The Vinyl Revivers is a passion project created by Russ Katz. Russ is a music lover, whose passion for involved listening runs deep. Delving into his childhood experiences of listening to music of all genres with his father and mother, his devotion to good sound and attentive listening experiences show through in his cultivation of high-end audio products. I enter the Vinyl Revivers room and straightaway I was reminded of my own childhood experiences with music.
Once I laid eyes on the Accuphase integrated from across the room, I was transported back to familiar aesthetics that reminded me most of the ‘80s electronics. Different however now, the new Accuphase E-270 sounds nothing like the electronics I remember from the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. Nor should it. Designed with all of the modern topology, low noise high-power transistors arranged in push-pull, a massive high-efficiency transformer and large filtering capacitors. Everything about the E-270 screams modern high-fidelity.
Capturing my attention firstly by looks were the Sonner Audio Legato Unum standmount speakers. Unique to any speaker I encountered at the show, was that the Legato series from Sonner offers a stylized plackart of sorts that magnetically adheres to the front baffle of the speakers. Akin to the utility of the a grill, the plackart does offer little physical protection, but moreover stands as part of the finishing package. Various colors and material finishes are available, as to allow the Legato series to change their appearances with the season, or to be as customizable as possible.
Offering all the digital goodies, the MyTek Manhattan II DAC. In my experience the Manhattan II has often been used as an entire front end. With analog inputs, including phono, analog outputs, and a built in volume control, all one needs is an amp and speakers to qualify as a world-beating system on a budget. Here however, the Manhattan II was performing only as a DAC.
Smooth and relaxing was my initial take on the system. As we moved around various tracks, the character of the Sonner Audio Legatos never strayed far away from smooth, but depending on the media, the former relaxing was often exchanged for a thrilling and exciting performance. What made the system click with me most was that it imaged wide, placed instruments tightly, and held a space open for depth in layering.
Sound-stage height was also pleasantly large. And before you mention it, I did ask to hear the speakers without the plackarts installed and found no real differences in sonics that I could be sure about. We even removed them one at a time. With that experiment, most of my initial concerns were assuaged. Overall, the system was lively and noteworthy for being high value and high in fidelity.
The Accuphase E-270 really impressed me with it’s powerful grip on the bass, and ability to push the dynamics of the Sonner Audio monitors to high levels of delicacy around the upper mid-range and treble. Just for fun I did nudge both tone controls into the boost arena, and found their contribution perfectly subtle, as they should be. From there, the rest of my listening was done with the tone controls set to a flat response.
– Manhattan II DAC – $5,995 USD
– E-270 Integrated Amplifier – $5,000 USD
– Legato Unum Stand-Mount Speaker – $4,750 pr USD
– Speaker Stands – $750 pr USD