Perfect8 Technologies and Ypsilon | CAF 2019

I was excited to see that Perfect8 Technologies and Ypsilon were exhibiting together at the 2019 Capital Audiofest. I’ve always felt that Ypsilon is in the running for the greatest solid-state amplifier manufacturer on the planet, and I’ve never listened to a system with their products that sounded less than stupendous. Perfect8 loudspeakers, however, are a truly rare find in the world of high-end audio trade shows. I’ve heard these exquisite little glass enclosure speakers from Sweden only one before, at the behest of Peter Breuninger at a trade show a few years ago, and I was stunned at the enormous “walk-through” soundstage. There was only one issue–these speakers, roughly a cubic foot in volume, cost $70,000 for the system.

Tenacious Sound
Capital Audiofest 2019 brought to you in part by Tenacious Sound.
Verdant Audio
Capital Audiofest 2019 brought to you in part by Verdant Audio!

Flash forward to November of 2019, and I find myself one again in the presence of these gorgeous speakers. The Perfect8 Technologies and Ypsilon system was relatively simple in its set-up–a newer version of the Perfect8 Cubes with matching subwoofer, with the Ypsilon Phaethon integrated amplifier ($25,000 for standard edition, $50,000 for Silver Edition) and DAC 100 ($24,500 standard, $49,000 for Silver Edition). I sat and listened to the same enveloping soundstage and gorgeous sound I remember, but now it seemed a little more focused and realistic and decidedly less cavernous.

I asked myself, wow, if these are so much better than before…how insane is the MSRP now? The answer made me do a double-take. The Perfect8 Technologies Cube costs just $20,000 per pair, and $35,000 with the subwoofer. For $70K, these were a fever dream, something to buy when you don’t have to worry about saving enough for retirement and you don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks. While $20K or $35K is far from affordable, it’s not crazy money considering the performance. Perfect8 Technologies loudspeakers offer a unique sound, big and yet somehow intimate, with a very relaxing demeanor. One listener in the room described it as “chocolate,” rich and decadent and completely satisfying.

I’m always surprised by the sound of loudspeakers with glass enclosures. I expect them to sound sterile and glassy. They usually sound beautiful and warm–the glass isn’t part of the equation in the same way as wood or aluminum. Perfect8 Technologies attribute this to their proprietary Super Silent Glass (SSG) technology. Rap on the glass of The Cube, and you’ll only hear a very dull and subdued thud. When it comes to loudspeakers with glass enclosures, I’m totally sold on the idea. The Cube from Perfect8 Technologies are as intriguing and compelling of a product as there is in high-end audio.