Let the Music Continue!
When I entered the room assembled by Matrix Systems of Pennsylvania, Joe of Critical Mass (maker of excellent, hand-crafted supports for amplifiers and other components) was playing a recording of jazz vocalist Mary Stallings (Maxx Jazz). I was immediately captivated, both by the sound, and by Stallings' artistry. When Joe recognized me and asked me if I wanted to play some of my own music, "No way!" I exclaimed. "Let the music continue."
As I continued to listen to Stallings, then finally some of my own music, I remained transfixed by the system's fabulous, deep, recessed soundstage and its ability to communicate the heart of musical expression. No wonder. The system consisted of ESP Bodhran SE speakers ($16,000/pair) that feature 91dB sensitivity, 8 ohm impedance, and all new drivers, internal wiring, and crossover parts; Lamm Industries M1.2 Reference 110W class-A hybrid monoblocks ($21,690/pair) and LL2 Deluxe tube preamp ($4990); Argento Audio interconnects (distributed by Daniel Barnham of Half Note Audio); Abbingdon Music Research AMR CD-77 CD player ($8500); and Critical Mass Systems Grand Master Series Isolation Systems (price varies). Quite a system, and quite an experience.