RMAF 2013: Exemplar and eFicion


Here’s just about the most damning bit from Kirsten’s show notes:

“The room seems noisy.”

Here’s just about the most complimentary bit from my notes:

“Thank CHRIST he had the air conditioner on max.”

If Exemplar’s John Tucker is reading this: Ignore my wife. Leaving your air conditioner on is worth any sonic penalty. A wise person in the industry once told me that you can have an air-conditioned room, a hot room, or a hot and stinky room. It doesn’t take long at these shows for a room without air conditioning to start smelling like a six-week laundry pile in a freshman dorm. Was your noise floor high? Sure it was. Thank you for keeping the funk floor so low.

But on to the stereo.

This system was similar to what we heard in Newport this year. The big difference, when we were in the room, at least, was that the Exemplar line stage and Plinius amp were switched out in favor of Exemplar‘s new “eXception” 50 watt integrated amplifier ($5,000). I believe that we were also listening to Exemplar’s modified Oppo disc spinner ($4,750).

I, for one, welcomed the change. The Exemplar integrated may not have the sheer kick of the Plinius beast, but it does seem to come on song at a much lower volume. Delicacy, something that’s occasionally been in short supply in the Plinius/eficion rooms, was the order of the day. Unfortunately, I think the eFicion speakers could have used a bit more brute force grip than the eXception amp brought to the table. While delicacy is a real strength, a bit of looseness on the bottom contributed to a sense that the system as a whole seemed just a little bright.

Or that may just have been the sweet, sweet air conditioner.

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