Bumped into Luke Manley of VTL while walking down one of too many Munich corridors.
- Hey Luke, what’s up?
- Have you listened to our room
- Yeah, the VTL – Albedo one?
- You’ve got to listen to the other one too, the Stenheim one.
He was almost dragging me down the floor and this can only mean one thing, manufacturers know when they’ve got game. Or they are trying to waste a poor reviewer’s precious time but this was not the case.
The room was built around Stenheim‘s Reference Ultimate speakers, the Swiss counterpart of YG and Magico if you wish, only more musical. Electronics were provided by VTL of course, Siegfried MK2 Reference monos with TL7.5 Series III Reference Preamplifier, cables from Fonoacustica. The digital front end was a new and exciting product, or should I say series of products from Spanish firm Wadax. The Atlantis stack comprises of a DAC with external power supply, a proprietary transport capable of SACD and Blu-Ray playback among with a high-res file server, all yours for the modest price of 117.000 euros, MQA capability included.
Seeing the big Stenheim speakers one could start to doubt whether tube amps can actually drive them but the Siegfried monos pack tremendous capabilities without sacrificing inner detail and natural timbre. Bass was exceptional, piano notes decayed in natural fashion and strings sounded live and crisp. Indeed, Luke had a thing going on..