I ran into Scot Hull in one of the exhibit rooms at the 2019 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, and he leaned in slightly and told me that I needed to get to the Wavelength Audio and Vaughn room STAT. “Is it that good?” I asked, and he grinned and nodded silently. As I walked in, Dire Straits’ “Once Upon a Time in the West” was playing and I don’t think I’ve heard that song come off as so relaxed and open and yet revealing of so much inner detail. This was a complicated system, with lots of individual pieces, but the overall sound was so smooth and alluring that I had to stay a while. This came near the end of the show, and it was the perfect antidote for the hustle and bustle of three-and-a-half days of intensive reporting.
Here’s an idea of how unusual and complex this system was: Vaughn Zinfandel line array loudspeakers with plasma tweeters ($15,000/pair); MJ Acoustic Masterclass Windsor subwoofer ($8000); Wavelength Audio Triton Silver 300B SET amplifiers ($40,000/pair), Sine Silver line stage ($15,000), Brick N2 Silver USB DAC ($10,000) and AudioQuest cabling with the Niagara 7000 power conditioner. Wavelength Audio, Vaughn and MJ Acoustic also brought many other products into the room, basically showing off their entire lines, and it was quite an impressive display.
The Vaughn Zinfandels, which feature nine 4″ monopole drivers per side, have an efficiency of 97 dB which made them the perfect partner for the Wavelength Audio single-ended triode amps. They only dip down to around 70 Hz, which made the MJ Acoustic subs necessary for a full-range sound, but they also extend to 40 kHz. That accounted for that easy, airy treble that kept me in my seat for so long.
One added bonus to visiting this room–I was finally able to meet Gordon Rankin of Wavelength Audio. The first DAC I ever used in my home system was the original Brick, and it was my first taste of hi-rez digital sound. Gordon and Colleen go way back–she had borrowed the Brick from her dad so I could get my digital feet wet. Visiting this room reminded me of those days, and how I finally understood why digital’s future was so bright. Scot was right about this room–it was an exceptional and unique system, well worth hearing.