Audio Plus Services had one of the prettiest rooms at AXPONA, with its luscious orange Focal Sopra 2 loudspeakers ($13,999 USD), and matching Micromega M1 integrated amplifier/DAC/Streamer ($3,999 USD), cabling was supplied by Crystal Cable ($1,500 USD approx.). The simplicity of the set-up, and suffused glow emanating from the paper wall diffusers was hypnotic, and added to the dreamy atmosphere of the electronic music that was playing while I was listening. This was an intriguing system for me because of it’s simplicity, and powerful sound; I couldn’t help but think of the Devialet 200. The biggest difference I can see between the two at this point is price, with the M1 coming in at half the cost of a 200.
Micromega has stuffed an astonishing amount of cutting-edge technology into the M1. From their website:
Our engineers have managed to incorporate all the latest connections – Bluetooth aptX, LAN-Network 24bit /384kHz Asynchronous, SPDIF Coax-Opto-AES 24bit / 768kHz USB asynchronous passing DXD, DSD, DOP…, Phono MM / MC, Analog balanced and unbalanced inputs, and DSP with automatic room correction (M.A.R.S). All in an amazingly compact module, whose cabinet is cut in the mass of a single block of aluminum.
M.A.R.S is a ground-breaking electro-acoustic research program which has been developed by our engineers to integrate all the parameters of your listening space with your M-One. Several options will be available and a revolutionary “Binaural” system has been engineered to further enhance the performance of your headphones.
To enable a customer to integrate the M-One products into their home decor or indulge their own individual style, M-One products can be uniquely cosmetically customized in leather, carbon or aluminum by French craftsmen to provide an almost endless choice of finishes and colors.
There was a rightness to the sound that this pairing produced, and once again I found myself impressed at the organic quality to what I was hearing – even with 16/44 files playing over USB – lots of bloom, and decay on notes, plenty of air around instruments – yes, all those audiophile touchstones we look for in the technical presentation of a system – but with all sorts of punch, and grunt on the bottom end that I usually associate with better analog rigs. The M1 is due to be shipping in the next few months, and I’m hopeful I can persuade Micromega to part with one unit for a review.