RMAF 2015: Triangle Arts and Pass Labs electrify Usher

Ferrari red, gleaming chrome…. Triangle Arts turntables are probably not for the pipe-and-slipper set of audiophiles.

Those furrowed-brow types with the insipid grin who wear jumpers, not sweaters, sip whiskey and have bad posture. The ones who keep their systems in rooms packed with shelves of books, plants, Persian rugs, for chrissake they probably have a chesterfield covered with pillows. They wear corduroy pants, their turntables have wooden plinths… wait, this is me.

I’m talking about myself again.

Triangle Art Signature

Anyway, TA gear tends to scream for attention, and in any room I’ve seen them in – regardless of how outrageous the gear pairing – the TA ‘tables always keep your eyes focused on them.

Triangle Arts and Pass Labs had the Ushers moving a lot of air
Triangle Art Apollo MC cart

At RMAF it was no different, as lovely and refined as the Pass Labs gear is, it just doesn’t stand a chance against all that gloss, and color, and shiny… well, you get it, of the TA kit.

Loads of Ohms
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The system I heard consisted of the Signature ‘table ($15,995 USD), Osiris tonearm ($4,995 USD), Apollo MC cartridge ($8,000 USD) a Titan step-up transformer (Approx. $3,500 USD) being shunted through a Pass Labs XP-25 dual-chassis phono stage ($10,600 USD) that was getting juiced from a Pass INT-250 integrated amp (2×250 watts stereo integrated amplifier $12,000 USD) and feeding Usher X-tower loudspeakers ($12,950 USD).

Pass Labs XP-25 dual-chassis phono stage

I’ve heard the Pass gear (not this integrated though) previously, as well as the Signature table, Osiris arm and Apollo cart at Newport this summer, so this wasn’t like walking into a gilded church for the first time like it was then. The TA gear provided a solid base for the music to jump forth from that void between the big Ushers, and Nelson Pass’ designs always deliver the goods, with plenty of solid-state PRAT, and heaps of bass. Basically, the Pass gear just dishes out everything in big, meaty portions, it doesn’t care if your speakers present a difficult load or not. Pass amps just shrug and muscle through any resistance. Like the Borg if you will.

Usher X-Tower loudspeakers (Three-way, 87dB into 8 Ohms, 24 Hz – 40 kHz)

The Ushers were a very different choice than the Acapella Cellini speakers I’d heard Triangle Art fronting at T.H.E. Show, but they proved worthy of showing off everything the Apollo was peeling from the grooves, with the big Pass integrated moving as much air as the Ushers were capable of. Always great to see Triangle Arts out at a show.

Titan SUT