Borresen launches a new speaker with a special use for silver, Thrax slaps us across the face with three new serious pieces of electronics, Vitus Audio says “Hey, can I play?“, Ansuz Acoustics places a big bow on top of things, HifiStay has me checking out those gams, United Home Audio takes us to outer space, and finally HighEnd by Oz is the master of ceremonies.
First things first — this is the first room I visited at Capital Audio Fest 2021. The social media buzz surrounding the new products from Thrax was substantial and tantalizing. I loved them before I heard them. Well — to say I hadn’t heard what Thrax had done in the past was to be untrue. I’d fallen in love with some Thrax gear back in LA a few years ago when they were at THE Show in 2019.
Before I get going on the electronics and how it sounded, I must SPEAK about those speakers. When I saw them listed in the system description, my first thought was — silver wiring — nothing new, but I was wrong. The silver designation concerns a silver ring behind each driver that couples the magnet motor structure together. Each driver has about 2 lbs of silver behind it. That’s a lot of… silver.
Doing the honors, was a pair of Thrax Teres II monoblock amplifiers, 250 watts of tube hybrid amplifiers, controlled by a Dionysos Preamplifier, and lead forward by a Maximinus MK III DAC, using a Vitus Audio SCD 25 MK II spinner as a transport. The Thax DAC is a new R2R ladder DAC design. And there was also tape…
Yes, about that tape player.
The new Super Deck from United Home Audio is a complicated piece of kit. A four part system, consisting first of a rack that holds the tape transport and outboard headamp (which amplifies the signal of the tape head). An outboard power supply with three power transformers: one for right, one for left, and the tape transport. Power is triple regulate (stepped down three times), entirely in DC from the power supply forward.
The chassis is all billet aluminum, lined with richlite for damping. The boards are ‘hyperpure’ copper, twice layered in gold (top and bottom) held with a ceramic dielectric that is certified for use in space. So there.
The first track we played was from the digital sources, and it was loud, in your face, and bombastic in the bass. I’ll attest that I’ve known this room to have a bump in the low mid-bass in years past, but the new Borresen 05’s did well not to exaggerate it or fall into too much bloat. Bass in this system was just so powerful, and it didn’t hurt my feelings that Oz prefered things loud. This system is capable of playing much bigger rooms, and likely would have benefited up top from some room to breath.
I however visited this room more than once throughout the weekend, just to reset my base reference and get to hear the new Super Deck sparkle once more. I wasn’t let down. United Home Audio at the wheel, we were at one time presented with a classic jazz piano piece from Oscar Peterson that just killed.
Borresen 05 Silver Supreme Speakers – $214,500
Thax Audio Teres II Mono Amplifiers – $34,500
Thax Audio Dionysos Preamplifier – $23,000
Thax Audio Maximinus DAC MK III – $38,500
Vitus Audio SCD 25 MK II CD/DAC (used as transport) – $26,400
Ansuz D-TC Supreme Cables – $17,600 – $70,000
HifiStay Mythology Rack – $4,900 (one level)
United Home Audio Super Deck – $89,998