High Water Sound’s Sounds of Joy with TW Acustic Raven and Cessaro Horn Acoustics

Jeffrey Catalano of Lower Manhattan lives in an ancient building near the South Street Seaport where ghosts of seaman and slaves mingle with investment bankers and tourists. Catalano’s High Water Sound is the place where every New York City area audiophile dreams of being invited, cause it’s here where this mad audio wizard (and former jazz drummer (1957 Ludwigs) and jazz LP collector, like moi) cooks up the magnificent sounds that appear, like magic, at every show where High Water Sound presents. Year after year, show after show, as consistent as Big Ben.

AXPONA 2023 was another high-water mark for High Water Sound, and Jeff had a couple new tricks up his sleeve. Front-end included TW Acustic goods including the Raven LS-3 Copper turntable ($24,000, above), Raven 12″ tonearm ($6500), Raven phono stage ($25,000), Raven line stage ($25,000), and Raven 300B monoblocks ($35,000/pair, below). Also on analog call, a Glanz MH1000 tonearm ($10,500), Ortofon Diamond ($10,000) and SPU Century ($5000) phono cartridges, as well as a Miyajima Infinity Mono cartridge ($3475).

This assortment drove Cessaro Horn Acoustics Opus loudspeakers ($45,000/pair), and Opus Subwoofers ($20,000/pair). Cabling courtesy Stein Music and Dalby Audio Design; racks, isolation and tuning from Codia Acoustic Design, Silent Running Audio, Stein Music and Dalby Audio Design.

Jeff always plays the best music at any show; his taste extends from jazz and left field electronic to classical and funk. Pino Palladino/Blake Mills’s Notes with Attachments was fully freaked and incredibly detailed with a deep stage, while Cochemea’s tribal sounds, Vol.II Baca Sewa, rattled the room. Most surprisingly, Jeff integrated the two large, dual-woofer powered subs within the system to where they disappeared, seamlessly, effectively, and totally. The mad wizard wins again.

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