Newport 2014: Sonist Audio returns, gives new Recital


hiresnewportlogoforwebJonny Wilson of Snake River always makes sure that his room is jumping, but this year the air was electric. Jonny was debuting his new Recital 2 bookshelf speakers ($1,900/pair). When Randy Bankert of Sonist passed away last year, Wilson ably took the reins to continue Randy’s tradition of beautifully made, affordable, high-efficiency speakers.

The Recital 2 is the first new Sonist Audio product since Randy’s passing, and Wilson was beaming like a proud papa when he showed off these gleaming little speakers. It’s 91db efficient, has a frequency response of 45hz – 40 khz, and comes in Mahogany Red or Randy Bankert Memorial Edition cigar brown.

Jonny wasn’t the only one with a new baby. Also on hand was the Rogers HiFi PA-1A phono pre-amp ($7,000), which debuted at CES earlier this year. This is a class-A, all-tube phono pre that features six tubes and teflon insulated wiring throughout. Rounding out the complement was the Rogers EHF-200 MK2 integrated amp ($15,000) with KT150 tubes. A George Warren turntable ($4,850) with a Rega arm and a Sumiko Blackbird cartridge made beautiful music. Cables were by Snake River, natch.

When Mal and I showed up, Jonny announced, “Oh, we gotta play the COOL looking record!” and put on Bozzio Levin Stevens’ Black Light Syndrome, which features seriously awesome marbled black and red vinyl. The grip and fullness of sound coming from this system was just phenomenal.

I was startled enough by the depth of the bass that I double-checked that there wasn’t a sub in use. “Oh yeah,” Jonny said jokingly, “it’s hidden behind the curtain.” There was, of course, no sub behind the curtain, just a view of sunny Irvine.

The combination of the Recitals and the Rogers gear with Bozzio Levin Stevens was an enormous success — the Rogers provided plenty of meaty oompf and clarity of detail, and the Recitals just picked it up and ran with it.









T.H.E. Show at Newport 2014 Show Sponsor

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