Muse Model 18 subwoofer RH's Review System
Associated electronics were the VTL 225W Deluxe monoblock power amplifiers and an Audio Research SP-11 Mk.II preamplifier. Analog source was a Well-Tempered Turntable and tonearm, fitted with the superb AudioQuest AQ 7000 cartridge, stepped up with the Expressive Technologies SU-1 transformer and connected with Expressive's IC-1 interconnects. The turntable and most of the electronics were supported by the excellent Merrill Stable Table.
The digital front end varied over the auditioning, including at one time or another the Wadia WT-3200 and Esoteric P-2 transports, Wadia 2000, Audio Research DAC1, and VTL digital processors. Interconnects were AudioQuest Lapis (preamp to subwoofer and subwoofer to VTLs) and AudioQuest Diamond (digital processor to preamp). Loudspeaker cable was a 3' bi-wired pair of AudioQuest Dragon/Clear. The dedicated listening room has optimum dimensional ratios for room-mode distribution.
When driving the Hales Signatures without the Model 18, I usually left the pair of Phantom Acoustics Shadows in the corners behind the loudspeakers turned off. The Hales' bass is lean, and the presentation was warmer without the Shadows removing bass energy from the room. With the Model 18, however, I acquired a renewed appreciation for the Shadows. When the room was driven by the kinds of pressures the Model 18 can deliver, the Shadows really did their job. (I originally reviewed the Shadows with the TDL Reference Standard, a huge transmission-line system.)Robert Harley