RMAF 2014: Sound Science and King Sound clock an Antelope


Logo - Blue VectorNeal Van Berg, of Castle Rock, Colorado’s Sound Science, was showing some NSFW gear. I mean, hey, they were naked! For an electrostatic loudspeaker, that level of indecency is fairly common, but it’s still shocking (and … rimshot!).

Shown here at RMAF was a pair of the mid-range Prince III from KingSound ($9,995/pair). These speakers are two-way panels (there’s a tweeter portion and a bass portion), and perhaps due to their sonic excellence (they’re dipoles!) and certainly in no small part to their expert set up, these suckers rocked the room. Ka-boom.

“You want bass response? Ha! I laugh in your general direction, you hamster!”

I will be honest. I’ve never heard a speaker trash-talk like this before. It was unsettling.

There were a lot of other goodies in here, too. From the top of the rack, I saw a three-piece ensemble from Antelope, which included the Zodiac Platinum DSD DAC with the Voltikus external linear PSU ($5,500 for the two), as well as an “Audiophile 10M Atomic Clock” ($8,995 à la carte, but with the DAC, the set runs $12,995). That last, the Clock, is so cool I nearly started jumping up and down in the room. Why? Well, it’s atomic. That is, it’s supercalafragalisticexpialadoshusly accurate. Bazinga. (Apparently, it also makes cartoon noises. Hmm. Maybe I don’t need another cup of coffee). As I’m sure you know, the accuracy of the clock is precisely where the performance of the DAC comes apart — yes, this is that whole to-do about jitter everyone gets all exercised about. The more accurate the clock, the less jitter; the lower the jitter, the more “analog” like the clocked DAC may sound. With this clock, it just doesn’t get any more accurate. Me likey.

A Sound Science M7 Music Server took the next shelf. This $5,695 server supports both PCM and DSD, with AES and USB outputs, and 3TB of internal storage. 32G of RAM, an Intel i7 processor and a Blu-Ray drive add to the goodness. And yes, it is fanless. JRiver was the playback software of choice.

Below that, a Lyndorf 2170 Digital Integrated Amplifier  (with room correction — $4,995) and a Lyngdorf CD-2 CD Player ($2,790). On the floor was a Prisma 350 amplifier from Perreaux in New Zealand ($8,495).

Wireworld Starlight-7 (Gold and Silver) digital cables, with Silver Eclipse-7 signal wire and Platinum or Silver Electra power cords were used throughout.

During my stay, I heard everything an ESL is known for — speed, air, coherence and rich tone. KingSound panels are really something, and I’ve been impressed by every room I’ve found them in, so there’s gotta be something to that.

Nice work, Neal!