Great Sound, No Coincidence
It was nearing the end of the day of the first day of the show, and I hadn't covered nearly enough exhibits to ensure blogs for every room on floors 4 and 5, plus a number of others that I had agreed to cover. That, I figured, was why I found myself increasingly breathless as I ran from room to room, listening to less and less music before jotting down a few notes and heading out the door.
Then I entered the Coincident Speaker Technology room, heard some gorgeous music, and realized the underlying reason for my near-frantic pace.
Sure, I was running behind, as in "So Many Rooms, So Little Time," but I had also become increasingly dissatisfied with systems that attempt to pass off ordered sound as music. They're not at all the same. Too many systems present notes with relative coherence, but without any of the magic that reaches far beneath the surface and energizes both gut and heart.
All that changed when Israel and Eve Blume began to play Oscar Peterson's We Get Requests on the Esoteric K01 SACD player. Heard through Coincident Speaker Technology's Total Victory V ($14,999/pair), a loudspeaker with an impressive claimed 94dB sensitivity, 14 ohm load, and frequency range of 22 Hz35kHz, and conveyed through Coincident cabling, Frankenstein M300B monoblock amplifiers ($5999/pair), Dragon Mk.II 211PP monoblock amplifiers ($10,999/pair), and Statement's line stage preamplifier ($5599), Peterson's piano sounded warm, round, full, and exceptionally musical. Yes, volume had to be held in check, because the system had a tendency to overdrive the small room. But what I heard was so captivating and beautiful that I even sat enthralled as Diana Krall, whom I'm told is a superb pianist, held forth on yet one more recording that sounded as if she had taken one too many quaaludes.
If you don't remember quaaludes, either you're too young, or you were too zonked back when to remember much of anything. But that's another story, and one that I happily have no place in other than as observer. The real story is that in the Coincident Speaker Technology room, I was no longer an observer. I was deeply involved . . . with music. Which, ultimately, is the raison d'être for my involvement in the high-end, and the reason I go room-to-room in search of the real thing.
Thanks, Eve and Israel.