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AXPONA 2012: Wood Artistry, Linkwitz, Pass, MSB

KEF R Series

The Linkwitz Orion 4 loudspeakers, assembled by the team over at Wood Artistry, is a tour-de-force. In this setup, there are three giant amps from Pass Labs. An $8250 Class-A/B X250.5 drove the woofers and two $5500 Class-A XA30.5 amps drove the “everything else”. The Orion is a tri-amped design (could you tell?) — that little box on the shelf (top left) is the crossover.

Fronting the system was a pretty nifty two-chassis $8600 Pass Labs XP-20 line stage. Digital was a mix of systems, including a $14k MSB Signature Platinum DAC IV with the $10k (!!!) Temo Second Galaxy Clock upgrade. A Marantz Reference SACD player was jammed in there, too.

Sadly, I didn’t get to hear this system. It was off because of another photo shoot that a guy with a push cart was running through the show. I’d tried to avoid him, but apparently failed here. So, I snuck in for some quick shots. Hah! Showed him!

Anyway, my recollection from RMAF was very favorable. Next time ….

I did manage to get my ears on a pair of Pluto speakers. These things look ridiculous. But they work — and really well, too. Active speakers (amps are in the base) may not be audiophile friendly, but the sound was open, fast and inviting.

KEF R Series
About Scot Hull (1000 Articles)
Founder, Editor and Publisher at Part-Time Audiophile and The Occasional Magazine.

1 Comment on AXPONA 2012: Wood Artistry, Linkwitz, Pass, MSB

  1. I have had extensive sessions with the Orions. A local Audio pal here makes them and had the latest upgrades. While the amps used were average (Atoll home theatre multi-channel amps), the EAR Yoshino CD player was exceptional. As it was in a warehouse, I could listen as loudly as I liked and they are really full range! I am spoilt by the Heils for HF though and this wont match the Heils.

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