I was bedeviled by two rooms, in particular, at this year’s AXPONA. One was Endeavor Audio. The other? Grimm Audio. And by “bedeviled”, I mean “woken up by”.
Look, I get it. You gotta get that room all warmed up and pretty-sounding for all the visitors that might come by. The more warm up, the better. I don’t begrudge that. I think 4 hours of warm up prior to the opening bell is probably legit. Oh well … It’s not like the beauty sleep is actually going to help me all that much, and I suppose I really ought to get over the fact that I cannot operate on 4 hours of sleep after drinking two bottles of wine. Note to self: you cannot keep up with kids half your age. Fine, I might be exaggerating, but let’s just say that I was glad I brought that bottle of Advil.
And yes, if I have to have an alarm set for that early wakeup call, this was a damn fine sounding one to have.
Grimm Audio has been making some waves lately with their take on “integrated audio”, and the LS1s 3-way system on display here ($39,900) is about as integrated as I’ve seen. It includes a pair of stand-mounted loudspeakers and two subwoofers. High-res AD/DA converters that support up to DXD and double-DSD, a world-class custom clocking circuit, 6 NCore amplifiers, a DSP processor, a preamp, cables and a USB input for that source of yours. Ta-da, baby.
I got to hear lots of different kinds of music. Overall, the sound was nuanced, powerful, and extremely detailed — this Grimm system managed to do a whole lot of things extraordinarily well. You want thunder? No problem. You want delicate string work? No worries. Honestly, I was wondering what this would be like with a TV sitting between it. Is that weird?
Frankly, I’m amazed at how much tech got crammed into those two cabinets. Breaking out the components involved, the price tag on the inclusive system makes more sense. Still not cheap, or precisely affordable, but I don’t think it’s out of line with its calibre or what I heard at the show. This kind of price tag usually gets hung on a single summit-fi component, and seeing this kind of bundle here with nothing more needed than a laptop, well, that was a convincing argument for downsizing.
If you’ve got space concerns — or clutter concerns — but cannot be asked to sacrifice audio quality, this Grimm may have your name all over it.