Navison Knock Out
Rives Audio's Richard Bird introduced me to Navison, a brand I was aware of but not familiar with. Navison products are aesthetic knock outsgorgeous wood (or black lacquer), etched gold faceplates (or chrome), and deep black transformer pots. They are audio confections.
Founded by Ben Nguen in 1996, Navison are made in San Jose. Rives demoed the 150W NVS-150 OTL output transformeless monoblock amplifiers ($30,000/pair). The two-chassis design employs a ton of 633C tubes to get all of that juice, but man oh man, did it deliver the goods.
The front end was a Navison Reference-228 ($9500) going into a Navison Special Edition Mark II ($6500). The speakers were Talon ThunderHawks ($25,000/pair).
Suave, sauve, sauvewith a healthy dose of drama thrown in. We listened to some creamy Dvorak and some heavy-breathing Mahler and I was transfixed. Immense soundstage, dramatic depth, and a sense of connection to the music that bordered on the profound. Navison is ravishingcheck its wares out when you get the chance. You'll thank me for the experience, even if your accountant won't.