An Acoustic Signature Ascona with SME Series 5 tonearm and low-out moving-coil Ortofon Rohmann cartridge made beautiful music leading a system comprising VTL MB-450 Series III monoblock power amplifiers, TL-7.5 Series III preamplifier, and TP-6.5 phono preamplifier. Speakers were the distinctive and dynamic Vivid G2 Giya.
To start off our listening, I picked one of my sister’s favorite albums, Adele’s 21. I noted a great sense of forward momentum and stunning dynamic range, all of Adele’s strong soulfulness communicated fully. I turned to Rosemarie, and I searched for some sign of recognition of the beauty which radiated before us, but she was thumbing through e-mails on her iPhone.
Next we turned to the Swiss-made CH transport and DAC, and called up a Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson track and, as the music began to unfold, I leaned over to Rosemarie and tried to explain imaging and soundstaging. She nodded like she understood what I was getting at, and when Hunt-Lieberson soared into the picture, we both shut the hell up and shot back into our seats and listened, possessed and enthralled. (Or at least I was possessed and enthralled.)
Finally, during a Dead Can Dance track, I was shocked by the scary realism of the fast percussion combined with the relaxed, fluid midrange and stable soundstage. I turned to Rosemarie, who seemed a bit bored.
“Are you not impressed by this?”
She shrugged her shoulders. “Um, I mean, sort of.”
“What? 'Um, you mean, sort of?!' What’s wrong with you, woman?”
This was one of my favorite rooms at the Munich High End Show.