Endeavor, YFS, Constellation, and EMM Labs Won't Say No
"Give me one reason to stay here and I'll turn around," said I, turning to the door. Just like that, on comes a version of the Carmen Fantasie, with wonderful, smooth sound, engagingly neutral tonalities, and none of that overripe tube lushness or artificial solid-state sweetness that, albeit seductive, I have yet to hear in a single live unamplified performance. Even if I had a hard heart, which I don't, I would have melted at the sound.
Doing the honors, in the order presented on the room's equipment list: Endeavor E-3 loudspeakers ($6995/pair), EMMLabs DAC2X ($15,500), Constellation Audio Virgo II preamplifier ($25,000) and Centaur Stereo power amplifier ($27,000), YFS HD Ref-3 music server transport system with touch screen and tablet ($15,500), and Swanson's Master-Built cabling (approx. $50,000). Note how the loudspeakers more than held their own and shone with far more expensive components.