Acora Acoustics, VAC, Cardas, Charisma, Codia | T.H.E. Show 2019

If you’re still wondering how VAC amplifiers sounded without that magical synergy with Von Schweikert Audio loudspeakers at T.H.E. Show 2019, Acora Acoustics of Canada made quite an impression with their granite SRC-2 loudspeakers. (Price not available, but the smaller but equally heavy SRC-1s are $28,000/pair.) These attractive and elegant 2-way floor-standing loudspeakers sounded solid like a rock (sorry, couldn’t help myself) with pinpoint and stable imaging that was quite impressive.

Kevin Hayes of VAC brought along serious tube amplification for the Canadian speakers in the form of the Signature 200 iQ monoblock amps ($14,000) and the Signature SE preamplifier ($26,000 with MM/MC phono stage), and sources included an Esoteric Grandioso K1 CD/SACD player and DAC ($21,000) with an Aurender N-10 streamer ($8000) on the digital side, and a gorgeous TW Acustic Raven turntable with Charisma Audio arm and cartridge on the analog side. Codia supplied the furniture and isolation, and Cardas Audio provided the cabling.

The low frequencies were quite impressive with this system–deep bass was tight and well-defined. Listening to Fink’s Trouble Ahead, I was thrilled with the sound of the electric bass throughout. It was just so tactile, even when the strings were being tapped very gently. For me that’s a function of good tubed amplification, the ability of soft passages to still reveal plenty of detail, but the VAC amplification is particularly adept at this.

While the SRC-2s look fairly compact, they actually weigh a whopping 246 pounds each thanks to the granite. They’re also easy to drive (90.5 dB, 8 ohms) so they’re perfect for medium-powered tube amplification. The Acora Acoustics SRC-2 also features a beryllium tweeter, and a bass response that goes down to a healthy 29 Hz. With the amazing VAC amps, the Acora Acoustic speaker sounded very promising, and I look forward to hearing some of their other (and perhaps lighter) speakers in the future.