LOS ANGELES (PTA) — In the past, I’ve always found Furutech audio show exhibits to be some of the most stunning to look at, but in my experience they’ve never included active demonstration systems. This time around was a different story with Elite AV Distribution at the helm, showing a multitude of Furutech components in both passive and active use, along with an active system of brands including Kuzma, HRT, Plinius, and Manley Labs.
In the active system, I had taken note of the latest turntable from Kuzma, called the Stabi R. Which at the THE SHOW was finished in a beautiful walnut variant. Black and silver are standard colors, along with various paint finishes available at extra cost. The turntable was outfitted with Kuzma’s latest 4Point 9 nine-inch tonearm which is similar to Kuzma’s other 4Point tonearms, but in a nine-inch variant. The unique advantages of the nine-inch model over the bigger 4Points is that it’s lighter weight and can fit many more models of turntable on the market. The 4Point 9 was fitted with a Kuzma CAR-50 moving coil cartridge that is second from the top-of-the-line in Kuzma cart’ terms.
Though Elite AV Distribution is no longer distributing Plinius, it didn’t stop them from showing love to the brand by displaying with a Plinius Koru SS phonostage, and a Plinius SA-201 stereo amplifier, which is Class-A/B and outputs a 200wpc that I couldn’t walk away from either.
Back to brands carried, or in this case sold, Elite AV Distribution’s Scot Markwell is also a Manley Labs dealer, so his preamplifier of choice was the Manley Labs Jumbo Shrimp, which features an all-tube line-stage. The loudspeakers and DAC were both sourced from High Resolution Technologies (HRT) and both exhibit extreme value for the sound-dollar. The DAC is HRT’s Music Streamer HD USB model, and the loudspeakers are something unique, and possibly difficult to describe both physically and sonically.
HRT’s Stage IV loudspeakers are a $500 pr USD monitor, to which it was four pairs used in this system display. The original design for the loudspeakers in the single pair configuration was to be three pieces, a right and left channel passive desktop monitor and an integrated with USB DAC and remote volume control. Built for high-end desktop computer audiophiles.
The speakers are passive however, and they sounded so good to Scot Markwell, that he decided to gang them up. Four pairs in true stereo, with each grouping nestled in tight, attached to a pair of custom built Sound Anchors stands. Along with a single subwoofer to flesh out the lowest notes. All cabling of course was Furutech.
New for Furutech was an updated collection of IEC’s and male connectors. The new FA-48 NCF with Gold Plating and FI-46 NCF with Rhodium Plating, and a smaller FI-8 NCF, all get nano-crystal-formula treatments and special plate cladding.
Listening to various albums in both rock and classical was like spending time with a mini-wall-of-sound. The subwoofer was crossed in pretty low from my estimation, and the four-pairs of HRT’s did the job of presenting a convincing image, along with blending together on each side to present a harmoniously stable voice. Does all of the Plinius power help? Of course it does. Could I have been as charmed without the subwoofer? Unlikely. The best part of it all, was the fact that we toured many records and never did I question that these loudspeakers were not up to the class of the sources or racked components. In fact, the contribution made by the Kuzma turntable was not lost in the mix.
– Stabi R Turntable – $9,595 USD
– 4Point 9 Tonearm (w/ CC wire and ETI Silver Bullet RCA) – $3,995 USD
– CAR-50 Low-Output Moving Coil Cartridge – $5,895 USD
– Koru SS Phono-Stage – $3,450 USD
– SA-201 Stereo Power Amplifier – $6,545 USD
– Jumbo Shrimp Preamplifier – $3,995 USD
High Resolution Technologies (HRT)
– Music Streamer USB DAC – $500 USD
– Stage IV Loudspeakers – $500 pr USD (four pairs used)
– S/3 Powered Subwoofer – $1,999 USD
– Pro Series Speaker Stands (custom) – $900 pr USD
– Custom PCOCC Single-Crystal Speaker Cables – $450 USD
– FP-S55N Nano Au/Ag Power Cable – $450 meter USD
– DPS-4 DUC Ultra-Crystalline Power Cable – $450 meter USD
– FI-50/50M NCF Power and IEC – $385 USD (on power cables)
– DPS-4 Interconnects w/ CF-102 plugs – $450m + $171 pr USD
– GT2Pro USB Cable (1.8m) – $316 USD
– Destat – $390 USD
– NCF AC Boosters – $350 USD
– NCF Booster Signal – $215 USD
– E-TP86 Power Distributor w/GTX DR NCF – $1,700 USD
– Flux-50 Filter NCF – $1,250 USD
– 530 Magnetic Suspension Platform (used under preamp) – $1,250 USD