I foolishly keep thinking that maybe this time Doug White of The Voice That Is will put a foot wrong somewhere, try something out of context for shits, and giggles, but no he never does. As a result his room – which almost exclusively features ever more Tidal Audio equipment – just keeps putting everybody’s hair straight back like they’re in the chopper wash of an AH-64 Apache landing 15 feet in front of them, except it’s not a helo laying down the sonic smacks, it’s what I call White’s Rolling Thunder show kit: Tidal Akira loudspeakers ($215,000 USD) being juiced by a Tidal Prescencio three-chassis preamplifier, and a pair of Ferios 300-watt (into eight Ohms) Monoblocs.
As usual the analog front end consisted of a TW Acustics turntable, this time the Raven Anniversary Turntable ($22,000 USD), with a TW 10.5 Tonearm ($5,490 USD), and a Transfiguration Proteus cartridge ($6,000 USD), and while an Antipodes DX Generation 3 Music Server ($7,750 USD- $17,200 USD/1TB – 8TB) was supplying a mix of Redbook, and high-resolution digital again, this time the DAC was the brand new Tidal Camira DMC ($28,500 USD) which I first heard at its debut in Munich this spring. Cabling was all Tidal as well, making this whole system almost entirely under the synergy of one company – something I don’t take lightly as I know how key it is to design, and build components in-house meant to work flawlessly together. StillPoints Ultra Isolators were used throughout the set-up, and a Signal Projects Poseidon S40 Power Conditioner ($11,000 USD) was in effect.
There’s a reason Scot Hull calls Tidal gear “The Rolls Royce of high-end audio,” it’s because it’s big, glossy, built by hand to last for generations, and offers a level of performance, fit, and finish that many competitors cannot match. Some will balk at the price, and say things like “It better sound good for that money… etc.” But again, I go back to the Rolls analogy, and must emphasize that IMO you’re getting what you pay for: Some of the very best sound available on the planet regardless of price. Any price. This isn’t a system to listen to if your goal is to fault it, because honestly it’s nearly impossible to do that. White has curated an incredibly impressive sound system, and with every show he brings it to he only confirms what I felt when I heard it for the first time: Emotion. It triggers a deeply emotional response from me, and I honestly can’t ask any gear to do more than that. I encourage everyone who is able to visit White’s showroom, and book a listening session for themselves. I can talk about rock-solid, and subterranean bass, delicate, liquid treble extension, and a midrange that perfectly captures every nuance of a vocalist’s range – how I can hear the lyrics emanating more from their chest, and not their throat – but all this is taken as hyperbole by many until you’ve had a chance to experience it for yourself.