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Newport 2015: Boulder

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By Rafe Arnott

THEShow_LOGO2015Boulder has always been a manufacturer I’ve been interested in. Sadly, my wallet has zero interest in them because they are just too far out of reach, hence my ears were piqued to hear them at T.H.E. Show.

They’ve been making drool-worthy, solid-state amplifiers since 1984, and they now make much more than just amps.

Boulder’s North and South American distributor, Rich Maez, put together a solid room featuring the Boulder 1060 Stereo 300 watt amplifier ($25,000), 2110 pre-amplifier ($54,000), and 2120 DAC/Renderer ($60,000), both the pre and DAC feature dedicated, separate power supply chassis.

Tying it all together was Clarus cabling ($TBD) and XTC Stands for the heavy lifting.

A pair of Focal Maestro Utopias ($52,500) filled out the system.

The sound was full, deep and detailed, and although I’m not a big fan of Focal, Malachi told me they can sound fabulous with the right pairing, and this, to me, was a perfect example.

How do I know?

Because I asked Maez to play me a 24/96 remaster of The Who’s Who’s Next? which in my experience almost always sounds just effing terrible regardless of whatever system I play it on, and through this particular set-up it actually sounded more than decent, it sounded enjoyable.

I sat back and smiled listening to “Baba O’Reilly” for a change, rather than gritting my teeth and wishing for both a decent remastering of this album (I’ve yet to hear one, YMMV), and for it to hurry up and finish.

Tons of bottom-end authority and smooth, effortless midrange and treble extension were hallmarks of this system to my ears.

I doff my cap to you Rich Maez, you helped confirm what I had always heard: Boulder gear sounds damn good.

Proud to sponsor Part-Time Audiophile and The Audio Traveler at THE Show in Newport 2015!

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About Rafe Arnott (325 Articles)

Editor and Creative Director for Part-Time Audiophile & The Occasional Magazine.