Acora Acoustics SRC-2 loudspeakers with Thrax, Audio Research, Lampizator, and more

In a large, exceedingly difficult-to-tame room, Acora Acoustics SRC-2 loudspeakers ($37,000/pair) did a superb job with voices. I sat mesmerized, trying to figure out who was singing "Largo al factotum," aka "Figaro, Figaro, Figaro, Figaro, etc . . .," from Rossini's The Barber of Seville.

I once attended the Metropolitan Opera Pacific Northwest Regional Finals, and one aspiring baritone after the other threw away this aria. Their nervous energy was major, but their performances strangely uninvolving.

How different then, to hang on every word and note of Roberto Servile's performance on a CD set of the Naxos complete recording. If I was less involved with an LP of Gary Carr playing Albinoni's Adagio on the double bass, it was because it seemed such a downer after Servile's energetic mastery.

Next, I listened to parts of two of my reference recordings, played from a USB stick inserted into an Aurender N30SA ($24,000) and decoded by the LampizatOr Pacific DAC ($23,500). I was most impressed by the excellent bite on the valveless horns played by the Akademie für alte Musik, Berlin on their fairly recent re-recording of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, and the spot-on depiction of flute in Debussy's Trio for Flute, Viola, and Harp.

Also doing the honors; Thrax Yatrus turntable ($16,500) with Thrax CV tonearm ($5500) and Dynavector DRT XV-1t cartridge ($9450), Audio Research Ref 3SE phono, and Audio Research REF 6SE line preamplifier ($18,000) and the excellent Reference 160M monoblock power amplifiers ($34,000/pair). Bravo.