New York Audio Show 2014, Brooklyn, NY

2014 New York Audio Show
NYAS Ventures to Brooklyn
Show report
by Alan Taffel | Oct 17th, 2014

Five Most Significant Products

Nola was another prestigious company that did not shirk this show. Carl Marchisotto himself was on hand to introduce the Metro Grand Reference Gold ($33k). As per standard Nola orthodoxy, the new speaker has a ribbon tweeter and an open baffle cabinet for the mids on up. What’s unusual about the MGRF is that bass is conducted by two tiny, stacked woofers, which allows the MGRG to occupy just one 1 square foot of floor space. I experienced cognitive disconnect if I looked at the speaker while listening to its bass. What a tympanic boom these things make! Carl M. says the treble’s extension out to 100kHz accounts, in part, for how right the bass sounds. He also says the MGRF has flat low-end extension down to 25Hz. From what I heard in New York, that seems about right. This new Nola makes my Most Significant list because of its utility to the serious but space-challenged audiophile.

Top Five Systems (in no particular order)

The Nola Room was impressive not only for the sound but for the fact that the sound was coming from such apartment-friendly speakers. When Carl Marchisotto spun up a Count Basie LP, the dynamic slam was nothing short of astonishing. This feat was matched by Nola’s traditional openness and transparency. Nola does it again.

"The Nola Metro Grands produced among the show's best sound..." -Michael Fremer, Analog Planet

The loudspeakers in the room shared by Nola Loudspeakers and New Jersey dealer Xtreme Fidelity were familiar: they were the Nola Metro Grand Reference Golds ($33,000/pair) that I am reviewing in our November 2014 issue. These loudspeakers combine twin reflex-loaded SEAS magnesium-cone woofers with dipole midrange and tweeter, the latter a ribbon developed by Nola and RAAL. Driven by a VAC Sigma 160i tube integrated amplifier ($13,300) and a PS Audio CD player, the speakers sounded significantly better in the relatively lively hotel room than they had in my well-damped listening room. But as they had in my room, the four 6.5" woofers (with alnico motors) produced bass dynamics greater than you would think they had any right to. - John Atkinson, Stereophile Magazine

Mike Oltz of Xtreme Fidelity of Northern NJ was pleased to show off how good VAC's modestly priced Sigma Series 160i integrated ($13k) could sound driving a pair of NOLA Metro Grand Reference loudspeakers ($33k). The open baffle design on the Metro Grands give them a top that always open and very extended with nary a hint of coloration. There's a lot to like here especially when you consider the cost.

Marriott Hotel, Brooklyn, New York, USA. 26th-28th September 2014

The Nola Metro Grand Reference Gold loudspeaker uses magnesium alloy cone bass drivers in a closed cabinet, but mount a cone midrange and ribbon tweeter on an open baffle above, to eliminate coloration from internal cabinet refections. Carefully balanced to sound natural, the Nolas provided one of the best sounds of the show. Imaging from the ribbon tweeter was pin sharp and the midrange was delightfully clear. Made in USA - see

Serious Music

Show Report: New York Audio Show 2014 - Nola

The Nola Metro Grand Reference Gold was one of the best sounding speakers in the show. The sound displayed an ease and naturalness which few systems at the show could match. It disappeared completely in the room and also produces quantities of deep, powerful, textured bass that completely beggared belief.