Old Forge Audio is pleased to offer products from the following companies. (Link to manufacturer web sites by clicking on the bold, underlined company name.)
Aqua – Acoustic Quality – This Italian company, which designs and manufactures a CD transport and DACS, describes its efforts as follows: “By combining dedicated research with creative thinking, R & D Department has brought forth a range of innovation whose aim is to recreate the experience of live music in your home.”Think: R2R – in two cases discrete resistors, modular, updatable construction, marvelous, powerful, musical sound. On demo:La Voce MkII, Formula.
Auditorium 23 – Keith Aschenbrenner creates some of the most musical audio gear on the planet, ranging from interconnects and speaker cable through step-up transformers for specific low output moving coil cartridges to some of the most intriguing loudspeakers I’ve ever heard, or seen for that matter!
On demo: Hommage 755a, Hommage a Ken, Hommage Cinema, Denon, EMT std and Hommage T1 and T2 step-up transformers, interconnects, speaker cable.
BuildDesignListen – This New Zealand-based company began offering a carbon fiber, unipivot tonearm in 2011 when Founder/Manager Simon Brown created the Wand tonearm. There are now 6 tonearms available through dealers: two performance levels in three lengths each: 9.5″ (Rega drop-in replacement), 10.3″ (longest possible on LP12, compatible with Technics 1200 and 1500 series), and 12″ for use where transcription length arms are in service.
The Wand Turntable 14-4 is now in production. Why 14-4? The platter is 14″ in diameter, improving inertia by 20% over a 12″ platter of the same mass. The platter consists of four layers to reduce noise.
Box Furniture– This Brooklyn Navy Yard-based company makes some of the loveliest and best sounding equipment racks in the industry, as well as the speaker cabinets for Devore Fidelity. Customization is always an option! The double-width 3 shelf rack is on display here.
Chord Electronics – ￼ On demo: DAVE and Qutest DACs.
DeVore Fidelity – “Founded by president and chief designer John DeVore in 2000, DeVORE FIDELITY has gone on to receive universal acclaim for every one if its products, and John continues to push the state of the art in speaker design. John brought his 30 years of experience as a musician, 20 years of designing speakers and 18 years of Hi-Fi industry experience to his company.”
On demo: Gibbon Super Nine, Orangutan 93 (O/93) and Orangutan 96 (O/96).
Dynavector – On demo: DV 10X5 MkII, DV 20X2L, DV XX2MkII cartridges, phono stage.
EMT – This German has been producing transcription studio turntables (historical), tonearms and moving coil cartridges for over 75 years.
On demo:EMT 997tone arm, TSD 75, JSD S75 (in a J head shell) and Lime low output moving coil cartridges.
Graham Audio – is a UK speaker manufacturer which brings together an exciting collection of BBC-licensed and BBC-inspired loudspeakers. Derek Hughes, son of legendary BBC designers Spencer and Dorothy Hughes, has updated a number of BBC-licensed classics such as the LS3/5a and LS5/9 and created new designs which, although clearly inspired by earlier works, broaden and extend the appeal for new audiences.
On demo: We’re beginning our Graham Audio adventure with the LS5/9, although there are plans to expand on this quite soon.
Innuos – “Innuos was founded in 2009 in the United Kingdom with the vision that you don’t need to sacrifice sound quality nor be a technology wizard to enjoy the convenience of Digital Music at your fingertips.”(Hallelujah! Say Amen!) “This vision can only be achieved through the combination of three core principles: Perfect synergy between hardware and software, customer-driven research and development, and open platform development.”
For me, it boils down to great sound, simple set-up, convenience and flexibility in operation. At last, a ripper/player/server that isn’t a hair shirt experience to operate!
On demo: ZEN Mini Mk III, ZEN Mk III.
Jadis – Old Forge has taken the legendary French brand on board, beginning with the Orchestra Black – a 6CA7 integrated amp with a minimalist black and silver color scheme.
We added the DA50S to our demo fleet in June ’21 – a 30w/channel, Class A, push-pull KT120 integrated amplifier in the classic Jadis gold & chrome livery. You have to hear it to believe it!
We added the Jadis JS2 Mk IV DAC to the Jadis demo collection in October ’21. It has a supreme musicality, which is a fairly useless term unless explained. What I have in mind when I say that is, very convincing timbre, tonal quality, fine detail, (which makes the first two possible), as well as a sense of rhythm – flow, if you will. Those who find imaging and soundstage important will be impressed and highly entertained, I think. It falls into the same price range as Chord Electronics’ DAVE, but is distinctly different.
On demo: Orchestra Black integrated amplifier, DA50S Class A integrated amplifier and the JS2 MkIV DAC.
J.C. Verdier – Back in the ’90s,this legendary French turntable manufacturer brought a high mass platter, outboard motor and magnetic repulsion (to lighten the load and reduce bearing noise), together to stunning and often imitated musical effect.
On demo: La Nouvelle Platine.
Leben HiFi – The designer and owner of Leben Hi-Fi is Mr. Taku Hyodo, who, after a career as an engineer at Luxman, began producing tube amplifier designs of his own in 1991. All Leben products are hand-made, using point-to-point wiring.
On demo: CS-300integrated amplifier and RS-30EQ phono stage.
London (Decca) – On demo: London Decca Super Gold cartridge.
Luna Cables – From Montreal, Danny LaBreque and Erik Fortier offer interconnects (unbalanced RCA and Balanced XLR), USB, Ethernet, speaker, SP/Dif and phono cables at five performance levels, represented by color.
On demo: Various Gray, Orange, Mauve and Red level cables.
Merason – This Swiss DAC manufacturer has gained wide recognition in the last couple of years for its two DAC models: the full-sized DAC1, the more recent, diminutive Fréron (little brother) and its brand new linear power supply Pow1.
On demo: Fréron and Pow1.
Moonriver Audio – Moonriver is a Swedish manufacturer that designs and produces a pair of very well-reviewed 50 watt/channel integrated amplifiers – the 404 and 404 Reference – either of which may be used as a line only integrated, or with the addition of either their mm or mm/mc phono module, a full function integrated. There had been – and will be again! – a USB DAC module available, but the AKM factory in Japan burned down. A replacement DAC module is in development.
Tone/texture/timbre and dynamics are especially well-served, and its ability to recreate a sense of space is quite noteworthy as well. I was very happy to find a balance control, stereo/mono switch and tape loop incorporated. An Alps Blue volume pot adds remote control to this very tasty and memorable mix.
Rogers HiFi UK – Old Forge is proud to add this legendary British speaker company to the roster. On demo: LS3/5a 15 Ohm Classic.
A newly updated LS5/9 and the brand new AB3a powered woofer stand are also currently available.
Shindo Laboratory – This family-run Japanese firm designs and hand builds some of the most highly regarded electronics, loudspeakers and turntables in the world. Founder Ken Shindo made a name for himself and his brand designing preamplifiers and amplifiers using and combining unusual tubes in original ways to attain his vision of musical beauty, naming them after some of the world’s finest wines and housing them in bottle green cases.
On demo: Monbrison pre-amplifier, Cortese F2A power amplifier.
SME – The legendary UK turntable and tonearm manufacturer offers six models, all of which are regarded as top performers at their various price points. On demo: Model 12 turntable with 309 tonearm.
Sonner Audio – When you talk to Gunny, major domo at Sonner, you quickly realize that he is music-driven, not hi-fi artifact driven. Listening to his speakers leads to the same conclusion, although they also image like absolute beasts. On demo: Legato Unum and Duo, both of which have received The Absolute Sound’s 2022 Editors’ Choice Award. This is the third consecutive award for Legato Duo and the second consecutive award for Legato Unum.
SoundKaos – On demo: Wave 42 loudspeakers.
Sugden Audio – This UK-based electronics firm celebrated its 50th anniversary last year. Sugden offers four series of amplification, both integrated and separate, as well as a loudspeaker and cables.
On demo: A21SE integrated amplifier and Masterclass LA4 pre-amp.
Sutherland Engineering – Ron Sutherland is a phono stage magician who has pulled not one, but many superb phono stages out of his engineering hat. Some, like the KC Vibe Mk II and 20/20 Mk II, will handle mm and mc signals in a manner we’re all familiar with. Others – the TZ Vibe, Little LOCO Mk II and Phono LOCO – are only compatible with low output mc cartridges and react to the cartridge’s output CURRENT rather than the cartridge’s output VOLTAGE. This is referred to as ‘current drive’ or Transimpedance. They are indifferent to the cartridge’s output impedance, eliminating the need for tuning the mc gain stage or step-up transformer to each individual cartridge.
The result is a very wide pallet of tonal color and dynamics emerging out of an absolutely jet black, silent background.
On Demo: KC Vibe, TZ Vibe and Little LOCO.
TonApparate – Uwe Meyer designs and builds the best sounding audio racks I’ve ever heard. “Heard?”, you say. Yes, heard. It’s amazing what 200lbs of cherry wood, pneumatically isolated from its environment, can do for your system’s sound!
Wattson Audio – Old Forge Audio is pleased to represent Wattson Audio, a Swiss company with 20 years of experience in the musical reproduction field. Their current product offerings include two network streamers– Emerson Digital (w/o DAC) and Emerson Analog (w/DAC), and Madison, a network streamer, DAC and headphone amplifier.
Well Tempered Lab – On demo: Simplex II.