Audio Alternative (take 2)
In a second Audio Alternative room, I was again treated to that old, familiar Boz Scaggs classic, “Thanks to You.” I had just come from the Fidelis AV room, where I had heard the song presented with impressive speed, precision, and clarity, the sound still fresh in my mind. So, I was surprised to hear something different.
Here, through a system comprising Vandersteen Quattro loudspeakers; Audio Research’s shiny new, KT120-based, 75Wpc Reference 75 stereo amplifier ($9000), Ref5 SE preamp, and DAC8 DAC; a computer streaming, via USB, a standard CD rip; and all AudioQuest cabling, I heard a different sound. I heard a soothing, comforting sound that did not lack impact, detail, or clarity. It was softer, but not slower. It was less forward, but no less distinct.
I liked it.