Audio Physic

I don't want to wax biblical here, but in Stereophile's world of show reports, the last shall be first, and the first, last. Thus we begin our coverage of the final day with the last system I auditioned at AXPONA 2014. Welcome to Goerner Communications' room on the Westin O'Hare's third floor.

In room 302, and perhaps soon in a room in your home, Audio Physic Avantera Plus+ loudspeakers ($28,000/pair) kept company with a Grandinote Shinai integrated amplifier ($16,000) and Trigon Chronolog CD/DVD player and music server ($9495). Cables were Nordost Valhalla 2, and the rack a Creativ Midi Reference ($5500). The analog source—one of many analog products I left to Michael Fremer to consider covering in his Stereophile column or on—consisted of an Acoustic Signature Triple X turntable with Funk FXR-II 12" tonearm ($9495 total) and unspecified cartridge.

This system had a really strong and impressive midrange. An LP of the Vienna Octet playing Beethoven's Septet in E flat Major, Op. 20 revealed that the system did a marvelous job conveying the delicacy of the instruments, the care the musicians put into their playing, and the sounds of bassoon, clarinet, and other midrange-strong winds. Despite amplification whose moderately gray colorations did not match my ideal, I greatly enjoyed the rock-solid control it brought to vintage Frank Zappa.