Newport 2015: Boulder


By Rafe Arnott

THEShow_LOGO2015Boulder has always been a manufacturer I’ve been interested in.┬áSadly, 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!






About Rafe Arnott 390 Articles
Editor of InnerFidelity and AudioStream