Jolida, TARA Labs, MBL
Jolida’s new Luxor preamplifier ($6500), which comes equipped with Bybee rails, and new Luxor monoblock amplifiers ($7500 each), which use KT-150 tubes and have an outboard power supply to address noise, are both manufactured in the United States. Both are fully balanced units. Michael tells me that the Bybee rails “really knock the noise out;” the extra transparency they bring to Jolida products also helps transmit more weight in the midrange.
Also new in this room were Tara Labs’ new highly flexible Evolution Zero rectangular solid-core interconnects ($18,000/pair). The one and only Matthew Bond of Tara Labs was on hand to explain that the Tara Labs Zero Gold interconnects, which have been Mikey Fremer’s long-term reference, but were not at all flexible, have been “retired.” Matthew claims an 85% air dielectric for the new cables, and an extremely low 3pF/foot capacitance, which he claims results in 30% greater high-frequency extension. When everything was put together with MBL 116F loudspeakers ($32,500/pair), the sound on recordings by Jennifer Warnes and from a Concord Jazz Sampler was warm, with the tube glow that makes for happy, non-fatiguing listening, albeit not tightly focused.