An experience in the impressive room assembled by highend-electronics of Apple Valley, CA emphasized the importance of carefully choosing your demonstration discs. As I settled into my seat, a very assertive visitor asked if he could audition two CDs that he brings along to check out deficiencies in equipment. Once obliged, he began to assault us with two tracks of raucous, ear-burning music. I watched the folks next to me wiggle with discomfort as I put my fingers to my ears on the second track.

"Thank you," said the visitor, mercifully cutting each track short. "That's all I need to hear."

Resisting the temptation to second the thought, I silently said a prayer for the ears of folks in the other rooms he intended to visit, and set about discovering if the system really was bright and raucous. It wasn't. Not in the least. Playing the start of one of my R2D4s, Ivan Fischer's Channel Classics recording of Mahler's Symphony No.2, I was relieved to discover an excellent-sounding system that captured the thrill of intense percussion and blaring horns without irritation.

In play were amplifiers I was eager to again hear, the KR Audio Kronzilla DX 100W tube monoblocks ($32,000, presumably for a pair); Valvet Soulshine preamp with separate tube power supply ($5600); Audio Synthesis DAX Discrete DAC ($6000); and specially-tuned by highend-electronics, a Sony SCD9000ES player ($3000); and loudspeakers I'd love try in my home from Consensus Audio Conspiracy ($41,700).

It helped that the system was optimally set-up with Shakti Hallographs ($1195/pair, and employed in a number of the best-sounding rooms at the Show, as well as at Casa Bellecci-Serinus), and the Synergistic Research Acoustic Art System ($2995, and also in use in my reference system).

Cabling, which IMHO is equally important, was mostly from Silencable. The most expensive additions were the Audio Magic Sorcerer Liquid Air interconnect ($1000), Consensus CMFC speaker cables ($4000 for 8 feet, and twice the price of the Silencable Wizzark Speaker Link), and Synergistic Galileo Universal Speaker Cell ($2500). Power conditioning: Synergistic Research PowerCell 10SE ($5000) and Audio Magic Ground Disrupter ($600). Vibration control: Alto-Extremo on all devices ($149–$799), and Consensus CRT spikes on speakers ($2000).

Regrets: That I couldn't stay longer.

Jeff B.'s picture

I was also there for the ear assaulting event spurned on by the aggressive visitor. I wanted to wrestle those @&%$*! recordings out of his hands and incinerate them. Aside from that, this room offered much to admire. The sound of those Consensus speakers powered by the Kronzilla was nothing short of fantastic. The lowest bass suffered somewhat from the small size of the room I am sure, and I would love to hear the same set-up in a much larger room. But, all-in-all one of the highlights and best sounds of the show.

Paul L's picture

For anyone looking for refinemen in their audio sysytem the Audio Magic Liquid air 0The first true liquid conductor is a superb cable I use the sorcerer but there are 2 even more moneys the most natural cable I have heard and no ringing or EMI or RFI to pickup , And audio magics ground disruptor is a real eye opener .I never realized how much noice rides on the ground the New Blue dot version is one of the best buys in audio !!