Little Perla Audio hasn’t been around long, but their line is almost as complete — and more weirdly esoteric. I enthused about their analog system last year, so I was delighted to see another analog system this year. The speakers were their familiar, aluminum-ingot, PRS-2 ($5,850 per pair). The Maestro handled line preamp duties for the Motiff phono-pre ($3,500 each), and the poweramps were the spanking-new, Righello monoblocks ($9,000 each). The sound was, if anything, better than last year’s — quicker, quieter, clearer, and meatier.
But excellence in sound is only a small part of why I love insane audio. Fortunately, the Perla guys cover the rest of the bases, too.
Just look at that front end! That’s a double-platter Lenco with a custom chassis milled to match the Perla gear. That’s a rewired oddity of an Abis tonearm. That cartridge? Perla knows metal, so that’s a Perla-modified Denon 103 with a machined body and new damping (you can get one for dirt cheap). It’s probably the first time I’ve heard a 103 that didn’t have any obvious trace of Denon grain. This kind of thing is supposed to be the bailiwick of anachro-fetish tube-o-philes and steampunk sympathizers. Seeing it paired with ultra-sleek, ultra-modern solid state? It’s mindboggling.
The whole system sounded so perfectly balanced at 6pm on Saturday that I didn’t even ask for specs on the gear. Instead, I gawked and gawped at those cartridge bodies while nerding out over the distressingly encyclopedic analog lore locked up inside of this brain trust.
These guys really are on to something. Check them out.