As I aimlessly wandered Capital Audiofest 2019, I was lucky enough to stumble into the Montgomery room where I truly “found myself” while chatting with Now Listen Here owners Aaron and Jessica Sherrick. Now Listen Here is a Lancaster, Pennsylvania audio dealer which opened five years ago, and was taken over by the Sherricks in May of 2019.
What the Sherrick’s were showing proudly was the new Rogue Sphinx Integrated V3 ($1,595 USD), which it is of note that the one on active display in the showroom was the very first unit off the production line. During the show weekend, Mark O’Brien (founder of of Rogue Audio) was demonstrating the new Sphinx Integrated V3 with a small-ish — small by Legacy terms at least — pair of Legacy Studio HD (starting at $1,795 pr USD) monitors.
New for the Rogue Sphinx V3 Integrated is an improved line stage, all-new Mosfet output on the headphone stage, and completely redesigned phono-stage. Now with adjustable input loading for use with Moving Coil cartridges as well as the Moving Magnet seen in previous iterations. Output at the speakers taps is still 100-wpc and overall the chassis, knobs, and inputs look the same.
On static display, the new Legacy Audio seven-channel home theater amplifier, which with it’s copper cladding and brushed black aluminum looks sharp, and it’s honestly a shame that in use it will likely be in a dark theater. Maybe some allowances will be made for accent lighting. It’s up to the user of course.
Unique to the Now Listen Here exhibit is the implementation of a Roon Nucleus based system, with on-screen monitors at all listening stations, showing artist and track information for all music playing in the room. Featuring iPad control and a new NAD’s C 658 BluOS Steaming DAC ($1,649 USD) used at all end points in all systems.
I’ve owned Legacy Speakers before, and found that a tube pairing with Legacy can bring really great things to the sound. We’ve witnessed this in recent years with Raven Audio showing with Legacy and rendering a synergy like we’ve never heard before. Also myself being a Legacy owner, I’ve found that Legacy speakers do love power. Using big power solid-state also brings out Legacy’s more bruiting characteristics. Which for playing live and loudly — almost nothing else will suffice.
Enter the Rogue Audio Integrated. The Rogue Sphinx V3 is tube and solid-state (Class-D on the output stage), and with that some of the best performance I’ve ever heard on the small-ish Legacy Studio HD’s.
The Studio HD’s are a two-way loudspeaker with ample construction to say the least, an 8-inch mid-woofer, and a sparkling AMT driver. Bass with the new Rogue Sphinx V3 was taught and punchy. Digging deep into the bass notes was everything I like about the Studio HD’s and the Class-D section of the Rogue supplied in spades. The Treble and Mid-Range frequencies were extended, smooth, and delicate when and where needed with the Rogue’s all new line-stage and tube complement. Overall, a dazzling pairing.