I’ve covered the Linear Tube Audio, Spatial Audio, LampizatOr and ANTICABLES several times over the last couple of years, and it’s always one of my favorite rooms at high-end audio shows. The sound from the system they usually assemble–LTA Z10 integrated amplifier ($4900), Spatial M3 Sapphire Loudspeakers ($4200/pair), LampizatOr Amber 3 DAC ($2750) and very affordable power cords, interconnects and speaker cables from ANTICABLES–is usually astonishing for the money. I’ve always found these components set the bar for transparency, spaciousness and realism at this price point.
These manufacturers often feature a “show special” that is incredibly hard to pass up–at least it would be for me if I was a show attendee who was looking to start from scratch. It’s usually a variation on the LTA Z10, the current version of the Spatial M3s (the Sapphires were added for the first time at last year’s Capital Audiofest), the LampizatOr and the ANTICABLES. Each year, it goes up a little due to inflation. That’s totally forgivable, because at the 2020 Florida Audio Expo the price was still just $10,950.
Most consumers think that low five figures is an insane amount of money for a two-channel audio system. There are certainly cheaper alternatives for enjoying your favorite music in your home. But we audiophiles know that it’s incredibly easy to spend $11,000 in our hobby and not get anywhere close to a complete audio system. Name a single class of component, anything from amps and sources to cables and accessories, and I’ll give you plenty of $11,000 examples of each one. In a nutshell, I dare you to come up with an $11,000 system that handily beats the LTA/Spatial/LampizatOr/ANTICABLES rig in terms of resolution, dynamics and realism.
Plus, they even played Tool’s “Chocolate Chip Trip” for me, and it sounded awesome–even though the LTA Z10 has only 12 watts per channel. (“13!” says LTA’s Nicholas Tolson. “Don’t short change the Z10!”)
The more I think about this room, the more I feel regret. I wish they had a system like this a few years ago, one that sounded this good for this amount of money. I would have purchased it, although I’d have to get the optional phono stage for the Z10. I’d probably still be listening to it, deliriously happy, after coming home from my dreary job every day. (Those jobs were indeed dreary back then.) So if you’re a journeyman audiophile trying to find the best sound for your hard-earned money, I suggest you attend the next high-end audio show in your area and search out this room. You won’t regret it.