Teresonic & Musical Surroundings

Teresonic's pairing with Garth Leerer's Musical Surroundings was full of surprises. I confess that I have not enjoyed Mike Zivkovic's single-driver Lowther-powered speakers in the past, finding them unduly bright. Here, they sounded very warm and inviting.

Garth began with a solo guitar recital by Klaus Jächie, Una hora española, issued on the Clearaudio label. "Just gorgeous," I wrote in my notes. Then came a section of Mendelssohn's Symphony No.3 on Decca. Here, the room's bass problems could not be avoided, but the highs and mids were glorious. The sound was unquestionably euphonic, and warmer than what you would experience in the concert hall. But for speakers that had previously impressed me as harsh, this was a case of play me more.

The key lay in the component matching. Mike has designed electronics and cables that clearly bring out the best his speakers have to offer, and make light of the rest. In the photo, the eye-catching Teresonic 104dB-sensitive Ingenium Silver ($14,500/pair) and 100dB-sensitive Magus Silver ($5985/pair) is optimally paired with the company's Reference 2A3 pure class-A, zero-feedback SET amplifier ($15,000), Clarison speaker cables ($985), Gold interconnects ($2985), and power cables ($395).

Credit for the beauty lies equally with the table, Musical Surroundings' Clearaudio Innovation Wood with Universal tonearm ($13,000) and Benz Micro Ruby Z cartridge ($4000), and the Fosgate Signature phono preamp ($2500), significantly upgraded with NOS Mullard tubes.

Garth did indulge me, and lower himself to play a fabulous Yarlung Records recording of cellist Antonio Lysy playing Argentinian music at the Broad. Using the Wadia 381 CD player, ($9600), some of the lushness was gone, but the beauty remained.

Other associated components: Audiav reference audio platform ($1000), Clearaudio statement clamp ($900), HRS SXR equipment stand ($9280), the show favorite Audience AR6T power conditioner ($4600), and Clearaudio Outer Limit ($1200). Those amount to a sizeable bag of change. But given the change in sound, I'd dare say it was worth it.