Echole, Tidal, BAlabo
I've been a major fan of Echole Obsession cabling ever since hearing it paired with Kaiser Kawero loudspeakers at RMAF 2008. With those marvelous babies lamentably absent, here it was paired with a loudspeaker new to me, the towering, 500 lb Tidal Sunray ($178,600/pair), whose 6'8" designer, Jörn Janczak, is equally imposing.
The rest of the system included two BAlabo (pronounced B-A-labo) 500Wpc stereo amps ($77,500 each), with one amp performing bass duty on the bi-amped Sunray; and the new BAlabo BD-1 24/192 DAC ($37,500). Frankly, there was so much else in the room, mostly displayed on Grand Prix Audio racks, that it would have taken me a half hour just to write everything down. Which is just as well. I mean, how could I possibly begin to explain the Harmonizer H2, a little powered black box that is said to improve sound by helping loudspeakers and acoustic instruments such as pianos move air easier. ("We're not absolutely sure how it works," was as much of an explanation as I had time to receive before running to my next appointment).
Most notable about this system was the tremendous depth it conveyed on Reference Recordings' Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances, and the wonderful weight and richness in the lower mid-bass. Playing Renaud Capucon's new recording of the Beethoven Violin Concerto, I was especially impressed by the clarity of rapid thwacks on the timpani. I'm sure Frederik Caroe's pure metal-film Dueland Coherent Audio capacitors, which are handmade in Denmark, contributed to the overall gestalt. (They're also used in the Gryphon Poseidon loudspeakers, and speakers from Tidal Audio, Perfect8 Technologies, Vandersteen, PBN Audio, Peak Consult, and Vitus Audio.
The Tidal Sunray is definitely a speaker I hope to explore further in a larger space.