Charles Rollo has rebranded and re-launched his business as Charles Rollo Audio, but that’s about all that’s changed (while the website is being set up, contacting him via phone seems best at this point: 718-352-2178). Charlie still sports the colored pants, the infectious grin, and a taste for entertaining and engaging high-end audio.
And that, my friends, is a good thing.
On the deck were the $7,250/pair Arion HS-500SE hybrid tube mono blocks good for 1kW into 4Ω, with a 6H30 input stage. A $1,950 Dodd Audio variable gain (+6dB/+12dB) battery-powered tube (6H30 here also) preamp and a PI Audio Group UberBUSS power conditioner for distribution was tucked back behind the Kanso Audio Furniture audio racks (more on Kanso, here).
Charlie partnered up with Steve Rabitz of Sound Insight, to show off the new BG Radia FS 680 for all the siss boom banging. This system is a hybrid planar which includes a pair of 900wpc mono block amps and a Behringer Ultracurve Pro for the bass. Pricing is set at $20k/pair. BG Radia BGX 12sb and BGA2 subwoofer units sat in all four corners of the room — these “subwoofers” are designed for free-standing or in-wall use, and run $5,100 for a pair (which includes an amp). Steve also brought along a giant, silver $20k K-01 SACD/DAC from Esoteric. You know. Just in case.
All the cabling came from Triode Wire Labs, and chief Pete Grzybowski was on hand to show off his American Speaker Cables (prices start at $599/pair) and Spirit interconnects (starting at $299/pair), which continue to set value anchors, but it’s his monstrous Seven Plus power cords (starting at $499), used here on the amplifiers, power conditioner and sub amps, that really set him apart in my book.
A quick poke around turned up two curiosities. One was the new “Digital Plus” power cable used to power up the Esoteric. This new cable feature a specifically tuned dielectric with conductive gold mylar sheathing under a conductive carbon fiber tech-flex. There are also custom carbon-fiber plug and IEC connectors, designed by Ted Paisley of Wavelength Audio/Video in Dallas and featuring pink-gold plating over pure copper. Pete says that this tuning goes a long way to taking the edge off the “digital nasties”. Pricing starts at $499 and general availability is “Fall”.
Also in evidence was a prototype of Pete’s no-holds barred thinking around things power cord, and may feature top-of-the-line (and priced accordingly) Furutech FI-50M connectors or the new Iego five-9’s, OHNO-cast solid-silver connectors, with either eventually mated to the Ted Paisley carbon-fiber body. This new cord, which Pete is only half-jokingly calling “Obsession” given he amount of time he’s fiddling with the design, will clock in nearer to $1,000, but that’s very tentative at this point. Like the Digital Plus, the Obsession (or whatever its eventual name turns out to be) will feature conductive (silver, in this case) mylar under a conductive carbon-fiber tech flex. Geometry will be similar to the Seven Plus, but will feature a new grounding scheme. Availability is slated for “Winter”.
As for the sound in the room? Punchy. Bass was, as expected, somewhat profound, but that sweet-spot seat was jealously defended and the from what I heard, rightfully so. And yes, Charlie was dancing.