Wondering that was just stupid. What they clearly needed was to be locked in a very small room together for a few days. The system here at AXPONA was, no lie, the best I’d heard from them.
Starting off with the new, new, new, 97db sensitive, Poseidon V.2 speakers from Daedalus Audio (starting at $16,450 in cherry), you could tell that things were different. Lou Hinkley not only melded his drivers more tightly together than I’ve heard from anything other than his wee, little Athena speaker, but he’s changed to a new woofer that (he claims) has lowered the distortion by some absurdly significant amount. The result? That occasionally cloying sweetness on the bottom end of most Daedalus speakers has been replaced with something that’s tight, articulate, and color free.
Dan Wright of ModWright was showing off a production version of his Elyse DAC ($6900), a transformer coupled box that immediately reminded me of the (much pricier) Sonus Veritas DAC from a few years ago. This was digital sound that didn’t drive me out of the room immediately. This was, shockingly, digital sound that I found immediately welcoming.
ModWright also had their now PH 150 transformer coupled phono stage ($7895) on hand. Unfortunately, they didn’t have their deck dialed in until Sunday morning. A quick visit at the end of the weekend made it clear that this phono stage should probably be considered a bargain.
Everything was, of course, wired by WyWires. This brought some non-wiring advantages with it thanks to Alex Sventitsky’s obsessive tweaking. Over the course of the weekend, he made the turntable sound great. He harped on room setup until Friday’s excellent system in a perfectly treated room had morphed into Sunday’s infinitely better system positioned completely differently in a completely untreated room.
I was pretty sure that the sound on Friday was good enough to be my favorite for the weekend. Coming back to find it so improved on Sunday was like a getting a Christmas present in April. If I’d been half smart, I would have spent my entire weekend here instead of wandering aimlessly between rooms. It was just that good.