Like the MartinLogan speakers in the next story, the Belgian Venture Ultimate speakers ($59,500/pair), distributed in the US by Precision Audio & Video, were set-up in a room that was really too big for them. Even at a fairly close listening distance, the room's reverberant field was dominating what I was hearing. Even so, on "Good Morning Little Schoolgirl" from Muddy Waters' Folksinger, this three-way, five-driver tower had a natural tonality, precise stereo imaging, and a full-range sound. The 48.5"-tall, 152lb Ultimate has a specified frequency range of 26Hz40kHz, a nominal impedance of 6 ohms, and a sensitivity of 90dB/W/m.
Source for the Venture Ultimates was the new Weiss MAN301 Music Archive Network Player, controlled by an iPad and hooked up to a NAS drive and driving the well-regarded Weiss Medea DAC ($19,680) via an AES/EBU link. Or so it seemed, the MAN301 being available in two versions: with a D/A section ($12,262) or with digital outputs only ($9083).