It isn’t often that a dealer room at a high-end audio show catches my attention. That’s not me being a snob or anything, but dealers usually have to assemble a system from all their brands, or at least the brands that pitched in and helped with the exhibit room. That means there’s a lot of variables, and a lot of things that can go wrong. Audio-Ultra of Seattle, however, is one of two dealers at the Pacific Audio Fest who impressed me with an all-out system that provided plenty of thrills.
First of all, Audio-Ultra brought a pair of Magico S5MKII speakers ($45,400/pr USD) and it’s time for me to acknowledge that many exhibitors choose Magicos for small hotel room-size spaces and often succeed brilliantly. The rest of the system was just as remarkable–Constellation Centaur II 500 power amp ($80,000), Taiko Extreme Server ($32,000), MSB Reference Transport ($27,000) and Reference DAC ($54,000), and AudioQuest Mythical Creatures cabling. I’m not even mentioning the Critical Mass racks and all those Stillpoints.
Yes, Audio-Ultra brought their own Big System, set it up in a hotel room, and achieved excellent sound. Music had plenty of slap, impact and detail without being overbearing. So what caught my attention in the Audio-Ultra room? Something called the StromTank Q2500.
Look at that thing. It’s beautiful. The StromTank Q2500 ($27,250) isn’t a power conditioner, but a battery power supply. More specifically, it’s a “computer controlled lithium-iron-phosphate battery array (LiFePO4).” StromTank even makes two larger models, the S4000 Pro Power and the S5000 High Power. Was this the secret to the Audio-Ultra room’s fantastic sound? I’m not sure, since there were so many impressive pieces to this system that I’d feel foolish for singling out just one component. But it’s clear that Audio-Ultra knows how to show off some of the finest gear in the industry, and I may have to poke my nose through their front door the next time I’m in Seattle.