Reference 3A Grand Veena
I walked into the Reference 3A room to be greeted by an impressive orchestral piece. I heard massed strings and scintillating cymbal crashes and booming percussion, all presented with great impact, drama, and scale. Speakers were the Reference 3A Grand Veena ($7995/pair), rated at 89dB efficiency and utilizing five “seamlessly integrated drivers,” including a Murata Exciter for the highest frequencies. Designer Tash Goka explained that the angle of the Grand Veena’s front baffle and the precise positioning of the speaker’s drivers work together to achieve a coherent phase response.
Goka also stressed that his speakers present an easy load for partnering amplification, often producing great results with as little as 12 to 18W of power. In this case, the Grand Veenas were paired with the Antique Sound Lab AQ 1001 Mk.II integrated amplifier ($1995), rated for 50Wpc in pentode mode and half as much in triode. Wanting to show that his speakers can also work well with more powerful amplification, Goka also had on hand the 500Wpc Arion Audio MK 1000 class-D monoblock ($3900/pair).
We listened to a Martha Wainwright song, using the EMM Labs XDS1 SACD/CD player (approximately $25,000) as a sourcean important tool in assessing all of Reference 3A’s designs, Goka told meand I was captivated by the warmth of Martha’s voice and natural tone of her acoustic guitar.