RMAF 2011: Classic Audio & Stahl-Tek

I love the look of the big Classics, though I suspect my wife would be less thrilled. Big, burled, robust – and Classic Audio’s $25k T-3.4 Project practically screams ‘upscale’ and ‘vintage’ to me. However they hit you, what they are is serious furniture, most definitely. If I had a (much) larger room, I could see these speakers being tremendous conversation pieces and capable of great entertainment, but I can also imagine that my significant other wouldn’t be thrilled by their sheer size. Oh well. Maybe when we inherit that English manor house.

With a 16ohm tap, these monsters beg for tubes. In fact, in the last several shows, I’ve never seen them driven by anything other than Atma-Sphere OTLs and preamp. I’m guessing someone at Classic finds the synergy appealing. Anyway, I’m a fan! The sound was fast, rich and warm with great air and presence.

Fronting the system was some superlative digital gear Made in the USA from Stahl-Tek. Though (very) pricey, the top-loading $37k “Opus CDT” CD transport and matching $35k “Opus D/A” DAC were as oversized and robust as the speakers that they played with, even if their modern all-aluminum finish put them on the other side of the fashion spectrum.

For the computer nerds, the Opus D/A sports a host of interesting digital inputs, including I2S over HDMI, S/PDIF over coax, BNC and AES/EBU … and yes, async USB. All interfaces support 24bit/192kHz resolution. The Opus CDT also sports an I2S over HDMI output and S/PDIF over AES, BNC and coax.

All in all, a very enjoyable first stop.

Mr. Stahl getting grilled by Stephen Marsh.

About Scot Hull 1039 Articles
Scot started all this back in 2009. He is currently the Publisher here at PTA, the Publisher at The Occasional Magazine, and the Executive Producer at The Occasional Podcast. There are way too many words about him over on the Contributors page.