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Newport 2016: EAR Yoshino meet Marten’s Mingus with Viridia TT world premier

EAR-1

Helius Viridia turntable made its world premier at T.H.E. Show feeding EAR Yoshino kit.

Newport250x2501Baron Timothy de Paravicini is a name I instantly associate with exquisite-sounding audio gear. He was involved with legendary brands like Luxman, Quad, and Musical Fidelity – works closely with a number of high-end recording studios such as Mobile Fidelity, and The Exchange –  and put his own indelible stamp on hi-fi electronics by founding EAR Yoshino in 1976, in England. He’s a man with some keen interest in the Japanese underground, ultra-rare, horn-system scene too. I love listening to his gear, and when I found out I was walking into the EAR room at T.H.E. Show featuring two gear premiers happening simultaneously, I got my audiophile giddy-up on. A look next to the Townshend Audio Seismic stands ($3,200 USD) revealed a balanced pair of 509 mono blocks ($15,700 USD) was having signal passed to them via the 912 pre-amplifier (x2 phono inputs, $13,000 USD). Cabling was being handled by Jorma, and Waveform Fidelity.

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EAR 912 pre-amplifier ($13,000 USD).

de Paravicini’s kit was paired up in Newport with Swedish speaker maker Marten, and was moving plenty of air through the diamond-tweeter equipped Marten Mingus Quintet three-way ($50,000 USD) that was making its North American premier, along with the world premier of the Helius Viridia ($6,500 USD) turntable (based on the company’s Alexis) which was feeding it the analog groove vibes courtesy the Helius Omega Silver Ruby 10-inch tonearm ($5,225 USD), and Kiseki Purpleheart LOMC cartridge ($3,300 USD).

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No nonsense, bass-bin depth. The Viridia builds on the established Helius Alexia turntable.

Exogal_Emerald_Underwood

I spent a month with a Kiseki Purpleheart on an Oracle deck, and I can tell you as transparent, and uncolored as this cartridge is – and fun, I mean, really fun – I didn’t find it to be the last word in bass, so hearing the bottom end that was pressurizing the room in this set-up, had me looking closer at the Helius tonearm, and ‘table, because it was definitely allowing the Kiseki to trawl the groove depths.

EAR-10

Entreq Silver Tellus grounding box ($2,700 USD) can be seen at the bottom of the rack. This was a power treatment seen in several rooms at Newport.

award-sighting-smThe EAR sound to me always has a bit of the divine in it; highs are clear, crisp without burn (and with the Purpleheart extended, sweet, but never syrupy), and there is a sense of air around notes which is a bit rarefied to my ears, in the sense of true tone, and realistic timbre, without going lean or fatty, which some tube pre/power set-ups can convey IME. Martens (this Mingus sports brand-new Accuton 7-inch bass drivers) tend to be precision transducers regardless of the kit I’ve heard them paired with: you’re always  going to get exactly what they’re being fed. This was a carefully crafted mix of very fine gear that portrayed delicacy, immediacy, palpable slam on the lowest octaves (those bass drivers were at full excursion while I was in the room), and most of all, an uncanny ability to implant the idea of the suspension of musical disbelief. The music was there with you, always surrounding you, and that deserves some credit.

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4 Comments on Newport 2016: EAR Yoshino meet Marten’s Mingus with Viridia TT world premier

  1. Rafe Arnott // July 19, 2016 at 3:24 PM //

    Hell of a room Dan, the team did a great job. Thanks for taking the time to read our coverage.

  2. My thanks to Rafe Arnott, who is obviously a man off great discernment! Kidding aside, it is clear from his remarks that he got what this system was striving for—in his words, “the suspension of musical disbelief.” This, to me, is what high-end audio is all about, or should be. Again, thank you, Rafe. Dan Meinwald, Proprietor, EAR USA

  3. Really appreciate Rafe’s eloquent overview of our exhibitor room at the “Newport” show — which was FUN to read! Rafe, I also thoroughly enjoyed watching you snap away with your camera kit and was genuinely looking forward to your results!

    Oh, and yes, Helius tonearms are the real deal (as are the Alexia and Viridia turntables — killer performance using scientific innovation and a great pair of ears with which to manifest their world-class components)

    Hope to see you again soon.

    Cheers!

    Wes

    • Rafe Arnott // July 24, 2016 at 11:16 PM //

      Cheers Wes, appreciate the kind words. Great gear deserves to have the word about it spread. Hopefully more people will have a chance to hear the new ‘table at RMAF.

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