Naim Audio had an intriguing new speaker, the Ovator S-400 ($6,250) with a flat “Balanced Mode Radiator” for mid and high frequencies. While I would have preferred to hear the larger Ovator S-600 ($12,250 in standard finish), I found the smaller tower interesting. The flat tweeter/midrange sounds as a combination of point source and panel. The top end was very forgiving and spacious, akin to a ring radiator without a trace of edginess. I found the bass a bit light but not distractingly so. The 28Hz low end of the Ovator S-600 strikes me as a credible option for a truly full range floor standing speaker under $13K.
Dan D’Agostino System
In discussion with personnel manning the D’Agostino room, this is Dan’s personal stereo in a display of the new Momentum Amplifier ($42,000/pr). My cursory examination detected the dCS Puccini player with dCS U-Clock, Almarra software running on the laptop, and the Wilson Audio Sasha WP and Transparent Opus series, perhaps the Reference MM2, speaker cables. I enjoyed the richness and tonal texture of this setup of Wilson speakers more than the Alexandria X-2 system with Lamm amplification. These amps are far more beautiful in person than pictured. My first involvement with these amps was positive.
Boulder Amplifiers took a decidedly daring approach – displaying a 400 lb., 1,500 Watt behemoth named the 3050 Mono Amplifier (anticipated MSRP between $180-190K) while playing their smallest, 850 Mono ($5,750) Amplifiers to emphasize their confidence in the sound quality of their entire lineup! Also playing were the 1021 Network Disc Player ($24,000) streaming hi-res, 2010 Isolated Balanced Preamplifier ($46,000), Power Isolator 8 conditioning and interconnects from Transparent Cable, and Westlake Audio’s Tower 12 Loudspeakers with Westlake speaker cabling (speakers $55,000/pr). I was pushed for time and did not conduct a proper listening demo, so I will reserve definitive comment. Suffice to say that hearing the 3050 Mono performing will be on my “must hear” list for the next show!
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