Positive Feedback Logo

Impressions: the Pacific Audio Fest 2023, a Photo-Essay – Part the Second

07-22-2023 | By David W. Robinson | Issue 128

David W. Robinson and Leif Ericson:  a Fantasy.  

Music and fine audio weren't the only things happening at PAF 2023, though. A group of us also participated in the late afternoon and nightly sessions of the ad hoc Audiophile Cigar Society. To those of us who appreciate fine cigars and excellent pours of adult beverages, time was taken to socialize, talk about the show, and generally get to know one another better. Given the beautiful weather, what could be more desirable?!

Marc Philips demonstrating excellent herfing technique…


PF's Musician-in-Residence and newest reviewer, Dean Waters:  A study with cigar

Dave Clark and Carol Clark of PF with Marc Philips of Part-Time Audiophile having a fine conversation

The Audiophile Cigar Society, in general congress, assembled…quite the crew!

Shifting back to the rooms, another exceptional place in my book was the Ideon/JMF Audio/HRS/Audio Skies/GamuT space. Under the able hosting of Michael Vamos of Audio Skies, accompanied by the brilliant loudspeaker designer Benno Baun Meldgaard, the latest Ideon stack was put through its paces.

The Ideon/JMF Audio stack...serious synergy!

I had given the first generation of the Ideon Absolute DAC one of my Brutus Awards back in 2020 (HERE), and while it was excellent (that's how you get a Brutus Award, eh?), this latest generation of Ideon was noticeably improved in every way.

Michael Vamos and Benno Baun Meldgaard with Benno's GamuT Audio Zodiac reference loudspeakers

This new Ideon Stack, comprised of its latest gen DAC, power supply, and streamer, and paired with the quite impressive JMF Audio electronics feeding the ever-seductive Bennofitted GamuT Audio Zodiacs (which I rhapsodized over in PF in Issue 92, back in the near-summer of 2017 right HERE) really knocked me out.

I hadn't heard JMF Audio's electronics before this; they really mated very well with the Zodiacs. Tightly controlled but full bass, musical midrange, and well-extended high frequencies, seamlessly integrated; nicely balanced detail and transparency with a joyful musicality; excellent imaging and soundstaging; and that all-too-rare audio virtue, a truly organic presence. A grand slam here.

Michael and Benno:  a portrait of friends, in dry brush…

No doubt about it at all. This room deserves one of my Audio Oasis! Awards quite richly. Indeed, it was one of three rooms at PAF 2023 that I considered to be audio mountaintops...especially under show conditions.

And so, this Audio Oasis! Award is very gladly given.

Yet more to come in Part the Third...