It may be the worst kept secret that Leland Leard and Roy Hall of Music Hall Audio serve up the “good stuff” at audio shows. They have these tiny plastic medicine cups that they’ll measure out the Talisker (or some other damn fine peaty syrupy goodness), and quite frankly, it all adds up to a perfectly marvelous and happy way to spend a weekend. Upright and mobile, not so much, but perfectly happy.
Sure enough, it took approximately 45 seconds before a wink and a nudge and my own aromatic shot of deliciousness was dancing across my lips. Sure, you could slug it back — and you’ll earn scowl from Leland. “That’s one way to drink it.” Just a note — this isn’t crap. It’s Scottish. And as you know, that means it’s good. Because. You know.
The music was turned down a bit, with lots of ambling and browsing amongst all the gear, so listening was pretty much out. No worries. Might I have another dram, kind sir?
I did notice the $75 Moo Mat, which strikes me as a perfectly quirky way to decouple your LPs. The new $1,195 Ikura turntable, all kitted out in white, sat in front of the window ready for your analog “files”, and the new $549 c-dac 15.3 3-input DAC/CD player sat below, ready for your digital files. The new $1,195 Creek Evo 50a integrated and $599 OBH-15-mk2 phono pre-amp sat between the turntable and the amp. Rounding out the set was a pair of $1,395 Epos Acoustics Elan15 stand-mount loudspeakers. All told, this was probably the second least expensive room at AXPONA, and of the ones offering systems showing off vinyl, the least expensive by far.
As Roy told me, the reason the music sounded so good in his room is that the gear didn’t suck. That’s a hard logic to argue with, so I won’t. I will offer what ought to be a truism at this point — sound quality and price don’t correlate. It’s really refreshing to see a pair of fine gentlemen stand unflinchingly before that flag and routinely hoisting the high-end’s petard.