The Von Schweikerts put me in mind of a big, fast ol’ Lincoln, with a lot of raunch and warmth and bombast and comfort. At times the instruments and vocalists struck me as oddly proportioned — Louie Armstrong sounded a bit like he was eight feet tall — but I enjoyed the depth of presentation. I felt that the combination of Raven Audio, the speakers, and the modded Esoteric *might* have been too much of a muchness; there was a tendency toward things sounding a little too dark and warm for my tastes. I don’t believe any single component can be blamed (if you want to use such a strong word), given that I did not feel the Raven Audio Shadow amp ($5,995) and preamp ($6,995) I heard in the Burwell & Sons room were overly warm, nor have I thought the Von Schweikert speakers I’ve heard in the past were too terribly dark. It may have just been luck of the draw, something odd about the room, or a combination that didn’t quite fire for me personally.