reasons for the visit was to audition his new speakers. Alas, they were not quite ready for prime time and remained at his other home on Long Island. He’s a perfectionist. Guess, I’ll just have to fly to the city in November for a listen. Nudge, nudge!
So, we slummed it with his Levy Acoustics Musinas — spectacular sound and the best piano black polyester finish I’ve seen. Martin Appel had just reviewed the MSB Technology’s Data CD IV Transport and its upgraded power supply, and added them to the system. The improvement in sound compared to last year was very noticeable in the first four bars of a GRP CD. Detailed and specific imaging with lots of air and sparkle. The MSB gear is a fabulous discovery. I would own them in a heartbeat. Cables were switched between Antipodes Audio and Acoustic Zen. Both were excellent, but different. The Antipodes were terminated with RCAs, the Zens, XLRs. I preferred the sound from the RCA termination, surprisingly.
Much of the talk on the weekend was to do with the state of the audio business and the measurable discrepancy between Dealer/Editorial and Manufacturers, with big emphasis on the latter. The audio business model works much better when the balance is correct. At the moment the imbalance may well sink the whole ship.
Once the wine flowed, we were back to our usual cheerful selves, in love with music and everything audiophile. Happily, most of the weekend’s talk was music and audiophile centred, interrupted by two incredible meals in local restaurants and glorious sounding music.