Playhouse Serves Up Music

The modest-looking system being demmed by Atlanta dealer Playhouse Audio was my final stop on the first day of the Show but turned out to be one of the highlights of that day. Nola's new three-way Contender speaker ($3400/pair) was being driven by an Audia Flight FL2 integrated amplifier, with the source a Mach 2-modified Mac mini feeding USB data to a Peachtree iNova that was being used as a DAC. Cabling was all Harmonic Technology: Pro-10 speaker cable and Magic 2 interconnects, as well as a Silver Oval interconnect from Analysis Plus and a Platinum USB cable from Wireworld. In one of those too-rare audiophile moments where one track organically led to another to another to another. I listened to Dave Grisman and Tony Rice ("Turn of the Century" from Tone Poems), Taj Mahal and V.M. Bhatt ("Come On Over My House"), Herbie Hancock and Luciana Souza ("Amelia" from River: the Joni Letters), but a discovery for me among the music played was a live version of Nat King Cole's "Nature Boy" by Swedish singer Lisa Ekdahl. Nice. Very nice.
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pmcneil's picture
scaena at axpona 2011

This was my first high end audio shoW.

One exhibit, and one only, greatly impressed me, that by the speaker maker Scaena.

Nothing else I have ever heard, certainly nothing I heard at the show, surpasses the width and depth of the soundstage, and the imaging of these speakers. I had to get up close, within an inch, to confirm that it was those two columns of bullets producing the sound! Walking away from the center seating spot was not sufficient!

I did a search, and was shocked to find that Stereophile has not reviewed these!?

They should, though based on the number of awards and positive reviews these speakers have received they are clearly not unknowns.

P.S. WHOOPS, I COMPLAINED TOO SOON ABOUT THE LACK OF SCAENA COVERAGE, AT THIS EXPO!
MY APOLOGIES STEREOPHILE GUYS. BUT STILL, WHEN THE REVIEW IN THE MAG?

Playhouse's picture
couple of corrections

Thanks for the kind words about our room. The singer on the Herbie Hancock cut "Amelia" from the River cd was Luciana Souza. We were also using a Silver Oval interconnect from Analysis Plus and a Platinum USB cable from Wireworld. Glad you liked the music.

Steve Harris
Playhouse Audio

John Atkinson's picture
Re: Couple of Corrections
Thanks Steve. I've corrected the text. There are times when I just can't read my handwriting :-)

JA

deckeda's picture
Thanks for highlighting this room on the site.

It was also a favorite of mine. I commented to Mr. Harris on Saturday that his room was one of a relative few that didn't seem to have large speakers overwhelming a tiny room. And the larger Nolas shown here did work well.

And wasn't the Peachtree iNova like, everywhere at AXPONA? Seems like you couldn't turn around and not see one in a room. I know Stereophile has written nice things about it but perhaps there's something else going on here.

omasciarotte's picture
Source Ware

JA wrote:

…the source a Mach 2-modified Mac mini feeding USB data to a Peachtree iNova…

BTW, Playhouse Audio’s Mac mini was delivering the data via Sonic Studio’s Amarra.

OMas

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