by Rafe Arnott
Steven Norber from Prana Fidelity in Denver had organized some very esoteric gear (Ampex! My Sonic Lab!) that put out a very enjoyable and fatigue-free sound.
A nice heft to the sound to my ears. ‘Weighty’ was a word I wrote down and underlined. Imaging was pretty decent IMO considering the number of drivers as well. It was a real straight-ahead sound, no-nonsense; great bass, smooth highs and a refined midrange that stood out for me.
People seemed to really be knitting their brows while I was hanging out in the room, but whatever, the stuff is musical as all hell and, to me, is reasonably affordable considering what it was capable of.
The speakers were the Prana Fidelity (from now on referred to as PF), Vayu/fs, listed as a two-way quasi-line array with four woofers and a 30 mm tweeter ($6,950 US) which were getting their juice from a PF Purna 400 watt/8 ohms 700 watt/4 ohms 1200 watts/ 2 ohms power amp ($8,950 US) and the PF Purna preamplifier MM/MC ($4,500 ~ $9,950 depending on options) that were being fed a healthy diet of premium Groove Note and ORG vinyl from a Basis Audio 2200 signature turntable ($ not available) with a My Sonic Lab Ultra Eminent Ex MC cartridge (more than $6,500 US, hard to find a price on this Japanese cart).
Norber had a Bernie Grundman Mastering-modified Ampex ATR-102 spinning the brown tapes that I thankfully didn’t hear because I’ve come down with a sick perversion for reel-to-reels that will have to be addressed at some point.
Digital was spitting out code from a Luxman D-08 SACD/CD player which I didn’t get a chance to hear.