Tone Imports: Revival Audio, Dynavector, Audio MusiKraft, FonoLab, Leben, Tellurium, Sugden, Box Furniture

Meeting up with Tone Imports’ Jonathan Halpern and Pitch Perfect Audio’s Matthew Rotunda was like a family reunion for me. Along with John DeVore and Twittering Machines’ Michael Lavorgna, Halpern is one of my oldest friends and audio guides. His east coast (or Midwest) appearances are rare since he restationed himself in the sunny California desert. His and Rotunda’s ability to assemble a beautiful sounding system remains the same as it ever was.

An Audio MusiKraft MC Phono Cartridge / Bronze ($3650) was mounted on a Dynavector DV507mkII Tonearm ($7250) on a DV500 Turntable ($6750). A FonoLab EQVES moving coil step-up transformer (SUT) ($1200) and a FonoLab Qvattvor Balanced MC SUT ($3750) completed the analog front end.

A classic in its own time, a Leben HiFi RS-28CX Tube Preamplifier with phono ($7995) drove a Leben HiFi CS-1000 Stereo Tube Power Amplifier ($13,995). A Sugden Masterclass IA-4 Integrated Amplifier ($6750) was also in the room but disengaged.

Halpern and Rotunda carry the Revival Audio Atalante 3 Loudspeakers ($2695/pair), which I’ve been dying to hear. The Atalante 4 loudspeakers ($4295/pair) were on static display, and the Atalante 5 loudspeakers ($4995/pair) were making music. Revival Audio 3 and 5 Stands ($495/pair) held the speakers, and Tellurium Q Ultra Black II Speaker Cable 2.5M ($1800/pair) and Tellurium Q Black II ($350/pair), Ultra Black II ($525/pair) and Black Diamond Interconnects ($1100/pair) carried signal. Anthony Abatte’s Box Furniture MS4S Modular Series Furniture (starting at $2210) supported everything.

Oh, the music. From Kenny Burrell with Coleman Hawkins on Prestige to an Analogue Productions reissue of Pablo's The Alternate Blues, the Tone Imports/Pitch Perfect system played music with popping-fun dynamics, beautiful tone, and the kind of ambient cues and radiant resonance that few systems can deliver. Who says you can’t go home again?

JohnnyThunder2.0's picture

To paraphrase Apocalypse Now - "I love the sound of tube equipment in the morning. Sounds"

Anton's picture

I look forward to hearing those speakers some day!

The prices seem not too crazy.

avanti1960's picture

the system choked on the Alabama Shakes rock track.
But man the full sounding midrange pop of the "The Alternate Blues" LP was incredible.

Anton's picture

Could it have been the amp running out of steam?

I’m so jealous you got to be there.

avanti1960's picture

the Leben amp was running KT120s and 100WPC, it seemed it was still not enough for the Atalante 5 nominal 4 ohm impedance and 3.2 ohms at 110 Hz, especially under audio show conditions.

avanti1960's picture

not as exciting as the first. Peace.

avanti1960's picture

the Atalantes and other bigger box monitors were down on the floor this year- e.g. the MoFi Sourcepoint 10.
Presumably because they fail the WAF test miserably when mounted on proper stands as I heard a MoFi dealer mention.
In the Atalante's case the sound stage was notably low, especially compared to my reference system. Imaging and one voice coherence also seemed to take a hit. You would also have to wonder about the frequency balance when they are plopped on the floor. Nobody ever mentions any issues in these room impressions. In this case would-be buyers might learn something useful.... get the stands that they were designed for.

hemingway's picture

I heard these speakers/system and wanted to offer some words of redemption since some of the comments are critical. I thought this room sounded really nice and was one of my top 5 most enjoyed, for what it is worth. Super clean top end was the most notable to me, sounded real and in proper balance (on the one or two tracks I heard which were the good stuff - 60s era jazz). Juicy midrange. I agree with the comments about soundstage location being strangely low. The exhibitor mentioned stands to me and I suspect that would help out. I also agree with the comment about these not seeming to be properly powered. There was flubby, somewhat soft bass which is a sound that I attribute to tube amps in tube systems I hear (my own bias), and it made me wonder how these would sound with some solid state juice and on stands.

Final comment, the finish was beautiful. What a good-looking setup. And real world prices. Two thumbs up in my book.