The Ryan speakers were humming along nicely in Room 511 with Auralic electronics and Cardas Clear cabling. Trevor Ryan always has a very good room and this was yet another outstanding display of two-way monitor greatness at the Florida show.
Alex Brinkman of Auralic blew me away:with a track from Virgil Thompson’s The Plow That Broke the Plains. This tune is awesomely dynamic and was throwing a very deep soundstage. I have several versions of this at home, but here we were listening to the DSD64 file, and it was spectacular. This was another pair of stand-mount speakers that sounded like a tower design if you closed your eyes. The midrange was a real standout for me with clarity and a wide-open feel.
There’s something special about the Auralic digital gear as a source. I’m somewhat familiar, as my friend Mark has a fantastic setup with an Auralic Vega DAC, and the line has always impressed me for its analog-like sound, but the new G2 Series has improved on the Vega’s strengths. It has the resolution I want but is very smooth and just remarkably to listen to. The digital components comprised a full G2 “stack” of Aries G2 Streaming Transporter ($3,899), Vega G2 DAC ($6k), and the Leo GX reference clock ($7k) with jitter said to be 500x less than a “typical” 82fs femtoclock. Specs are quite impressive for the DAC at 130db of dynamic range and total harmonic distortion of less than 0.00012%. Accurate, precise…it correlated well with the musical sound I was hearing.
The Ryan speakers were the S610 with an elegant sloping front baffle to time align the drivers. Frequency response is 43 hz to 35 khx +/- 3 db. 8 ohm nominal impedance and 86 db sensitivity. Each weighs 35 lbs. The woofer is a 6.5″ laminated Nomex cone. The tweeter crosses over at 1900 herz and is a chambered beryllium dome. The speaker cabinet uses a 9-layer constrained damping that breaks up vibrations within the cabinet. Drivers are designed with Finite Element Analysis and the crossover uses higher order crossover slopes “that allow for the smoothest in room frequency response while minimizing distortion”. Trevor believes each part in the crossover should be of the highest quality and he uses “Mundorf metal oxide resistors and Clarity CSA polypropylene capacitors”. For all this, I was expecting a fairly high price given the performance. I was wrong. $4k for the pair. Would need to spend more time with them but seems like a lot of value for the dollar.
Powering everything was a Doshi Stereo Amplifier which has eight 6CA7 tubes, super easy biasing, high gain, and 65 watts of power, of which 50 watts are pure Class A. Build quality is self-evident with a half inch of Corian as a base for the tube shelf and a beautiful chrome-like cage for the massive transformers. Outputs are high quality and have a nice red color coding around the edge for the “plus” leg. The amp felt effortless, if I may use a frequent adjective from the reviewer’s toolkit. The EL34-like 6CA7 tubes create a beautiful sound. The Stereo Amp sells for $19k.
The nicely transparent Cardas Clear cabling was in full effect and a Nautilus power strip was keeping the noise floor very low. The electronics were on a four shelf Pangea equipment rack with a beautiful carbon fiber finish. The rack rested on large spikes drilling into the carpet.
All in all, a very impressive system. Dynamic, musical. We listened to “Magnetic Lies” off the Convergence album by Malia and Boris Blank. The breathy vocals of Malia were nicely atmospheric and wide across the stage. The percussion was precise. The synth effects were bubbling up in the background and the background vocals at the end felt true. The Vega stack and Doshi tubes and Ryan S610 were making a wonderful sound. Well done team!