Zipping Along with Eficion, FIM, Plinius, Exemplar
The Eficion loudspeaker/Plinius amplification combo, favored by Eficion’s Peigen Jiang because the fast amp complements the speed of the Eficion’s distinctive, highly detailed AMT (Air Motion Transformer) tweeter, graced two adjacent rooms at RMAF. In the first, shared with FIM Music, Eficion F200 loudspeakers ($3400/pair), a Plinius SA103 amplifier ($10,150), Exemplar Audio preamp ($4250), and Exemplar-modded Oppo BDP-105 (aka the Expo T105$4750 including cost of the Oppo) produced gorgeous, full range sound and beautiful tonality on Jacques Loussier’s rendition of J.S. Bach’s Pastorale in C minor, from The Best of Play Bach. Credit is also due FIM’s remastering, which improves on the already fine sound of Loussier’s Telarc originals.
Less successful was the room where the same Plinius amp and modded Oppo joined forces with handsome Eficion F300 loudspeakers ($18,100/pair), an eXception DAC ($4000), eXception SE linestage ($4250), and eXception integrated amp ($4950). The eXception integrated was providing the power this time, and it’s likely that the Expo T105 modded Oppo was being used solely as a source. Whatever combination of electronics and speaker I heard, they produced an unnaturally bright edge on baritone Matthias Goerne’s voice, and emphasized the brightness of cymbals at the start of Mahler’s Symphony 2. As has often been the case with Eficion demos, the lack of good cabling and room treatment may have also contributed to the brightness and absence of midrange warmth.