Sonics & Immedia
The Immedia room proved an isle of sanity amidst the clamor. As I entered, the folks were playing Analogue Productions’ HQ-180 pressing of Chet. Heard through Joachim Gerhard’s somewhat diminutive, 90 lb Sonics Allegria speakers ($15,000/pair, shown above with Immedia’s Allen Perkins), the trumpet sounded far bigger and lifelike than speakers this size “should” make it sound. Equally impressive were the amazing depth, height, and width of the soundstage. No small part of the credit is due Perkins’ Spiral Groove SGI turntable ($20,000), Immedia RPM tonearm ($2995), Lyra Skala cartridge ($2500, a replacement for Lyra’s Helicon), the Lyra Connoisseur 4-2LSE preamp ($25,000), and Ayre V5XE 150 Wpc amp ($4500).
I would be remiss were I not to mention the same system’s beautifully extended treble, estimable smoothness and neutrality, and sense of inherent “rightness.” For LP playback, this room scored a 10 in my book. If I hadn’t needed to shift gears and hustle down to the lobby before Dr. John’s show began, I would have gladly dropped all agendas and lingered for a long, long while. Allen Perkins should not be surprised if, sometime over the summer, this Oakland-based critic appears at the doors of his North Berkeley offices, hoping to soak up more of such luscious sound.