From T.H.E. Show 2006
From T.H.E. Show 2006
From T.H.E. Show 2006
From the VTV Show 2006
Hudson Audio Technology
Upon pulling into Montreal, one of the first people I sought out was my buddy Tom Hills, and his company Hudson Audio Technology. I first got to know Tom when I spotted one of his power cords on my way out the door to the airport from CES two years back. At this point in time, every power cable in my system that could be yanked off has been replaced with Tom's. Hudson Audio Technology also displayed the Audiopath cable line that includes the PC-1 power cords that I own a number of, the PS-1 power strips, speaker, interconnect, and dedicated phono cables. Whew! Tom Hills is an audio jack-of-all-trades, and very knowledgeable and experienced. There's nothing analog that doesn't grab his attention I am sure. Hudson Audio has become a distributor for the well respected Lehmann Audio "Black Cube" series of phono stages, which have garnered all sorts of rave reviews and awards since 1995. If you are in the market for a great phono stage, this is something you should definitely look into further at: www.hudsonaudio.net or by contacting Tom Hills directly at: HUDS143@aol.com. If you live far away from a bunch of audio dealerships, (as I do in up-state New York), then Tom Hills just may be your guy. Tom is a 'turntableist' (true word: used in the documentary "Scratch") of the first order. At this show Tom had set up the mouth-watering Amazon Reference turntable, made in Germany. This is constructed primarily from acrylic materials with a separate outboard rechargeable battery power supply, and employs an inverted thrust-type bearing. Hudson Audio also imports the well-reviewed (by Michael Fremer) Morch series of tonearms, which were mated to the outstanding Allaert MC1B cartridge. This combination was so elegant and quiet that it seemed to suck the background noise right out of that hotel suite! I mean NO record noise artifacts to speak of, just drop-dead elegant wonderful analog magic-time. But save your pennies-Tom's turntable set-up was on the higher-end side of this room. The Amazon table lists at 9k U.S. dollars, the Morch tonearm at $1800, and the Allaerts cartridge at $2850 U.S. Now we're talkin'-about your budget that is. But boy is this stuff good! Hudson Audio also distributes Opera Audio tube electronics that are compact, low-wattage, and functional as heck. People were really paying attention to these amps and pre-amps, and Tom tells me he wished he'd brought more of them to the show, which is a good sign. You can learn more about these as well on the Hudson Audio website, which once again is: www.hudsonaudio.net . Good 'nuff!
Omega Speaker Systems.
Sharing the room with Tom Hills and Hudson Audio, and making this one of the standout 'bang-for-the-buck' rooms at the show, was Omega Speaker Systems. This speaker company is the love of audio designer Louis Chochos's life, and Louis is delivering outstanding value for those searching for reasonably priced speakers on the sensitive side. Chochos has created a line of single-driver crossoverless designs that range from 93 to 96 in their dB ratings. They don't go down to the deepest, but with the addition of a well-chosen subwoofer, Creative Sound X10200. ed (as I heard in their room here), you are in business with really fine musical sound for amounts that aren't going to bankrupt you. Omega does all their own manufacturing and assembly right at home in Norwalk, Connecticut. I listened several times during the show, and always found the room full of enthusiastic people who know a genuinely musical high-end bargain when they hear it. Omega employs modified Fostex drivers in compact ported enclosures, in a choice of nice finishes. Retail starts at around $399 and tops out at $1499, so there is a range of choices. Louis Chochos is someone who is obviously already making his mark in high-end audio and will no doubt be heard from much in the future-highly recommended! You can check it out at: www.omegaloudspeakers.com .
Tom Hills of Hudson Audio Technologies brought his P S-1 Powermax Power Strip , a four-outlet affair inside a heavy steel-gauge Raco box, wired internally with 10-AWG solid core. Receptacles are hospital-grade 20-amp isolated ground units. The PS-1 comes with a 6-foot twisted cord terminated in a Marinco plug. Available colors are black, light blue or silver. Hudson Audio also handles Morch and Schroder tone arms; Consonance, Sennheiser and Earmax headphone accessories; Amazon, Eurolab, Orca and SOTA turntables; F.J., NTH and Omega speakers; Lehman phono stages; and Opera Audio electronics. The Omega speakers in particular were champagne on a beer budget sparklers and Jeff Day's forthcoming mini report will have more to report on them. The puppies on demo were the Super 3s right below which, despite their puny 4.5" shielded Fostex driver, pumped out 50Hz-band bass. At 93dB sensitivity and compact dimensions of 15" x 12" x 7.5" HxWxD, these $529/$729pr standard/deluxe minis kicked harder than anyone not present would believe.
Audiopath silver cables from Hudson Audio
To complete the RMAF setup and to set right some serious cable oversight, we have the Audiopath silver cables connecting up the works. From the Hudson Audio website, the Audiopath cables are "pure silver cable made from a combination of eight strands of 99.9999% silver. Wire size is 13AWG and is braided for shielding. Termination is done by hand with a choice of banana or Cardas silver spade lugs for the speaker cable and RCA male plugs for the interconnects. Cardas silver solder is used for all terminations."
The Audiopath silver cables are very pliable and easy to work with. I asked Tom Hills, the personable proprietor of Hudson Audio and the man behind Audiopath cables, for banana termination on the speaker cable. Both Cardas RCAs and Vampire bananas are excellent connectors, providing tightly gripping joins. The appearance of the Audiopaths is right up there with the other components and I find the less-is-more approach to cables a sensible and welcome style. While I dig watching the dude in Gatorland wrestle the crocs in the pond, I'd rather not risk whip-scars when routing my cable.
I asked Tom for a little background on Audiopath: "I started in the mid seventies building communication cables used in the Datacom industry. For a long time, I did part-time cable repair for both data and audio at night. In 1999, I was unhappy with the current phono cables that were available. Most companies were producing interconnects and using them for phono. There were two problems that needed to be addressed. One was signal loss due to the low voltage levels coming from the cartridges. The second was shielding and lowering the noise floor. I felt that silver done right would partly solve the signal loss problem. And the type of shielding could solve noise problems. Also low loss RCAs that sounded good would help pass all or most of the signal to the phono stage. That's when I started producing serious interconnects. After that, I worked on speaker cables, power cords and power strips."
"All of the Audiopath cables are made by hand. I also make an OEM line for Omega Loudspeakers called OmegAudio cables. These are all copper. I have known Louis since 2001. I always liked the single-driver speakers. I needed something for my low-powered SET amps. I tried the Fostex designs that Louis was making at the time and was very happy with the sound. At that time, I signed on to become a dealer."