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Newport 2012: eFicion, Plinius, Z∞Infinity

I walked into Peigen Jiang’s room at Newport and nearly laughed out loud. No, no — it’s not like that, I’m not being mean — it’s just that I have this system at home! Or like to near enough that all the differences were minor and relatively inconsequential.

PJ was showing his $16,900 Made-in-China/Designed-in-the-USA eFicion F300 series loudspeakers, which are, by far, my favorite of his lineup. I’ve remarked in the past that these speakers feature a carbon-fiber mid-range and bass drivers, paired with a huge AMT tweeter, and have bass extension into the mid-20Hz region and a top end that goes on and on and on into the wide blue, forever and ever, world without end.

You could say that I am quite charmed by their charms.

PJ’s favorite pairing is with Plinius, he confided to me, which was something of a lucky break as I have a pair of Plinius’ top shelf separates at home. Here, PJ was showing off a pair with a new sparkly-white finish (my pair is the default, and till now, only finish — piano black), which is striking, and fronting it with a $5,150 Plinius M8 preamp and a pair of Plinius’ $10k stereo SA103 amplifiers, run here in bridged/mono for a skull crushing 400wpc, most of which runs in pure Class-A. Tunes came from a little Pioneer CD player played into a $450 Schitt BiFrost DAC. A $2,500 Z∞Infinity preamplifier was also on hand to lend a bit of tube warmth to the muscular Plinius sound. Stillpoints Ultra footers lifted and decoupled the speakers from the floor.

I probably should defer to a fuller review as to what you expect should you be lucky enough to get these badass mofos into your home, but here’s the scoop — these are exceptional speakers. They’re dynamic as all hell, wicked-fast, and can produce bass deep enough to completely freak out small children, pets, and pests. Set up properly, as they sounded here, you’ll have all the detail an audiophile could want, setup with a spaciousness and “live”, lit-up sound that I find alarming and damn near impossible to replicate at anywhere near their price.

I’m a fan. Oh yes, indeedy.

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