In my coverage of Eikon Audio, I noted how I failed to recognize audio legend Gayle Sanders when he first approached me. I did the same exact thing in the ModWright Instruments and EgglestonWorks room at the Florida Audio Expo. When I first entered the room, I was greeted by several people I know well such as Dan Wright, but another man–unfamiliar to me–started calling me by name and discussing various aspects of the system. After sitting and listening to this impressive system, which featured the brand new EgglestonWorks OSO speakers ($11,995/pair), I suddenly thought “Who was that guy?”
I hurried out to the corridor where he was chatting with a few colleagues and show attendees, and realized I was speaking with Jim Thompson, President of EgglestonWorks. Back when I reviewed the EgglestonWorks Emma EVOs in The Occasional, I spoke with Jim on the phone and exchanged numerous emails with him during the review period. Once again, I felt like a dolt. Jim even warned me that “these aren’t the Emmas you reviewed…if you’ll notice, they’re bigger and have side-firing woofers.” I loved the Emmas and thought there were a whole lotta speaker for just $5500/pair. The same could be said for the OSOs–everything I enjoyed with the Emmas was there, only bigger and more authoritative.
The rest of the system included some of my favorite gear–ModWright PH 9.0 phono stage ($2900) and KWH 225i tubed integrated ($8495), Wolf Audio‘s Alpha 3 SX server ($9895) with a T+A MP 3100 HV DAC ($21,000), the ubiquitous Stillpoints rack ($22,000), an even more ubiquitous (ubiquitouser?) VPI HW-40 direct drive turntable ($15,000) with the new VPI Shyla cartridge ($1200), all wired up with WyWires. I felt the entire system possessed a perfect balance of everything audiophiles crave.
Then Dan Wright pulled out Dead Can Dance’s Into the Labyrinth, perhaps the single album I’ve listened to the most in my entire life, and I asked him to play side one, which I know like the back of my hand. It was an excellent performance, with plenty of detail and control. For perhaps the first time ever I truly concentrated on the percussion during “Yulunga” and how it’s continually shifting from left to right. I could hear deep, deep, deep into the recording. I was impressed.
As for Jim Thompson, I’ll certainly recognize him next time. I’ll remember the 2020 Florida Audio Expo as the show where people kept approaching me and talking to me and then stepping back and realizing I had no idea who they were. I’m working on that, I promise!