LOS ANGELES (PTA) — High End by Oz and United Home Audio were hosting one of the few rooms with the real organic sound of reel-to-reel tape, and DC power. Along for the ride, AudioSolutions loudspeakers and their extra-rigid paper cone drivers. Vitus Audio and their new integrated provided all the power we could ask for.
United Home Audio was showing their Ultima4 OPS-DC tape deck, which features an outboard DC power supply. As we all know, every UHA tape deck uses DC motors for their increased reliability and stable speed. The addition of an outboard power supply, now allows everything inside the Ultima4 box to operate solely on DC power. It’s a true separation of church and state, as AC power goes into the power supply, and only DC power is sent to the tape deck. Inside the Ultima4 there are two distinct transformers with isolated duties. One powers the motors, VU meters, transport, while the other only powers the dual-mono head amps. Shielding for the head amps is tweaked out to the nines. The Ultima4 is still available as an AC powered one-box option. The OPS-DC power supply is seen as an add-on option which adds $6,500 to the price, and can be added to any UHA tape deck.
Scot Hull… are you listening?
Also on display, the AudioSolutions Figaro L loudspeakers. Each is a three-way loudspeaker with a unique Mini-Horn loaded silk dome tweeter with wave-guide, a slew of ER (Extra Rigid) paper cone drivers. All built into a Self-Locking cabinet with the same joint system as the AudioSolutions Vantage 5th Anniversary series. Included are height-adjustable feet, double front baffles with “stealth grille” system. Around back all WBT NextGen connection terminals.
As for amplification duties, the new Vitus Audio RI-101 Integrated was up to handling the power and decoding duties of the digital on hand, though during my time in the room we stuck solely to tape. The new RI-101 is available with a DAC/Streamer module, which is a significant piece of the upgrade over the outgoing RI-100. There is more under the familiar hood that is new for the RI-101, but during my time in the room, we spent so much time enjoying the music, that so much of my focus was distracted from inquiring more about the new integrated.
As always, and it bears repeating — loud enough for the people in the back — nothing sounds like tape. I’ve heard tape on omni-directional speakers (MBL), bookshelf speakers (Joseph Audio), now mini-horn speakers from AudioSolutions. The Figaro L with it’s mini-horns around all drivers does well to focus its direct reflecting sound-waves in a way that interact little with the room. Imaging is focused, and the sound empirically organic in all the instruments being recreated. My experiences with United Home Audio tape machines have all ended in smiles and bottoms glued to the seat. Is there any system where tape doesn’t sound fantastic? If so, I haven’t experienced one.
United Home Audio
– Ultima4 OPS-DC Tape Deck – $30,000 USD
– RI 101 Integrated Amplifier – $15,600 USD
– DAC/Streamer Module – $4,500 USD
– Figaro L Loudspeakers (in Champagne finish) – $10,000 pr USD
– Speakz A2 Speaker Cable (3m) – $5,670 USD
– Signalz A2 XLR Interconnect (2m) – $4,500 USD
– Mainz A2 Power Cord (2m) – $3,150 USD
– Mainz8 A2 Power Distributor – $4,500 USD