Kind of Louis
Other Stereophile writers, most specifically Jason Victor Serinus, have mentioned how good the Immedia room sounded and they are absolutely right: It sounded wonderful. I heard it twice and both times I was tremendously impressed with how relaxed and natural it sounded at moderate loudness levels. Many demonstrations rely on loudness to generate excitement, but Immedia's Allen Perkins let his system just bloom naturally.
When I returned to hear the Allegria ($15,000/pair) loudspeaker from Sonics By Joachim Gerhard, Perkins had replaced the Ayre power amplifier with the more powerful 300Wpc Audio Research 300.2 ($3995). It made a difference—not only in volume but in relaxed authority on Louis Armstrong's "St. James Infirmary" from Satchmo Plays King Oliver.
Careful there, Skippy—if you buy the accepted wisdom on the great Armstrong, SPKO is minor Satchmo. Anyone who can listen to Armstrong sing "St. James Infirmary" on a system like Immedia's and not have to brush back tears just doesn't have a soul. Being able to experience greatness in art is what makes being human worthwhile—and moments like my Sunday morning brush with Louis Armstrong's greatness are what the high-end is all about.