Reportedly, this goal was nearly met, although there was some concern that the addition of an MIT Cables Z Powerbar ($1,600 new) may have pushed things slightly over the edge. A Hegel DAC (HD25, I believe, $2,500 new) and a Odyssey HT-2 amplifier made up the rest of the system, giving the room a decidedly minimalist look. Apparently there had also been a plan to bring a Scott receiver and a Pro-Ject turntable, but that fell through. I’m hoping they go for it for the next show — that’d be a blast.
The system performed admirably, especially given that the gear was purposefully chosen to be not particularly well-matched. We were treated to a track heavy on drum kit and bass, and I found the drums to be realistic and propulsive, with a nice snap. The upright bass on the track seemed a bit dark and not as detailed as I would have liked, but part of the problem was that it was feeding right into a room mode.
My impression that the Chapman loudspeakers are underrated workhorses was born out yet again. All I could think during the demo was that I’d love to partially recreate my old studio apartment system with a NAD 3020 and a Technics linear tracker and see how things shook out.