You might think I’m saving the best for last when I talk about the TIDAL Audio Contriva G3 and Piano G3 loudspeakers. Or maybe second best, since nothing could possibly be better than listening to the TIDAL for Bugatti Royale system. But I’ll tell you something–if there had been no TIDAL for Bugatti at Munich 2023, this system–the TIDAL Audio Contriva G3 loudspeakers, Contros controller ($60K), Intra amplifier ($28K) and all the TIDAL cables–would still win my Best Sound of Show.
Word and Photos by Marc Phillips
Of course there was joking about the two systems during the show. Most room visitors were able to hear the TIDAL Audio Contriva G3 system, but few were allowed to wander into the back section of the large room to confront the awesomeness of the Royale system. The joke was, don’t listen to the Bugatti system before the Contriva system. It’ll be anti-climactic.
Remember what I said about the TIDAL Audio Contriva G3 system and its relative value? $167K is a lot for a hi-fi. But if I added up all the stereo gear I’ve collected in my life time, the original MSRPs would probably far exceed that figure. If you asked me if I wanted to trade everything in my house for this TIDAL system, straight across, I wouldn’t hesitate to make the swap. In fact, I might throw in some LPs.
Why? Because this is the future right here. Simplicity. Ease of ownership. Gorgeous. Does everything you want it to. Sounds better than just about anything else I’ve heard in 2023. Except, of course, those big speakers in the back.
You can even save a bit by substituting the Piano G3s for the TIDAL Audio Contriva G3s. The Piano G3 in lacquer Midnight Black is $64K/pair, while having the Piano’s veneers embedded in transparent piano lacquer brings the price to $68K/pr. The Contriva G3 in Midnight Black is $79K/pr, and $84K with the transparent lacquer.
For the record, I wasn’t able to listen to the Pianos at Munich 2023, but I’ve heard the Piano G2s a couple of times and they were more speaker than I could ever hope for. I even laid this out to Doug White of The Voice That Is: I’ll take the Piano G3, the Intra power amplifier, the Contros and all the cabling.
While Doug nodded and said “let’s do it,” I’m not quite there yet. But when it comes to getting off that merry-go-round, which we all talk about in this hobby, I have to think this is the best solution out there. Unless, of course, I can pull off the TIDAL for Bugatti Royale system–which might require a crime spree or two. This TIDAL Audio sound is heady in its realism, yet completely honest and faithful. The clarity of this presentation is unyielding when it comes to comparisons with anything else out there. This is truer, and it sounds like real music all day long.
If you would like to hear even more coverage from Munich 2023, like the TIDAL Audio Contriva G3, check out our recap report and highlights from our audiophile-oriented show The Occasional Podcast. You can stream the episode direct from the embed below, or from your favorite podcast platform including iTunes, Android, Google, Deezer, Spotify, iHeartRadio and more.
Also don’t forget to check out our latest collaboration – a solid bronze record weight available only for a limited run. This 800g of solid bronze features the PTA roundel on the top which also acts as a 45 adapter. You can purchase direct from the PTA Approved Store here on the site.