Antal Audio Group presents Electrocompaniet and Triangle

Electrocompaniet of Norway, too long absent from this writer's high-end radar, celebrated its 50th anniversary by showing the new AW 800M Nemo 2 800w monoblocks ($45,000/pair), EC 4.8 MKII reference preamp ($4900), EMC 1 MKV Reference CD player ($6800), ECM 1 MKII Media Center (a media player & streamer with DAC and preamp output, $5700), and ECP 2 MK II MM/MC phono amp ($2900). To celebrate the occasion, Lasse Danielsen, Sales and Marketing Director Electrocompaniet (left in photo) and Bjorn Kindingstad, company CEO (right), journeyed to AXPONA.

To quote an email I received from Danielsen, "The AW 800M utilizes the Electrocompaniet direct-coupled high open-loop bandwidth topology, which is further enhanced with high slew-rate and very high bandwidth amplifier stages. Electrocompaniet's topology has always been called "Ampliwire." In this version, the technology is further enhanced to a level that we call 'Ampliwire 2.'

"To feed the output stage, the power supply is heavily updated and now has a total of 210,000µF filtering. Mains power input is DC and RF filtered. The twin toroidal transformers with upgraded wire are magnetically and electrostatically shielded to keep any noise from intruding. The internal ground reference has been vastly increased in dimension and kept fully free of rectifying and output currents. The result is a very clean, noise-free output signal regardless of output power that provides a very stable sound stage with the blackest background possible at any sound level."

Nor was Electrocompaniet the only company in the room celebrating a milestone. From Triangle of France, which owns the Antal Audio Group, came the 40th Anniversary Magellan Quatuor speakers ($20,000/pair). A Soulines Kubrick turntable ($5500) with Acoustic Signature TA2000 tonearm and Hana Umami Red cartridge ($3995), along with Nordost Frey 2 cabling, completed the chain.

Streamed from Qobuz, Leonard Bernstein and the Oslo Philharmonic's rendition of Grieg's "Morning Mood" from the Peer Gynt Suite displayed lovely sound, grace, and flow. In an act of equal time for the two nations, what really got my juices going was when Antal Audio Group's Frank Gazzo or one of the Electrocompaniet men cued up Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings' "This Land is Your Land" from the album Naturally. I kid you not; it was the most fun listening experience I had in my first two days at AXPONA. It took a lot of willpower to keep myself in my chair, smiling, rather than jumping up and dancing around the room. My thanks to everyone for the joy.