At first, the German-made Tocaro Loudspeakers look like another version of “the usual” — my first thought upon entering the room was “British monitors?”
They’ve got some interesting things going on, however. The 42D ($14,000) features a 10″ full-range driver and 5″ high-frequency driver of a construction I’ve never seen before: it’s a laser cut laminated wood membrane, and it essentially looks like a flat black disc. The speakers do not make use of an electronic crossover, and can be bi-amped or used with a single stereo amplifier.
In this case, they were bi-amped with the Crimson Products Ltd. CS640E-III 175w mono amplifiers (two pairs at $6,000/pair). Pre-amplification was provided by the Crimson CS710 pre-amp ($7,000), which can be controlled either by remote or with the appealingly simple faceplate controls.
Digital was supplied by the Resolution Audio Cantata ($6,495), which we did not have opportunity to sample this time around. Tasty analog goodness came from a Linn Sondek LP12 with an Ittok LV II tonearm (vintage) and Reson Etile cartridge ($1,075). Cabling was also from Crimson Products.
I loved the look and feel of this room. After so many dark rooms stuffed with gear, it was something of a treat to drop in on a bright, air-conditioned room with simple set dressing and a turntable spinning Barney Kessel, Shelley Manne, and Ray Brown’s “The Poll Winners.”The sound here matched the room’s comfortable and airy atmosphere. The speakers are remarkably transparent, lending a sense of ease to the presentation. I felt there was a hint of solid state signature from the Crimson amps, but nothing too interruptive; indeed, the treble was exceptionally natural. I left (reluctantly) feeling refreshed.