In an all-German room, some of the bigger names were showing off their teeth. Audio Physic’s big 3+1/2 way Cardeas plus speaker was driven by a complete set of Burmester electronics including the 088 pre and 911 power amplifier, 948 power conditioner and the recently introduced 151 music center. So much bling, I could get myself a shave. The analog front end was from Clearaudio, a Master Innovation turntable with Universal tonearm, Goldifinger MC cartridge and Absolute phono stage. The cables were Nordost Valhalla II series, not from Germany but still a “nordic” sounding brand.
Started my session with the Hadouk Trio, Live a FiP, a new audiophile classic with wind instruments, percussion and stings heavily inspired by the Mediterranean music culture. In the past, I have had some mixed experiences with Burmester (a tad bright on occasions) while I always enjoyed Audio Physic speakers, except for some lower bass extension which seems to lack in the entry-level models. Well, the Cardeas plus is no entry-level speaker no matter how you put it with two 10” woofers in push-pull configuration, three mid-range drivers and a tweeter per speaker, all mechanically decoupled from the cabinet. As for the Burmester streamer, the looks are deceiving, no sign of harshness or metallic sound; actually it was pretty good, precise and detailed with lots of air between the instruments.
Moving to the analog front, the black and bling Clearaudio turntable performed exceptionally well in Massenet’s Don Quichotte on Decca, a record set I am familiar with. Imaging was perfect, those castanets popped up above the speakers and the chorus voices clearly placed on a different level from the orchestra. The Absolute phono was dead silent and the new “active headshell moving coil technology” truly seems to deliver.
A great room for starters.