Alta Audio, Mojo Audio, Rogers High Fidelity, Infigo Audio

Upstate New York manufacturer Alta Audio debuted its new The Adam floorstanding speaker ($17,000/pair in piano black, $18,000/pair in rosewood or beech) at Axpona, in two separate rooms.

The Adam features a 5.75" neodymium magnet ribbon tweeter, 6" midrange driver, and an 8.75" woofer "whose tuning parameters are coupled to the unique cabinet design for its infrasonic (floor-moving) bass and for refined cohesion between The Adam's XTL (Extended Line Transmission) and its pure aluminum ribbon tweeter," stated the company's website. That's potentially copious bass created from a transmission-line approach.

The unusually curved Alto Audio speaker stands 41" H; it's 15" by 18" at bottom, and 8½" by 14" at top. Stated frequency range is 20Hz–47kHz, sensitivity rated at 91.5dB/2.83V/1m, and an impedance of 4 ohms.

In Arjuna Das's Mojo Audio room, The Adams were paired with Das's new Mojo Audio Mystique X DAC ($9999), new Jays Audio CDT-3 Mk III CD transport ($4,990), Rogers High Fidelity KWM-88 integrated tube amplifier ($14,700, above), and assorted Mojo Audio digital cables, interconnects, and power cables, with Rogers speaker cables.

Built by hand in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Das's new Mystique X DAC uses classic technology to deliver a smooth, detailed sound.

"Our ultra-purist, R-2R topology has no digital filters, noise-shaping, upsampling, oversampling, or error-correction," Mojo Audio's website states. "Our discrete, class-A, direct-coupled, [LC choke-input power supplies, NOS AD1862 ladder-DAC chips], and the analog output stage has no output capacitors or transformers to limit bandwidth or color the sound.

Though it sounded okay, the Rogers amp didn't possess quite enough juice to satisfactorily drive the Alta Audios, so I hoofed it down to the Infigo Audio room, where British Columbian Infigo Audio manufacturer Hans Looman drove The Adams to achieve excellent clarity and dynamics with his Infigo Method 4 DAC/preamp ($35,000) and Infigo's Method 3 class-A monoblock amplifiers ($50,000/pair), which are capable of delivering 250Wpc into a 4 ohm load. Cabling from Infigo's Sparkle series rounded out this tranquil-sounding hi-fi rig.

The Mojo room featured a novel approach to grounding.