“The t-i-i-i-i-i-mes they are a ch-a-a-a-a-a-nging,” howled a high-pitched, impossibly nasal singer as I entered a room at AXPONA that highlighted equipment by Joseph Audio, Jeff Rowland Design Group and Cardas Audio.
“Who’s this?” I asked, surprising myself that, as an introvert entering a crowded room, I was able to toss off a quick quip.
“Just some guy with no future,” replied a listener on the front row, out-quipping me.
I decided to drop the one-liners, take out my notebook and get down to analyzing the system at hand.
The speakers were Joseph Audio Perspectives ($13,000 a pair). The narrow floor-standers use two magnesium woofers and a Sonatex Hexadyn tweeter. The cabinet is heavily braced to reduce resonances.
Some speaker-builders change a wire or binding post every year and suddenly you have Series 2. Joseph Audio’s founder and president, Jeff Joseph, doesn’t operate that way.
Joseph’s marketing efforts often focus on reminding potential customers of all the great speakers that are currently in his line. AXPONA was a prime example, with the Perspectives getting their chance to be in the spotlight.
“I haven’t shown this model in a while,” he told me. “I try to rotate through all my speakers at the shows.”
Joseph’s Perspectives obviously were not in need of any tweaking, as the sound coming from them was detailed, focused and engaging.
Even with a vocally idiosyncratic Nobel Prize winner behind the mic, the speakers created a sound that pulled listeners into the music. The Perspectives’ sense of pace, especially, seemed spot-on.
The speakers undoubtedly were aided by some first-rate associated equipment.
The integrated amplifier was the 1,500 watts-per-channel Jeff Rowland Daemon ($38,800). Feeding that was a Technics RS1500 reel-to-reel tape deck, with a Doshi tape preamp ($16,000). There also was a Macbook Pro playing digital files.
All the wire was from Cardas, including Clear Beyond ($10,830 for 3 meters), Clear interconnect ($3,160 for 2 meters) and Clear power cords ($920 for 2 meters).
Support was provided by Modulum, including its amp stand ($2,100 in walnut) and three-shelf rack ($5,600 in walnut).
On silent display were Joseph Audio Prism stand-mounted speakers ($3,700), a 400 WPC Jeff Rowland Continuum S2 integrated amp ($9,500) and a Jeff Rowland Capri Plus 60 WPC integrated amp (scheduled for release this fall, $7,950).
As I got up to leave, Joseph picked up his tablet remote and cued up another track,
“Why try to change me now,” the same familiar singer attempted to croon in a voice that now was a lower, ravaged croak.
From changing times to not changing. I got it. I looked at Joseph and smiled.
No quip necessary.