This portion of Dagogo’s 2008 RMAF Coverage by Constantine Soo
Audio Note UK
To date, after listening to other system at the show, the Audio Note UK system, with such extraordinary level of sonics in extreme-premium parts and silver implementation, continued to provide the most explicit experience in tonal sophistication. The only regret in this year’s Exhibit was the newly-arrived M9 Phono preamplifier ($115,000), which was in operation only days fresh from the UK factory. That said, with music particularly rich in discreet top=end characteristics, the AN-SEC Signature loudspeakers ($51,000/pair) infused the listening experience with tremendous top-end finesse. Peter Qvortrup’s reputed preference in corner placement of his Snell-based speakers were superb in producing powerful bottom-end, but I thought distancing from the corners would’ve improved the perceived spatiality of music and thus would’ve imparted greater instrument realism.
Of all system I auditioned at the show, the Audio Note UK is the only one that absolutely refused to misbehave in such way, as all others do to greater and lesser extent, to impart distorted transients unto the music. It is my belief that all the interim stages of silver transformers and capacitors and wires contributed to an extraordinarily expeditious signal flow, complacent with the usual concentration of tonal energy not found in other system designs.
AN-E SEC Signature ($51,000/pair)►
2-way rear ported enclosure. 1″ tweeter and 8″ bass driver both with ALNICO magnets. 95.5dB efficient, Audio Note™ SOGON™ LX 96 strand 99.99% pure silver litz cable. Audio Note™ silver wired voice coils, Audio Note 99.99% pure silver crossover inductors, Audio Note copper foil signal capacitors in separate non-magnetic chassis. All round veneered cabinet made from Russian birch plywood with clear 8-layer hand polished piano lacquer finish.
▼top to bottom: CDT-Three transport ($95,000), M9 Phono main chassis ($115,000), DAC 4.1x Balanced ($15,500),
M9 Phono power supply chassis on the floor to the left of rack
▼KEGON monoblock power amplifier ($95,000/pair)
“22 watts, Class A parallel single-ended no feedback mono triode power amplifiers. Fully transformer coupled, all directly heated triodes. All Audio Note silver wired circuit and power supply, Audio Note silver foil signal capacitors & tantalum resistors, Black Gate caps wherever possible, all Audio Note silver wired output transformer.”
DAC 4.1x Balanced DAC: 1xoversampling™ direct from disc™ technology with silver wired and patented Audio Note transformer coupled I/V interface and digital input transformer.
Interconnect and speaker cables: Audio Note SOOTTO and SOGON 99.99% pure silver conductors in a symmetrical litz topology.
Power cables: Acrolink PC-4060 with Oyaide termination.
Music Interface Technologies
MIT hosted two adjacent Exhibits, one for static display of various MIT products, the other for active demonstration of the company’s Multipole™ technology. In that room, well-treated with strategic placement of absorptive panels, acoustical drapes on both sides, corner traps and rear panels, a Cary CDP-1, Cary SLP-03 preamplifier, a Cary CAD-200 2-channel power amp and Dali Mentor 5 speakers formulated the budget system. The highly effective room treatment was engineered by A/V Services of Pataskala of Ohio.
In a 3-stage demonstration, after playing a few minutes of music via MIT’s own 12-gauge speaker cable with TPE insulation, the MIT staff added the AVT Speaker Interface Module, and then the AVT MA speaker cable. Before the progression, there was decent soundstage width, considering the size of the Dali and the nearfield listening arrangement. However, in the final stage demo, ambience began to rush in as if there was an influx of clean air in the listening space. Minute performance intricacies were revealed, enhancing the realism of the experience. Human vocal attained a more expanded range, imparting a more calming and involved experience.
For two years in a row, MIT has maintained very informative demonstration sessions that was somewhat low-profiled but revelatory. For readers with smaller rooms and more modest system budget, the MIT Multipole™ technology will provide unreal improvements previously monopolized by readers with unreal budgets.
▼Steve Holt of MIT. Note the Z Powerbar on the table. Click here to read the Dagogo Review.
The moment I started listening to the $28k/pair Eventus Lysithea, which Ed Momkus reviewed, I was struck by the excited mid-bass and overly energetic top-end. Aldo and Greg of Eventus graciously entertained my request of toeing the speakers to crossfire a foot or so in front of me, and the Lysithea that Ed marveled so much about promptly come into form and emerged as an utterly full-range, well-balanced design worthy of its asking price, and more so when compared to a few other high-ticketed 2-way designs.
The irresistible, locked-down image stability was most appreciable, thanks to a very meticulously engineered two-way design. Equally irresistible was a very spacious soundstage, due perhaps to its narrow front baffle and highly-diffracting side baffle design. Having played the majority of tracks on my test CD, I felt that the Lysithea was doing full justice to electronics upstream by displaying their sonic dispositions. Thus, I felt that the Lysithea should be wonderful to be played around with both tube and solid-state electronics.
To conclude, there were levels of driver integration in multi-way driven designs, and the Lysithea attained the rarer feat of an immaculate capability of a highly integrated human vocal rendition, be it of a church choir, a soprano or even a melancholy husband who lost his wife.
▲Top to bottom:
Audio Analogue Class A integrated amplifier, $8,000
Audio Analogue Maestro CD player, $3,400
Eventus Phobos on static display▲
What translucent dynamic transition in a variety of program material there was in this room, as if the notes themselves were organic beings, free-reigning in their next destination on the score and as utterly sophisticated as the human mind. In the Sunday afternoon, I was accorded the rarest of opportunity of listening to the system in an empty room all by myself, having been advised by John Schaffer of Wadia himself upon my arrival in the first day of the show to return on the last day of the show, so as to give the system more break-in period for my auditioning purpose. The Exhibit was a collaborative effort by Wadia (source), Pass Lab (amplification), Dynaudio (speaker) and XLO (cable).
The $16,500/pair Dynaudio Sapphire loudspeaker system was Dynaudio’s special product in commemorating the company’s 30th Anniversary in the business, and there will only be 1,000 pair produced. The Sapphire was most instrumental in imparting a tonal disposition plain as the water and effortlessly adaptive in textural rendition. In a most superlative way, the Dynaudio attained the most exhaustive task of differentiating the dynamics and tonalities of the most delicate and most powerful of instruments together on the same plain. Perhaps the most remarkable attributes of the Dynaudio was its ability to track the explosive transients of 3 taiko’s while maintaining the balance of the diminutive Japanese flute’s dimensionality.
Then again, it was the pair of the $16k/pair Pass Labs XA100.5 monoblocks driving the limited-edition Dynaudio Sapphire, and it was the $15k Wadia 781i providing the content of the most immaculate order. This first-class act was anchored by none other than the XLO cables, with the glass-fiber shelves from Grand Prix Audio offering foundations to all electronics.
▼ Rear of Dynaudio Sapphire
Wadia 781i (open top)▼
Pass Labs XA100.5 monoblock power amplifier▼
Also on static display:
▼Dynaudio Focus 360, $6,500/pair
Wadia 521 Decoding Computer, $7,000▼
This portion of Dagogo’s 2008 RMAF Coverage
by Constantine Soo
- (Page 1 of 1)