DENVER (PTA) — A stunning collection of sounds from US distributor Bending Wave USA. Bathed in shadow Göbel High End loudspeakers cast only a silhouette, CH Precision electronics offer contrast from the dark, Kronos Audio sits atop-it-all, and Nordost in quiet control of the music. In the end, this listening session becomes a double-blind (or just blind test), and I fail miserably.
The Göbel High End Divin Noblesse ($220,000 pr USD) are claimed to be “mid-size” loudspeakers. Yeah, right? With dual 8-inch carbon/paper mid-range drivers, and massive AMT tweeter in between, and dual 12-inch woofers flanking the outside (upper and lower), there is nothing mid-sized about these loudspeakers. Maybe as a character in a Godzilla film, but not here at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest 2019, and definitely not in most domestic capacities. I’ve lived in apartments smaller than the Noblesse.
CH Precision makes too many great products. It’s not a problem, but c’mon. The L1 preamplifier ($34,500 USD) and M 1.1 power amplifier ($54,000 USD) combination is always finding itself at the top of my best-of-show lists. The C1 DAC with USB option ($35,000 USD), and P1 phonostage ($31,000 USD) are system options I’ve not paid enough attention to.
The Kronos Pro turntable ($42,000 USD) was outfitted with a Black Beauty tonearm ($9,500 USD) and SCPS power supply ($15,000 USD). Göbel cabling from the Lacorde Statement series was used throughout.
Nordost’s Q-Line of passive (and active) “power manipulators, magic conditioners and smoothing devices” were also on full display.
With the room out of sight, you expect to at least hear it’s boundaries but I do not. The soundstage and scale of the large Divin Noblesse loudspeakers is present, but indiscernible as to their location source. Bass and fun are in full delivery mode. The speakers mid-range is really what draws me in.
Sadly, it wasn’t the Kronos playing in the system, it was from an unknown digital source, but there was no complaining about it from my end. The C1 DAC was as convincingly an analog source that I did mistake it for the vinyl playback system and asked “what record is this?” Would I have done the same, had their been lights? Maybe.