No Limits to Wes Bender Studio NYC

Wes Bender Studio NYC clearly cares about the way things look and sound. The components here shared a clean appearance and worked together for a big, bold sound. Making their NYC debut were the Hansen Audio Prince E loudspeakers ($39,000/pair) and Viola Audio Labs Crescendo preamplifier/DAC ($19,000, including Apple iPod Touch).

The rest of the system was made of Viola’s Forte monoblock power amplifiers ($19,000/pair); Redpoint Audio Designs MG Special Edition turntable ($65,000), with Tri-Planar Ultimate Mk. VII-UII ($5000) and Graham Phantom II Supreme B-44 ($5999) tonearms and Dynavector DRT XV-1s ($5450) and Transfiguration Phoenix ($4250) cartridges; an Apple Macbook Pro running Channel D Pure Music software ($129); Lindemann Audio 825 disc player ($12,500); speaker cables and interconnects from Jorma Design; power cords from Brooklyn’s own Kaplan Cable; and AudioQuest’s Diamond USB cable.

The sound was well-balanced and exciting. ZZ Top’s “La Grange,” a popular cut over the weekend, showed the system could rock and snarl—the volume was turned up louder than I’d typically like, but the sound was nevertheless clean, clear, and detailed, without being harsh. Turning to a personal favorite, James Blake’s “Limit to Your Love,” showed the system had no problem controlling the low bass.

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