Alta Audio/Infigo Audio

I scrambled into the room shared by Infigo Audio and Alta Audio where Alta Audio's Michael Levy was introducing his new Titanium Hestia II floorstanders ($37,500/pair). I always dig Hans Looman's Infigo amplifiers; Hans always plays cool and unusual music, and his amps are small beasts of potent power, snap-crackling dynamics, and surprisingly large, super-scaled soundstages.

The Titanium Hestia II is a three-way tower speaker with drivers arranged in an open-back D'Appolito configuration, featuring a 6" titanium- cone midrange driver above a ribbon tweeter, plus new 7" titanium midrange drivers, "updates to the amorphous core transformer in the 70mm ribbon tweeter, new silver-coated deoxygenated copper multi-strand variable diameter Teflon insulated internal cabling, and updated crossover components including silver foil capacitors," stated the press release.

Tuning parameters of the 10" woofer 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."

Levy streamed Alan Toussaint's "Bright Mississippi" over the Hestias and the sound was, as John Fogerty might say, "chooglin."

The room shared the same components in the room manned by Looman (above): Infigo Audio Method 3 monoblock amps ($50,000/pair), Infigo Audio Method 4 DAC ($35,000), Infigo Audio Fluvius Streamer ($1750), and all Infigo Audio cabling. Yet in Looman's room a different pair of speakers played: Illusio Audio Alana loudspeakers with matching LORAstands ($30,000/pair), and Illusio Audio Subwoofer System: four subs and four amps($5000).

Looman's darkly lit rooms always set a different mood, a place to relax, an immersive experience. Whether playing Michael Oldfield's Hergest Ridge or AMAROK, or "Jazz Variants" by Ozone Percussion, Looman's electronics produce a concert hall stage presentation, simply a huge soundstage with popping dynamics, rich sonics, and supple textures. A continual treat-and-feast.