Newport 2016: Einstein masters energy, matter



I thought about starting this report on Einstein Audio Components with some would-be snappy play on the company’s name, such as “Einstein really did its math in Newport,” or T.H.E. Show = MC2 for Einstein.”

But no, that would have been too easy, and kind of pretentious. Oops, it seems I did it anyway, though.

Actually, Einstein doesn’t need any fancy word-smithing from me to draw attention to its products. Its second-floor room at Newport 2016 was attracting plenty of showgoers interested to see what the German company was up to.

Einstein has been handcrafting gear since 1988. The company seems to be making a bigger footprint in the U.S. in recent years, and a quick listen showed why.


Einstein was showing its Silver Bullet OTL amp ($49,000) and a line stage simply called The Preamp ($19,000). Analog playback was through The Turntable’s Choice phono preamp ($9,000), TechDAS Air Force3 turntable ($28,000), TechDAS MC Titanium cartridge ($14,500) and Graham Engineering Elite tonearm ($12,000).

DSC_0042The company wasn’t taking any chances with the rest of the system, employing a pair of Wilson Audio Specialties Sabrina speakers and Nordost Valhalla 2 wire.

First of all, I have to say that Einstein makes some of the most flat-out handsome gear in the high end. The design is an appealing blend of modern and retro cool. Workmanship also appears to be impeccable.

None of that would matter if the rig didn’t perform, but no worries there. The sound through the Sabrinas — which are very revealing small floorstanders — was deep, liquid and emotionally involving. Music flowed with a sense of ease that was addictive. Listening closer, I got the feeling Einstein made its decisions concerning tonal balance based on what caused compositions to come alive while still sounding polished, as opposed to aiming for strict neutrality.

Overall, it was a room I wanted to spend more time in, which always is a good sign. It appears Einstein has found the formula to expand its place in the audio universe. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)