Audio Note Meishu integrated amplifier
Audio Note’s Dave Cope was unusually glum: The E/SPe HE loudspeakers ($9650/pair; seen in a lovely Russian birch plywood) are designed to be positioned in the corners of a room, but doing so here, in the small Atrium suite, meant that they’d be tucked beneath a strange overhang that seemed to rob the speakers of their charm. The effect, however, was largely music-dependent and I nevertheless heard glimpses of Audio Note’s characteristic drama, tone color, and texture, albeit on a smaller scale. I have no reason to believe that this impressive system wouldn’t sound wonderful under better conditions.
The rest of the system included Audio Note’s TT Two Deluxe two-motor turntable with wood-veneered Russian birch plywood plinth ($3650), Arm Three V2 9” tonearm ($2100), and IQ3 moving-magnet phono cartridge ($1200); CDT One/II CD transport ($4100); DAC 3.1x/II 24/96-compatible, non-oversampling DAC; and the most impressive Meishu Phono Silver Signature integrated amplifier ($20,600). The Meishu is an 8Wpc, pure class-A design, with a pair of 300B output tubes, five line inputs, and a moving-magnet phono section. Pretty rad.
A look inside the Meishu shows tubes galore.