I was listening to Barque & Consonance's Opera Audio Consonance M-15 loudspeakers when Lino Faragi introduced himself. "I'm that crazy European guy who opened up a hi-fi shop in China—the first non-Asian to do high-end here," he said, handing me a card for Sound & Vision in Shanghai. "We do things a little differently. Come see us."
Classic Radio's JR-455 was giving me goosebumps. Tube warmth and precise analog tuning pulled in some of the most satisfying sound of the show. I didn't get the list price on this baby, but I did get a look at its naughty bits.
Barque & Consonance's Opera Consonance M15 mates a 15" woofer with a unique multicell horn tweeter. Sensitivity is 98dB (!) and frequency range is rate at 30Hz–20kHz. The tweeter handles everything above 500Hz. Price would be around $10,000/pair USD, not including distribution costs.
Ming Da's MC66E headphone amp really juiced my lizard. It boasts a 15Hz–50kHz frequency response and put out 42Wpc (92dB), using two 6N6 and one 12AX7 tubes. Not available in the US, it sells for 1760RMB, or about $210 USD.
While I was drooling over the Classic No. 16.0, its equally charming designer, Mr. Jimmy Yu introduced himself to me. He seemed pleased that other people appreciated his work—and from the size of the crowd ooowing and ahhhing in the Classic room, I was far from the only one who did.
These behemoths from Jungson have no English name, although they do have a US price: $49,000/pair. The bottom cabinet sports a 13" woofer and the top pod has a 4" ribbon tweeter. The midrange and midrange/woofer drivers are ceramic drivers from the German manufacturer Thiel, but nobody knew their sizes.
Original was getting great sound with its $3000 Leonardo CD-A9II CD player and AF 2008 preamp and AF-2008 monoblock power amps ($4500 for all three), played through Dynaudio Contour S 1.4s. But off to one side was a smaller CD player that caught my attention, the $800 CD-A6T. That's "T" as in tubes—you can see the little suckers up in the upper right hand corner of the PCB.
The $2000 (USD) Prestige ST-200 super-tweeter has a vapor-deposited gold 25mm dome driver that has a -6dB downpoint at 54kHz (and only -18dB@100kHz). The two drop-in connectors on top establish crossover (14kHz, 16kHz, abd 18kHz) and sensitivity (89.5dB, 90.5dB, 92dB, 93.5dB, and 95dB). It integrated so seamlessly with the Glenair that I was initially convinced I was hearing only the concentric driver.
Cayin was showing the stunningly retro SP 105i table radio, which had me drooling. Nobody here knew what US importer Sze Leung was going to sell them for, but having seen the show sample, it's not what I thought I remembered, obviously. Importer VAS is still trying to determine a price, I've now been told.