But, in all honesty, the name has nothing to do with it. Kevin and Brad always manage to detonate some kind of bomb of sheer exuberance during a show. The room is always mellow, the system is always well matched, the music is always fun, and the trip is always a pleasure. This time, though, was just about the best I’ve heard from the guys.
This time, you see, they brought their system.
The speakers were Von Schweikert‘s Unifield II Mk3 standmounts ($12,000), and, sure, the dac was EMM Labs’ DAC2X ($15,500), and, sure, damn near the cheapest thing in the room was the Macintosh Labs MC 202 ($3500) that the guys brought to manhandle the Unifields’ woofers, but everything else in the room was a product of their own skull sweat.
The source, of course, was the familiar YFS Ref-3 computer transport, now bearing a Mk2 designation ($12,500). The YFS guys are a just a little, tiny bit howling mad when it comes to computer transports. The number of linear power supplies feeding this thing is nearly fetishistic.
New to the front-end was the YFS DT-100 Transport ($2500 alone, $2000 with the server). This is… well… this is a disc spinner. And it’s a drive for ripping. And it has even more power supply fetishism in it, with different supplies for the spinning bits and the communication bits.
Next up was their own entry-level preamp, the YFS CA-60A. It’s a pretty simple, traditional affair with three 12au7s, no remote control, and a $3,900 price tag. A motorized remote control ads another $1500.
The big deal in the room, though, were a pair of Mac MC75 monoblocks that had gone under the knife in the service of YFS’s power supply fetishism. The MC75 has always been a musical joy, a fat, old Cadillac that could take you around in style. This was not fat. This was not old. That big Mac sound — the 454 of audio — was still there, but this was the high-compression piston version of it. These were faster, stronger, and much, much quicker to respond than the run of the mill MC75. $10,000 for the pair, and easily the most fun amplification I’ve heard these guys use.
Something in the neighborhood of $15k worth of YFS’s own cables hooked everything together. This was not — NOT — a budget system. At some point, you have to wonder if it’s called “Your Final System” because you’re totally out of money after buying it. Whatever the name, and whatever the price, this was easily one of the most all-around satisfying systems on display in the Atrium.
Kevin and Brad knew it, too. Those guys are not all big on the humility thing.