Cuttin-Edge, On-the-Spot Reporting

A Day at DeVore Fidelity

I recently wrote about a listening party that I attended at DeVore Fidelity’s “Monkeyhaus” factory and listening room, located in New York’s Brooklyn Navy Yard, for two independent, audiophile-approved jazz record labels: Newvelle Records and Greenleaf Music. When I headed back to that haus for a more in-depth investigation of DeVore and its self-described “Top Banana,” John DeVore, I was determined to uncover any monkey business that had gone undetected during the first go-’round.

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Newvelle Records and Greenleaf Music Attend Listening Party at DeVore Fidelity's Monkeyhaus

On December 7, 2018, I traveled to DeVore Fidelity’s “Monkeyhaus” factory and listening room, located in New York’s Brooklyn Navy Yard, to attend a party hosted by DeVore for two independent audiophile-approved jazz record labels: Newvelle Records and Greenleaf Music. According to the invite, the party offered “high-end pizza, wine and spirits, and a special selection of vinyl on some very beautiful speakers.” Present were John DeVore, the company’s chief designer and owner, and many of his employees, distributors, and other partners, as well as the founders of these two labels and many of their recording artists.

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Gershman Acoustics and Michael Arthur -- Speakers and Art at Adirondack Audio & Video

On December 6, 2018, audiophiles and hipsters gathered to attend a 1970s-themed audition of Gershman Acoustics’ Posh flagship speaker ($129,000 USD per pair) combined with an exhibition of the work of renowned artist Michael Arthur at Adirondack Audio & Video’s HiFi Loft, owned in part by Jason Tavares and located in the fashionable Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, New York. The evening featured the playback of two iconic ’70s LPs: Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On and Sly & The Family Stone’s There’s a Riot Goin’ On.

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VPI House Grand Opening and Launch of the 40th-Anniversary HW-40 Turntable

On October 21, 2018, I travelled to Matawan, New Jersey, to attend the grand opening of VPI House, a showroom built by VPI Industries, which manufactures turntables and related analog products. According to Mat Weisfeld, VPI’s president and the son of its founder and owner, Harry Weisfeld, the showroom was built for customers, dealers, and (luckily) reviewers to listen to music in a comfortable, home-like setting. The event also marked the introduction of VPI’s HW-40 direct-drive turntable ($15,000 USD), the “HW” and “40” portions of which celebrate Harry Weisfeld and his 40 years in the audio business.

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Howard's Trip to Tokyo to Visit Esoteric

My visit to Esoteric’s Tokyo, Japan, headquarters and factory in January of this year not only promised to be interesting; it also offered a temporary respite from the harsh US Northeast winter. With Tokyo’s high temperatures logging in at a relatively balmy 45 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit, I left my winter coat at home.

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BACCH-SP at the Hi-Fi Sales "Bringing It All Together" Manufacturers' Event

I traveled several hours on a rainy May afternoon to the Cherry Hill, New Jersey, showroom of Hi-Fi Sales for its “Bringing It All Together” manufacturers’ event. Scheduled to attend were Gary Ko, president and CEO of Genesis Advanced Technologies; Robert Pleyer, sales director of Rogers High Fidelity; Princeton University professor Edgar Choueiri, the founder of Theoretica Applied Physics; and the father-son team of Harry Weisfeld and Mat Weisfeld, the founder/owner and president, respectively, of VPI Industries.

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YG Acoustics Sonja 2.2 at GTT Audio

It was only a matter of time before some of the technologies behind YG Acoustics’ two-tower Sonja XV (extreme version) flagship speaker system ($265,900 USD/pr.) trickled down to one of the company’s lower-priced model lines. That’s exactly what has happened with the new Sonja 2.2 speaker ($76,800/pr.), which YG introduced to the press in early December at Bill Parish’s GTT Audio & Video, located in Long Valley, New Jersey. I was fortunate to be treated to my own private listening session during what has become an annual pilgrimage to GTT in order to hear YG’s newest speaker design.

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YG Acoustics' New Two-Tower Masterpiece: The Sonja XV

When YG Acoustics unveils a flagship loudspeaker, the press comes running, and that is exactly what happened last week at GTT Audio & Video, one of YG’s largest dealers, located in Long Valley, New Jersey. This new speaker is the $265,000 USD (per pair) Sonja XV (eXtreme Version), a 15-year-anniversary model consisting of two towers -- one main tower and one woofer tower. A new ultra-high-end addition to the company’s Sonja line of speakers, the XV incorporates YG’s latest technologies. YG’s president, Yoav Geva, says that the XV is the closest that the company has ever come to the natural sound of a live performance.

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