The truth is, it’s really hard for me to listen to mega-buck audio systems without my mind shriveling a little bit. I recoil and have to actively stop, disconnect and recalibrate that part of my brain that thinks that any of this might be a questionable idea, and only then can re-engage before I can actually enjoy the experience at hand. Yeah, fine, maybe I’m just jealous. Where is that Lotto Fairy, anyway?
Anyway, all that said, it was the other High Water Sound room was something of a … palette cleanser. No, it was by no means inexpensive, but the price contrast was rather striking. And of the two, I find myself daydreaming of the “lesser” of the two rooms. I’m kind of impressed with subconscious for that, actually. Go, me!
Don’t get me wrong, the big Liszt loudspeakers were on fire by Sunday (figuratively speaking), and I was thoroughly titilated by what I went through there — but it was here, listening to the Hørning Hybrid Aristotles (I want to say the price is ~$12k, but I need to confirm that) that I actually experienced lust. I mean, nothing embarrassing — I didn’t drool (openly) or rub up on the speakers (not “too long” anyway) — but yes, of the two rooms, this second one was the system I wanted to take home with me.
There’s something about Hørning loudspeakers with low-power tubes that really turns my crank. Explaining why that is will be pretty much hopeless, so I’ll pass on that and just admit my preference/bias and move on.
Mr Catalano had selected Pure Sound to drive the “baby” Hørnings, and I’m glad he did. For several reasons, actually — not the least of which is that it dragged designer Guy Sergeant over to run the room. Guy and fellow HiFiWigWammer Pete were on hand to help me learn about the many and varied health benefits of pub food and English beer, and for that, I am eternally grateful. Or will be, once my head resumes its normal throbbing. BorderPatrol’s Gary Dews and Guy have a rather long history stemming from the old UK-based Audio Innovations venture back in the 80’s-90’s; it was fun peeking in on a 30+ year audio friendship and getting their perspectives on the evolution of the audio industry over that time. Well met, Guy!
Guy was showing an outstanding pair of monoblock amps, the 27wpc M845 ($9,999.95). Fronting that was a marvelous new preamplifier, the L300 tube-regulated (300b!), choke-filtered and transformer coupled preamplifier. Price for that is $7,999.95, and it’s clad in the typical gloss/piano black finish the rest of the Pure Sound gear. A P10 moving-magnet phono preamplifier ($999.95) handled the signal coming from the turntable and a T10 SUT handled the conversion ($499.95) to the phono pre. Other Pure Sound gear was the A8500 CD player ($1,699.95) which I was shocked to find in any room even remotely associated with Mr C. I mean, hey, there was a turntable in the room ….
Speaking of which, the TW-Acustic Raven GT (starts at $9,500) had a Miyajima cartridge (Shilabe, I think) hanging on the end of that Raven 10.5 tonearm. The two-tone approach is more than a little unusual for TW, but maybe he’s branching out? Ha! Just kidding. No, this was a special order — and a pretty cool looking contrast, too.
Another curiosity was the Cenuto ($299.95), a platter mat made of “gunmetal”. The TW-Acustic table used here had a copper platter mat integrated into the platter, so this was only on static display, but if you have yourself an acrylic or Delrin platter and want to level it up a bit ….
Silver Circle’s monstrous Tchaik 6 ($9,500, which includes the power cord) hulked in the corner. Zen Sati cables wired everything up. SRA provided the racks and plinths. The amp stands were, I believe, solid blocks of EdenSound Terrastone.
Now, all I need to do is find out what that crazy “Bulgarian Folk Music” Guy was chuckling about. He played me a track, but wouldn’t show me the disc … and it was quite mad, really.
Anyway, hope to catch more of Pure Sound in the future.