Audion Shines On
Over at the other end of the Nagra/Verity Audio/Silversmith/Sonic Euphoria room, there was a far more modest system set up: Ayre C-5xe universal player, Sonic Euphoria PLC ($1295), Audio Silver Night Mk.III monoblocks ($9300/pair, 18Wpc), and Verity Fidelity Encore loudspeakers ($11,994/pair), all connected by Silversmith's silver cables.
What was fascinating to me was that this smaller system was an almost identical sonic match to the bigger system in every aspect other than scale. In the huge room in which it was placed, it lacked the big system's sense of ease, but it was its timbral twin—in a conventionally sized listening room, it might have even sounded better. Was it the Fidelity loudspeakers? "Nah," said Ray Lombardi, importer of the Audion line. "It's the tubes!" Maybe he has something there; both systems were winners.