The Real Hi-Fi
I adored the sound in the small Son-Or-Filtronique room with the Audio Research VSi60 integrated amplifier, Audio Research CD8 disc player ($10,000), Verity Audio Finn loudspeakers ($6000/pair CAN), and Shunyata cables. Adored it.
To my ears, the system offered an exquisite balance: It exhibited all those audiophile things (imaging and soundstaging and thrilling bandwidth, bass to die for, speed and clarity), while managing to produce the more elusive, intangible emotional pull.
Son-Or-Filtronique's Dany Poulin said the goal here was to prove that "you don't have to spend $100,000 to get to the soul of the music. You don't need to have an enormous system; you can have a smaller system and still get there. That's the real hi-fi!"
So, I'm sitting there listening to Ryan Adams cry, "Forever only takes its toll on some," and I'm thinking, "Yeah, I can listen to this system for awhile." The sadness and want in Adams' voice are beautifully conveyed, there are tears on his guitar strings.