Echole, Tidal, BAlabo

I've been a major fan of Echole Obsession cabling ever since hearing it paired with Kaiser Kawero loudspeakers at RMAF 2008. With those marvelous babies lamentably absent, here it was paired with a loudspeaker new to me, the towering, 500 lb Tidal Sunray ($178,600/pair), whose 6'8" designer, Jörn Janczak, is equally imposing.

The rest of the system included two BAlabo (pronounced B-A-labo) 500Wpc stereo amps ($77,500 each), with one amp performing bass duty on the bi-amped Sunray; and the new BAlabo BD-1 24/192 DAC ($37,500). Frankly, there was so much else in the room, mostly displayed on Grand Prix Audio racks, that it would have taken me a half hour just to write everything down. Which is just as well. I mean, how could I possibly begin to explain the Harmonizer H2, a little powered black box that is said to improve sound by helping loudspeakers and acoustic instruments such as pianos move air easier. ("We're not absolutely sure how it works," was as much of an explanation as I had time to receive before running to my next appointment).

Most notable about this system was the tremendous depth it conveyed on Reference Recordings' Rachmaninoff Symphonic Dances, and the wonderful weight and richness in the lower mid-bass. Playing Renaud Capucon's new recording of the Beethoven Violin Concerto, I was especially impressed by the clarity of rapid thwacks on the timpani. I'm sure Frederik Caroe's pure metal-film Dueland Coherent Audio capacitors, which are handmade in Denmark, contributed to the overall gestalt. (They're also used in the Gryphon Poseidon loudspeakers, and speakers from Tidal Audio, Perfect8 Technologies, Vandersteen, PBN Audio, Peak Consult, and Vitus Audio.

The Tidal Sunray is definitely a speaker I hope to explore further in a larger space.

bhagwan's picture

This must have been the 'tour de force' @ CES 2010 !What else played as good as this room ?Surprised to see Echole with Tidal;Generally Ulrik & Jorn enter audio shows together...[Ulrik = Argento].Those amplifiers from Japan - BALabo never showed what they could really do with the Magico speakers...They could give the Soulution & Vitus a run for the money in Solid State Amplification..Marten with Vitus - top line speaker too must have been super.. any comments ??

Ian Black's picture

I had the privilege of hearing Echole cables with Kaiser Kawero speakers during the RAMF 2009 and the system almost flawless, such a good synergy. I was wondering did Echole separated their ways with Kaiser?

bhagwan's picture

Hello Ian !I am not so sure if Echole & KK have parted ways;The KK speaker has been 'changed' & 'upgraded' with Dueland parts; The final model is just about complete. Therefore KK did not come to CES 2010.In light of that Echole went in with Tidal & BA Labo. The Argento was 'dropped' by Tidal or its American distributor; Hence, Echole took its place.KK & Echole will enter shows together. The KK speaker is now also wired with Echole Cables.There was another room with Tidal speakers & Ypsillon Eclectroncs [Greece]; How did that room sound ?Marten Design & the Lars ?Hope stereophile blog gets updated & so does my-highend [taiwan].... best show coverage [imho]

Rainer Weber's picture

Dear all,Echole and Kaiser are still having their partnership.Kaiser is just developing an entry modell of the Kawero and a bigger modell than the current one.After 2 times "Best sound of the show" in the US (at RMAF) we decided to quit CES this year.You will see us again at RMAF 2010 and on some shows in Asia and Russia.Best regardsRainer Weber

Ian Black's picture

Thank you for your quick answer Rainer. An even better Kawero ? I must say that sounds very tempting indeed. You mentioned about fairs in Asia and Russia who about any fairs in Europe perhaps?

Doug White's picture

Dear All, bhagwan is completely off track in his comment that Argento was dropped by Tidal or it's distributor. The BALabo room was organized by the BALabo distributor who chose the equipment he felt would produce great sound. In fact, the Tidal Sunray speakers were his person pair delivered to him in time for CES. The Tidal/Argento combination sounds wonderful and the relationship with the two companies is alive and well. No disrespect intended to the Echole people or the performance of their product.

Doug White's picture

Dear all, I want to add that Argento and Tidal have already agreed to share a room for the Munich Show this year. This time Tidal will be showcasing the T-1 system wired with Argento FLOW Master Reference cables.

Rainer Weber's picture

Dear Ian,regarding your question about Kaiser at a show in Europe: Due to the small distance of our showroom and factory to Munich (you can see our very special showroom on our webpage or on stereotimes Munich report 2009) we will organize a special shuttle service to offer the possibility to listen to the Kawero in a better environment as in Munich. Furthermore we are also offering factory tours were you can explore our professional craftmenship. Register by mail at BR Rainer Weber

norbert's picture

I should hope a $175,000 speaker powered by over a $100,000 in electronics sounds good.

GEORGE's picture

This is funny stuff! Who dreams up these prices?!! Funny, Funny Stuff, if ya buy this system does it come with the house and car as accessories!? Come on, since this is an auction for most assine prices, can we get say a $200,000 amplifier, with a $300,000 amplifier?! Yeah, and I only mention this cus' I'm jealous, or have low self esteem, or really feel bad, I can't spend this kind of money on this stuff. Hopefully MF and his sidekicks, will get thier "loaner" systems and give us rave reviews, cus' it has to be perfect at these prices, until the MKII comes out later, then it's more better. It's not about audio anymore, it's about insanity. Funny stuff.

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