Absolare has been showing in Munich with Rockport speakers for years now, usually with triode amplifiers that while sounding very well were sometimes incapable of commanding the big side mounted woofers.
This year they presented the new Passion integrated hybrid amplifier,a Mu follower design that maintains the typical glorious Absolare leather finish but sports a healthy 200Watts/8Ohm power output which is more than adequate for most speakers out there.
The rest of the rig had a Kronos Sparta Pro turntable fitted with Helena tonearm and a ZYX UNIverse Premium cartridge connected to the Absolare phono stage as front end; speakers were the fantastic Rockport Altair V2 for a total of 250.000 euros if you include the Torus isolation transformer and Telos grounding device (but without the Echole cables, that would add several tenths of thousand more). Probably the cheapest Absolare system in recent years and this speaks volumes on where High End Munich and the overall high-end scene are heading.
Despite the mid-priced system (ha ha) the sound was airy and effortless, maybe a bit dark on certain passages like on Gary Karr’s double bass take of Albinoni’s Adagio. All in all a nice show for Absolare, the new Passion integrated at €24.750 seems like a winner.