The Alpha has four digital inputs, including RCA, TOSLINK, BNC and asynchronous USB, as well as two analog inputs, a tape loop and pre-outs. The Pi PSU can support both an Alpha and a Phi at the same time. The Phi supports both MM and MC cartridges, with separate inputs (and circuits) for each. The Omega is a Class D amp, and will put out 160 watts per channel. The amp is said to be stable down to 2Ω.
The speakers in use were the $13,000/pair Trenner&Friedl Pharaoh. No, those aren’t single-driver speakers. There really are two drivers under than single, round and difficult-to-remove grill cover. Porting is straight down, so front-wall placement is less of an issue. The finish is excellent, certainly furniture-grade, and should have no problem with most decor. The Pharaoh are 92dB and an 8Ω load.
The analog section of the display came from Funk Firm, their Vector/FXR turntable and tonearm combo. A Transfiguration Axia phono cartridge rode the grooves.
Also note — all cabling was from Cardas Audio, from the Clear line.
Okay, a few words about the sound. I think the little Heeds had more than enough power and finesse on tap to make those Pharaohs sing. The speaker spacing and orientation/toe in was wide and straight, which gave a precise center-fill image. Bass, tone, detail … check, check, check. Given show conditions, I felt that this was a pretty compelling demo; I was very satisfied with the level of sound quality I was
wallowing basking bathing getting.
The fact that I didn’t really know any of the gear didn’t really matter — this was a nice set of components that played well together. It was almost as if they’d been put together on purpose! I’m rolling my eyes more than a bit, but synergy is something that’s really not talked about enough, even though great dealers like Blackbird seem to do it almost as a reflex.
Great room, great sound, great folks. Thanks to Bob Clarke of Profundo and to Alan Fong of Syncopation!
[Note: This is a repost of another, where I screwed up the original by mislabeling that room as belonging to a different Profundo dealer. Unfortunately, I can’t make changes to the URL without breaking all the existing links, so a repost is the only way around that. Apologies for all the confusion!]