I always look forward to visiting Vladimir Lamm's room at a Show; my Brooklyn neighbor both has excellent taste in music and knows how to set up a system so that it works with the room. At CES, Vladimir was driving Wilson MAXX3 speakers ($68,000/pair) with his four-chassis ML3 Signature single-ended 32W tubed amplifiers ($139,200/pair), LL1 Signature dual-mono tube preamplifier ($42,690/pair), and LP2 phono preamplifier ($7590). Cabling was all Kubala-Sosna Elation series$92,500 worthwhich with the Onedof turntable with Graham Phantom II tonearm and Benz Micro cartridge, the Neodio digital front end, and Harmonic Resolution Systems racks, gave a total system costs of $599,000! (This is what you would pay for a 3-bedroom family home in our part of Brooklyn.)
But the sound! The delicacy of touch on a Duke Ellington piano LP, the uncolored, palpable midrange on a Mozart piano concerto recording, the midrange dynamics on a recording of a tenor ending his song with a head-back, chest-forward blast of a high note. . . I kept waiting for the system to crap out, but it just soared. And soared. This was one of the first rooms I visited at the 2012 CES and there were very few rooms that equaled the sense of musical communication that this system possessed. From 32 single-ended watts! For $599,000!!