After hearing the Stello stack, I thought I had heard it all. But in the next room, April Music President Simon K. Lee blew my mind even more with the one-piece Aura note Music Center ($1850). This little baby, available through a dealer network, even includes a USB port on back, a second USB memory stick port on the side, a built-in tuner, and two RCA inputs. Paired with the Aura speaker ($650/pr), the parallel single-ended MOSFET design (thank you, Nelson Pass) sounded a bit more mellow and soulful than the Stello stack. (It would have probably extended as low as that stack if it had been paired with the B&Ws).
Lee and I had a wonderful time playing Karina Gauvin's recording of Canteloube's Songs of the Auvergne. After he had copied down the record information so that he could buy a copy for himself, I followed up with soprano Kate Royal's miraculously poised, heartfelt rendition of Canteloube's "La delaïssádo." Lee was astounded to learn that the beautiful, mature voice he had just heard was produced by a woman not yet 30.
April Music thus brought me two joys in one: fine sound, and the special communication between music lovers that transcends verbiage. If you're shopping for a bargain system, whether or not space is a consideration, by all means look here.