Get Thee to Vienna (Acoustics)
When I entered Vienna Acoustics' room, their new Beethoven Baby Grand Symphony Edition (SE) ($4,500/pair), set to ship in November, was playing everything but Beethoven. Thanks to Boulder Electronics' 865 integrated amplifier ($12,500) and 1021 CD/Net DAC ($26,000), the latter streaming music from a Macbook Pro; IsoTek's Sigmas power mains filter network ($3,000); and Analysis Plus Silver Opal cabling, Jack McDuff's tenor sax filled the room with lovely, warm sound. The untreated room was not the kindest to the speaker's bass response, but everything above sounded great.
In response to a request from you know who, the next music to be heard was, of all things great and small, the beginning of Beethoven's great Waldstein Sonata, performed by Markus Schumann on a far bigger than baby grand Fazioli. The sound was a bit grainy but extremely warm, with a dominant and juicy midrange.