Audio Note Meishu integrated amplifier

Audio Note’s Dave Cope was unusually glum: The E/SPe HE loudspeakers ($9650/pair; seen in a lovely Russian birch plywood) are designed to be positioned in the corners of a room, but doing so here, in the small Atrium suite, meant that they’d be tucked beneath a strange overhang that seemed to rob the speakers of their charm. The effect, however, was largely music-dependent and I nevertheless heard glimpses of Audio Note’s characteristic drama, tone color, and texture, albeit on a smaller scale. I have no reason to believe that this impressive system wouldn’t sound wonderful under better conditions.

The rest of the system included Audio Note’s TT Two Deluxe two-motor turntable with wood-veneered Russian birch plywood plinth ($3650), Arm Three V2 9” tonearm ($2100), and IQ3 moving-magnet phono cartridge ($1200); CDT One/II CD transport ($4100); DAC 3.1x/II 24/96-compatible, non-oversampling DAC; and the most impressive Meishu Phono Silver Signature integrated amplifier ($20,600). The Meishu is an 8Wpc, pure class-A design, with a pair of 300B output tubes, five line inputs, and a moving-magnet phono section. Pretty rad.

A look inside the Meishu shows tubes galore.

DetroitVinylRob's picture

Rare to hear that Audio Note room was spotty, must be a really bad room. And the wood work... isn't that their Olive wood veneer? It looks like the same beautiful finish Dave has been traveling with this year.

Happy Listener, Happy Listening!

TriodeDave's picture

Yes, Rob, those were my Olive E's.

Given a hotel room with an 88 cubic foot boom box suspended across the entire front of the room, partnered with a flexible floor underfoot, I was torn between wanting to present things in a positive light and being honest about the room's obvious resonant problems. I opted for the latter. Short of exclusively playing "girl with guitar" selections, or filling the HVAC conduit with foam, there was little Mario or I could do about it. Ah well, on to Rockville and San Fran . . .