May Audio Delights

As I entered a large room filled with May Audio's CDs and LPs, the dynamic duo of Jay Paul Apodaca (right) and Carlos Peniche (left) was dashing between two impressive systems set up at the other end. I was quite impressed with the large and exciting soundstage thrown by the setup whose power came from a Mastersound Evolution 845 integrated amp ($15,000). This pure class-A, 50Wpc amp uses two 845 tubes per side. For the uninitiated, and that includes me, the Italian Mastersound company first began manufacturing transformers 50 years ago.

The CD player in this system, an Eximus 5 from Korea ($9000), has digital and USB inputs as well as both single-ended and balanced outputs. At the other end of the multi-national chain stood the ASW Genius 400 ASV loudspeaker from Germany ($5395/pair—Bob Reina was very impressed by this company's Genius 100 bookshelf design in August 2008). The Genius 400 is a 93dB-sensitive baby whose 12" side-firing woofer enables it to achieve a frequency response of 28Hz–20kHz. Holding it all together was Harmonics cabling from Japan, including the Sophisticated Listener's Choice speaker cable ($3725 for a 2.5 meter pair) and Golden Performance interconnect ($1995/m), and the Audiophile Base rack and optional Strata Base Platform from the UK ($2800 as shown). I really enjoyed this system, and intend to go back for more on the last day.