Width from Vela & Amphion

The sound from Richard Kohlruss' VMAX Services room excelled in warmth and soundstage width. It wasn't the most subtle or detailed system I encountered, but it definitely made a movement from Haydn's Trumpet Concerto a pleasure to listen to. Given that I have heard a movement from this concerto whistled at the whistling contest I've frequently attended and judged far more times than I wish to recount, this was no mean feat.

VMAX's main system paired the Vela Audio integrated amplifier ($699) and CD player ($699) with the new Amphion Ion+ monitor loudspeaker ($1395/pair). FYI, Vela Audio is produced by the Italian manufacturer Audio Analogue, and its 50Wpc integrated includes an MM phono stage. The new Amphion Ion+ has upgraded drivers and crossover, including an aluminum-cone woofer, and can be used for nearfield monitoring.

A second system in the room included Audio Analogue's new 100Wpc Fortissimo integrated amplifier with features galore ($2500), the QAT MS-5 ($5300) music server with 2TB hard drive, and the French Atohm GT-1 bookshelf ($3600/pair). All cabling was from the French manufacturer Absolue Creations, which VMAX does not distribute.

The sound was far more in focus than my mea culpa photo.

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