RMAF 2013: Xact Audio presents Absolare, Rockport, Kodo and a case of the “I wants”


I’m sorry, did someone say “Absolare and Rockport?” Pardon me while my head whips around. Thank you, Xact Audio!

At T.H.E. Show in Las Vegas this year (opposite CES), the Absolare/Rockport demo was probably my favorite, so I suppose I went into this room a bit biased. But whether it was that expectation, or the simple excellence in the room, that led me ooh and ahh the whole time I was in the room (much to the consternation of everyone else in the room) is entirely unclear. Suffice it to say “I’m a fan.” That is, if the slightly insane giggling didn’t already give that away.

The room was laughably small for all this audio awesomeness, but for all that, what I heard was astonishing tone and life-threatening bass. Oh, what a bigger room would do … but failing that, this system filled this room to the brim with sound and fury. Yes, sir! I’ll take it. Yes, all of it. Now, where’d that damn Lotto Fairy get to?

Yes, this stuff is expensive. I mean, crazy expensive. But you’ll forgive me when I tell you that this is one of the precious few rooms where the gear actually looks like it ought to be as expensive as it actually is. Is that weird to say? Oh well. Score one for the visual team — nice job, across the board here.

As to the bits themselves ….

The Beat MagDrive Turntable seems to have gotten a bit of a hidden upgrade to a “Signature” level, and is now being offered at $34,500. I want this turntable. I’m never going to be able to afford this turntable, but boy do I want to be able to afford it. [Sigh]. Does anybody else keep a list of all the delectables they’re going to run out and immediately order the day the Lotto check hits the account, or is that just me?

Speaking of which, The Beat carried a gorgeous new Schroeder tonearm, the LT, is a pivoted linear tracker; it made it’s US debut here, and is offered at $9,900. It came mounted with the Atlas cartridge from Lyra ($9,500), and was wired up to an Allnic H-300 phono stage ($11,900). The absolutely stunning black-leather/red-stitched Absolare Passion Signature 845 monoblocks ($48,500/pair) were matched to the Absolare Passion Signature linestage ($32,500). Echole power cords and signal cables and an Absolare Bybee Purifier power conditioner rounded out the electronics.

And last but certainly not least, fronting this lusciously appointed rack of audiophile man-jewelry were a pair of the simply outstanding Rockport Avior loudspeakers ($29,500). Andy, if you’re reading this, just lemme know when you need me to have a pair, okay? Okay, great.