The last few shows, I’ve been gushing over the pairing of Jeff Joseph’s (Joseph Audio) speakers and Nick Doshi’s (Doshi Audio) electronics with wiring by Josh and Angela Cardas (Cardas Audio). Much of this has been with Jeff’s sublime Perspective speakers. But at the Florida show, Jeff brought out the $7,700 a pair Pulsar two-way monitors. Well, so much for bass.
…or so one would think. And one would be wrong. This system sounded full range except for the lowest-most registers.
This system really did go surprisingly low, a product of how Jeff uses his infinite slope crossovers to get more extension and some favorable room interaction. Low noise probably was likely helped along by the addition of a Nautilus power strip from Cardas and some flagship Clear Beyond cables.
Unquestionably, though, the star of the show was a lush midrange that pulled me in quickly. Jeff played Planet Dada from Yello, a favorite band of mine, and my ears were treated to a superb presentation of a wide soundstage with depth and richness from the synthesizers. It really was one of the best experiences I had at the show. Digital source was an Aqua Acoustic ladder type DAC that is based on proprietary FPGA programming. It had a natural sound that worked well for me-lots of detail but not overly crisp sounding.
As for Nick, sure the Studer tape deck through his $17,000 tape preamp was sounding spectacular. Smooth, analog sound as we have come to expect but I could not get over the size of the sound heard from these small stand-mount loudspeakers. We listened to Patricia Barber’s A Taste of Honey on a special Premonition version at 15 ips. The sound was spot one with great guitar tone and lightning-fast percussion. We then heard “Girl from Ipanema” play with a gorgeous, relaxing smoothness from Jobim and the shuffle recreated perfectly in the distance on the soundstage. Sax was nicely breathy in nature and cymbals were crystal clear. Later on we heard “St. James Infirmary”. Louis Armstrong’s trumpet was very clear. I stuck around and heard vocals, jazz, classical…all of it wonderful.
I asked Jeff what some of his design goals were for these Pulsars. He pointed to the goal of creating that “perfectly pistonic driver”. Colorations are low due to a cast magnesium cone, special surrounds, and no edge reflections. He mentioned the importance of control however as driver travel is truly a two-way street and drivers must respond to a signal on both the start and stop of music. Nick’s amplifier design assists further by back EMF (electro-motive force).
Nick’s amplifiers sounded good at last year’s Axpona driving Wilson Sasha 2s. This Doshi Stereo Amplifier is quite special. It checks all the resolution and macro/micro dynamics boxes sure. But the musicality is Nick’s secret weapon. At $19,000, a stereo amp should do this. But it feels like a true reference product and on those terms may be a bargain. The Doshi preamp was not holding it back at all. The Stereo amp puts out 65 watts of power but the first 50 are Class A. Maybe that is also some of the magic with the Pulsars.
This, my friends, was one of the top rooms at the show. For speakers under $10K, this was my favorite system. Jeff, Nick, and “Josh-ela” have done it again. I’m going to talk about a number of amazing rooms with two-ways in my upcoming show reports from Florida. But this was the very best of the category and a Top Five room for me. Team, please bring this sound to AXPONA. I will most certainly need a fix by April!