Wavelength and Vaughn
“It’s all on this USB stick,” declared digital genius and Wavelength mastermind Gordon Rankin, as he pressed lots of data into my hand. Once accessed, I learned that I had enjoyed a MacBook Pro Retina 15 16G-RAM/480G-SSD connected via Thunderbolt to a 4T library; Wavelength’s battery-powered Crimson + Denominator DAC ($9000) connected to the computer via an AudioQuest Diamond USB; Wavelength’s new Europa analog/digital preamplifier ($7500) with ESS ES9018 DAC chip, network support, three analog inputs, and either Ethernet or WiFi remote; Wavelength’s new all-silver Napoleon 300B amplifiers; Vaughn’s new Plasma loudspeakers ($15,000/pair, or $20,000/pair for the signature series w/upgraded power and MagneQuest custom modulation transformers); and Audioquest’s Sky interconnects and Redwood speaker cables.
Gordon explained that since the Plasma loudspeaker has no mechanical parts, but rather a very, very hot flame produced by the historic Duquesne Plasma tweeters, there are no resonance issues. The speaker also has a Fostex 208 Sigma midrange and power subs rolling in under 80Hz. This system produced a wonderful midrange, and controlled percussion wonderfully on Dave’s True Story’s “Sex Without Bodies” (24/96) and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Dance of the Tumblers (Reference Recordings, 16/44.1). Bass and depth were fabulous on the latter. Only some treble brightness detracted from the presentation.