T.H.E. Show Newport 2018 Ron Report: Evolution Acoustics / darTZeel / Wave Kinetics / Durand

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 24, 2015
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This year the exhibit of The Audio Association, which is the dealer for Evolution Acoustics, darTZeel, Wave Kinetics and Durand Tonearms in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas, was presided over jointly by Kevin Malmgren, the Director of Operations and Product Development at Evolution Acoustics, and Joel Durand, the Proprietor and Designer of Durand Tonearms. These gentlemen were substituting for the traditional Master of Ceremonies, Jonathan Tinn.



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Leslie Brooks, of Analog Audio, also was missing because he is in the middle of a business relocation in Florida.

Kevin was demonstrating the same Evolution Acoustics Maestoso loudspeaker he debuted last year ($18,900 per pair). Electronics by darTZeel consisted of the NHB–108 stereo amplifier ($39,000) and the NHB-18NS preamplifier with integrated phono stage ($44,000).

The vinyl front-end consisted of the Wave Kinetics NVS turntable ($45,000) and the Durand Tonearms Tosca prototype (price to be determined) on which was mounted the brand new ZYX UNIverse Optimum cartridge ($16,500). This exhibit was the world premiere of both the Tosca prototype tonearm and the UNIverse Optimum cartridge.



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The cross-over for the Maestoso loudspeaker continues to be the most unbelievably impressive-looking cross-over I have ever seen.

Overall the sound of the system was terrific: transparent, dynamic and natural. There was not a hint of excessive brightness anywhere. I liked the sound very much!

This was the first time I had an opportunity to speak with Joel Durand, and his unveiling of the prototype Tosca was a good excuse to initiate contact. The Tosca is Joel’s first tonearm design with a gimbal bearing.

Visually, the Tosca reminded me of the SAT tonearm. But the Tosca looks even more solid than does the SAT.

The Tosca has what looks like an intermediate connector (that black piece) to attach the headshell to the armwand. Joel said this allows the user to adjust azimuth easily. But I am wondering if I would prefer, at least in theory, a more solid junction between the headshell and the armwand.




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Since I am planning a second tonearm/cartridge combination I was very intrigued by the Tosca. Having heard Joel’s Telos Sapphire in Mike Lavigne’s system, I asked Joel what are the sonic differences between the Telos Sapphire and the Tosca. Joel replied, coyly, “We will have to wait and see.”

With the Tosca looking more massive than his unipivot designs I asked Joel if the Tosca has a higher effective mass than his unipivot tonearms. Joel answered that the Tosca has approximately the same effective mass as the Telos.

I think it may fall to Mike Lavigne to figure out the sonic differences between the Telos Sapphire and the new Tosca!
 

jtinn

Industry Expert
Apr 20, 2010
503
70
483
This year the exhibit of The Audio Association, which is the U.S. distributor for Evolution Acoustics, darTZeel, Wave Kinetics and Durand Tonearms, was presided over jointly by Kevin Malmgren, the Director of Operations and Product Development at Evolution Acoustics, and Joel Durand, the Proprietor and Designer of Durand Tonearms. These gentlemen were substituting for the traditional The Audio Association Master of Ceremonies, Jonathan Tinn.

Hi Ron,

Sorry I had to miss this year's show. Thank you for the very kind words. Kevin and Ed spent quite a bit of time setting the room up and from what I am hearing from the phone calls I have been receiving is that most visitors were blown away by the sound.

As a slight correction, The Audio Association is a terrific dealer handling our products and servicing Los Angeles / Orange County, not the U.S. distributor. Distribution is still handled by Blue Light Audio.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 24, 2015
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Sorry about that, Jonathan. I corrected that in the opening post.

We missed you!
 

DaveyF

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2010
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181
458
La Jolla, Calif USA
This was indeed a super room. My joint BOS. Gone were the somewhat nasty brightness that I have heard from EA speakers in the past. Instead we had superb bass control, excellent resolution and imaging that was precise and deep. I am under the distinct impression that Kevin told me these were new drivers that he personally designed and that were built locally. Kevin described this system as basically a 12” three way design..it certainly sounded that way, but with far more bottom end control than most 12” drivers that I am aware of. The new Durand tonearm ( prototype) is going to be a world beater imo. Ron, I do agree that the headshell might be of minor concern...but seeing the way Joel has approached the whole platform, I kind of doubt it.
Joel told me the arm weighs four pounds——! Not exactly for those with spring suspended tables...unfortunately:eek::rolleyes:
 

ack

VIP/Donor & WBF Founding Member
May 6, 2010
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Boston, MA
Is the Maestoso price correct? Seems a lot of speaker and crossover parts for only $18,900???
 

DaveyF

Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2010
6,129
181
458
La Jolla, Calif USA
Is the Maestoso price correct? Seems a lot of speaker and crossover parts for only $18,900???

Apparently so! I asked Kevin this exact question. He stated that this was going to be the price and would include the x-over ( although not exactly as pictured...i understood it to be in a smaller box). Only 100 pairs would be made..and definitely no more after that. Seems like a fair price.
 

asiufy

Industry Expert/VIP Donor
Jul 8, 2011
3,711
723
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San Diego, CA
almaaudio.com
Is the Maestoso price correct? Seems a lot of speaker and crossover parts for only $18,900???

Yes, price is correct. And yes, only 100 will be made, so get those checkbooks ready :)

If you've heard them last year at that pitiful hotel by LAX, you owe it to yourself another listen. The exact same speaker, in a smaller (but better) room, sounded purely magical.

I'm working the details with Kevin (and Jonathan) to host an event in the store to introduce this fantastic speaker to our area.


cheers,
alex
 

TheAudioAssociation

Member Sponsor
Jul 10, 2010
141
21
1,575
Anaheim Hills, CA
Good Morning Ron

Sorry we missed each other on your visit. Thank you so much for your kind words about the wonderful sound we were able to produce in our room. Kevin did a fantastic job of showcasing the wonderful EA Maestoso speakers powered by the impecable darTZeel electronics. This was probably one of the best if not THE best sounding rooms we've ever had!

A big thanks to Joel Durand for his Tosca prototype arm with the ZYX UNIverse Optimum cartridge on the world class Wave Kinetics NVS turntable. The arm is a work of art and should be a game changer once released.

We could not have pulled this off without our good friend Gary Danko who helped with the move-in/out and also spun some wonderful tunes for us. He has been a huge part of our team at these shows!

We are taking pre-orders for the EA Maestoso speakers so please don't hesitate to get in line. Once this production run is sold out they will be gone! Feel free to reach out to us for more information. We can be reached at info@theaudioassociation.com

Thanks again Ron!
 

KeithR

VIP/Donor
May 7, 2010
5,173
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Encino, CA
Hi Ron,

Sorry I had to miss this year's show. Thank you for the very kind words. Kevin and Ed spent quite a bit of time setting the room up and from what I am hearing from the phone calls I have been receiving is that most visitors were blown away by the sound.

You were there in spirit :)

Sound was excellent - one of the best EA/Dart rooms I've ever heard.
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 24, 2015
16,215
13,692
2,665
Beverly Hills, CA
Good Morning Ron

Sorry we missed each other on your visit. Thank you so much for your kind words about the wonderful sound we were able to produce in our room. Kevin did a fantastic job of showcasing the wonderful EA Maestoso speakers powered by the impecable darTZeel electronics. This was probably one of the best if not THE best sounding rooms we've ever had!

A big thanks to Joel Durand for his Tosca prototype arm with the ZYX UNIverse Optimum cartridge on the world class Wave Kinetics NVS turntable. The arm is a work of art and should be a game changer once released.

We could not have pulled this off without our good friend Gary Danko who helped with the move-in/out and also spun some wonderful tunes for us. He has been a huge part of our team at these shows!

We are taking pre-orders for the EA Maestoso speakers so please don't hesitate to get in line. Once this production run is sold out they will be gone! Feel free to reach out to us for more information. We can be reached at info@theaudioassociation.com

Thanks again Ron!

I am sorry I missed you! Kevin's passion for audio and for his designs always comes through clearly!

PS: Just for the record my favorite EA show room thus far was the top-of-the-line system built around the MM3 EXACT about three years ago in a huge big room! -- and with Leslie playing tapes!
 

TheAudioAssociation

Member Sponsor
Jul 10, 2010
141
21
1,575
Anaheim Hills, CA
I am sorry I missed you! Kevin's passion for audio and for his designs always comes through clearly!

PS: Just for the record my favorite EA show room thus far was the top-of-the-line system built around the MM3 EXACT about three years ago in a huge big room! -- and with Leslie playing tapes!
Agreed! That set up with the MM3 EXTACT was phenomenal!
 

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