All the Way with Accuphase and Gauder Akustik

Accuphase's head of engineering, Masaomi Suzuki, introduced the company's new P-7300 flagship class-A/B stereo power amplifier ($32,000). The amp claims ultra-low noise and a super-high damping factor—the clipping power is higher than before, and the amp is 50% quieter than its predecessor—and outputs 125Wpc into 8 ohms. Its versatility extends to outputting 800Wpc into 1 ohm, which means that loudspeakers with challenging, amp-wilting impedance curves should not present insurmountable problems.

Along with what I believe to be the Accuphase C-3850 stereo preamplifier and DG-58 Digital Voicing equalizer, the P-7300 drove Gauder Akustik Berliner RC 7 Mk.II three-way loudspeakers ($60,000/pair). Given that I first heard these from a poor listening position at Munich High End in 2015, they made a far better impression show in Las Vegas. The sound wasn't the most colorful I encountered at this year's CES, with some grayness to the tonality. Nonetheless, I could easily sense the amp's power and control. In addition, images were very large, exciting, and impressive.

Equally notable was how fast the system conveyed the wham, slam, and slice of big-band music. "Lots of textural contrast, great dynamics and thrust—depicts volume and weight very well," I wrote in my notes.

The US version of the Gauder Akustik Berliner RC 7 Mk.II high-pass filtered, loudspeaker has a diamond tweeter, and demands a high-current amplifier such as the Accuphase to move its intentionally stiff cones. Because ceramic cones can break up easily, the speaker has "super-steep" crossover slopes to allow it play with ease, with clean switches between drivers that prevent driver interaction and muddiness. "Your amp will clip before the speakers clip," said distributor Arturo A. Manzano of Axiss Audio Distribution of a set-up that I look forward to exploring more.