Well Pleased AV, Vinnie Rossi, Qln, Innuos, Swisscables | RMAF 2019

Well Pleased AV, a distributor based in Virginia, immediately scored extra points for the diagonal set-up in their exhibit room at RMAF 2019. When I’ve lived in a house where I had the space to do it, I did. Diagonal room set-ups for your audio system result in a magnificently deep soundstage, one that’s so addictive that it’s hard to return to the ol’ put-it-against-the-wall ethos.

Well Pleased AV hosted Vinnie Rossi’s debut of the L2i-SE integrated amplifier ($18,995), which consists of a Class A preamplifier design that can use 2A3, 45, 300B, PX4, 101D and other 4-pin directly-heated triodes along with a Class AB MOSFET power amplifier that puts out 100 wpc at 8 ohms and 175 wpc into 4. As with many of Vinnie’s amps, you get plenty of modular options such as a DAC or a phono stage for $3495 each. Well Pleased AV brought along the diminutive two-way floorstanding speakers from Qln of Sweden, the Prestige Three SE ($12,000/pair), the Innuos Statement music server ($13,750), SGR equipment rack, GigaWatt power conditioner ($10,000) and cables from Swisscables and Black Cat Cable.

PTA web core power 728x90
Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2019 coverage sponsored by Core Power Technologies A/V

That’s the basic description of the Well Pleased AV room, which doesn’t begin to cover the extraordinary sound I experienced. Sure, the diagonal set-up provided a soundstage that was one of the best I’ve heard at a high-end audio show, deep and taut and with imaging that could not be more precise. My notes at the time just say “easy and natural,” but days afterward I am still haunted by so many things about that system. Those Qln speakers, for example, defied my expectations. They are small in person, petite towers that look as if they could be easily scooped up and brought into another room. Yet the sound was incredibly expansive and airy, with plenty of deep bass that could really energize the relatively spacious room.

The centerpiece of the Well Pleased AV system, however, was easily the Vinnie Rossi L2i-SE, with its stunning industrial aesthetic, amazing fit and finish and astonishing flexibility. Vinnie’s amps have been thrilling my ears for many years now, but this is new, a sound so natural and light and fulfilling on so many levels. I must try one out in my home, I told Vinnie, getting on the short list for review. So, I’ll work hard to make that happen over the next few months. I might exert the same effort for Qln–I think those speakers were among my favorite transducers at the show.