Well I was down at Audio Concept today picking up my HD 800s and as usual Robert had something new I just "had to hear".
The product he was singing the praises of today was the recession-flouting ORACLE MA speaker cable from MIT ($25k if I heard correctly. I have learned after all these years that when he mentions prices he is generally not joking).
Apparently there is some circuitry in the huge box of electronics on the cable that sounded to me like some sort of fancy 'graphic equalizer'. Robert is a qualified engineer and talented audio designer who is generally a cable-skeptic, however he was as enthusiastic about the sound of these cables as I have heard him in a long while.
The system he had hooked up was pretty much all new to me so I can't really comment on any of the individual components or their contribution to the overall sound, not least the cables. What I can say is it sounded bloody amazing!
The system comprised:
- Nagra CDP transport
- Weiss Minerva Firewire DAC
- Spectral DMC-30 Pre
- Spectral DMA-160S Power
- Focal Utopia La Scala
In a very brief audition Robert played a Pie Jesu accompanied by church organ (didn't catch the disc but it was definitely standard red book). The resolution, particularly at the frequency extremes was quite extrordinary, amongst the best I've ever heard, and this from a system whose total cost (cables aside!) was quite modest in the context of much of the other esoterica on show.
My interest being very much up at the digital end of things right now it was the Weiss Minerva ($4950 iiuc) that really caught my attention.
One really doesn't hear digital this good very often at all. If I weren't just about to take delivery of my own "home brew" DAC this piece would be right at the top of my list to audition. In fact when I finally receive my 'baby' I'll probably take it straight down to Audio Concept for a comparative listen!
Mmmm, Weiss. Remember the name.