A Win-Win from Fidelis AV
It’s no surprise that Sam Tellig likes Harbeth’s Monitor 30.1 loudspeaker ($6490/pair in rosewood; seen here on Resonant Woods stands) as much as he does. (You can read about that in our November issue.) The speaker is handsome, understated, and it just looks right. Driven by Bret D’Agostino’s Bully Sound Company BSC-60s, a 60Wpc power amp built around a 1300VA toroidal transformer, the Harbeths sounded right, too. Bricasti’s M1 DAC ($8495; a favorite of both John Atkinson and John Marks) accepted signals from a Music Vault Music Streamer ($2495). Tellurium Q cables tied everything together.
What else was in the Fidelis AV ("Real World High-End Audio") system?
Oh, yes: The Stein Music Harmonizers. And, I almost hate to tell you this, but:
They made a difference. A positive difference. A positive and dramatic difference. Or so I believed, after just a very quick demonstration. I would need more time with them to be fully convinced, but, in the few minutes I spent in the room, I heard a stable soundstage, taut bass, focused imaging, and excellent articulation. That familiar Boz Scaggs track, “Thanks to You,” was flying all around the room with speed and precision and authorityas it should.
With the Harmonizers removed from the rooma careful process which took some effortthe sound became less distinct, the soundstage less stable, the imaging less precise, the bass somewhat loose. The sound was still very enjoyable, but the difference was there.
After that, I enjoyed a very nice conversation with Bret D’Agostino, who shared an interesting idea, and one I’d happily support: D’Agostino believes hi-fi manufactures should work together to get their products into schools, thereby promoting music appreciation and building awareness for the high-end audio industry, while breaking down barriers of intimidation and exclusivity so pervasive to the high-end. A “win-win,” I think they call that.