Angel City Audio bent their talents to offering up another super slick and utterly enjoyable room at this year’s CAS. Angel City’s own Trinity LCR speakers ($2,999/pair, $3,499 with stands) took pride of place. These guys are visually rather understated, but pack a really nice punch when paired with Melody Hi-Fi‘s Pure Black 101 preamp ($4,999) and massive MN845 monoblocks ($13,599/pair), which are sort of the opposite of understated.
The Melody stuff’s not blingy, exactly, but it’s got this incredibly slick, almost wet-look black finish that is at least as good-looking as it is ridiculously difficult to photograph. The An Onix 103 Media Player ($13,000) rounded out the black-and-shiny portion of the equipment rack.
Skogrand Cables, which sported distractingly cool artwork on their promotional materials (how neat is that antlered lady artwork?), held everything together as beautifully as one could hope with their Purist Ignis speaker cables ($22,000/two-meter pair), Purist Ignis interconnects ($20,500/pair), and power cables (apparently a bargain at $2,500 each).
I’ve enjoyed ACA’s rooms at other shows, but I felt this was the high water mark thus far. Everything in the system worked together beautifully to offer a room that was startlingly dynamic and had a lot of energy, but also a really nice well-rounded musicality.
Oftentimes at shows, I find myself writing notes that say things like, “I really like what the speakers are doing, but boy, that DAC has some nasty treble” or noting a combination that doesn’t quite work in the given circumstances — perhaps a warmth that becomes overpowering in the context of a boomy hotel room, for example. There was really none of that here: this was a very well-realized system, not just a collection of nice parts.
ACA got their start as a distributor of Onix in 2009, adding Melody the following year, with their own speakers and other products following shortly after. In other words, they seem to have built their business almost like an audiophile building his or her personal system, and it shows in the cohesiveness of their product line. It’s so great to be in a room where all the gear is playing nice together!