Audio-Ultra's new Dohmann Helix 2 Base turntable with even newer Kuzma Safir 9" Arm with Silver Kondo wire

Ed DeVito, whose by appointment Audio-Ultra showroom is located a short ride from SEATAC airport, had planned to exhibit his Dohmann Helix 2 Base turntable ($33,000) with optional Carbon Fibre Top ($2700) and composite armboard ($2600). The table was equipped with the even newer Kuzma Safir 9" Arm with Silver Kondo wire XLR ($22,000) and Ortofon Verismo cartridge ($6999). But when he finished setting it up to perfection in his showroom, it sounded so right that he decided to leave it where it was.

Hence, one night after Michael Fremer visited Ed's showroom, did yours truly drive there. There I encountered an imposing system that included Magico M6 loudspeakers ($185,000/pair) mated to CH Precision's M1 monoblocks ($104,000/pair), L1 preamplifier ($34,500), P1 phono preamplifier ($31,000), and two X1 power supplies ($17,000 each). Digital, which I auditioned briefly, consisted of the Wadax Atlantic Reference DAC ($157,000) and Atlantis Reference Server ($$64,900) with optional Optical Akasa ($19,240). In response to the inevitable comments, yes, people do buy equipment with these price tags, if for no other reasons than they can afford it and it sounds so good.

In an extremely attractive, highly damped room, Tennessee Ernie Ford's Country Hits displayed extremely beautiful, smooth sound. Colors on "Your Time is Gonna Come," from Led Zeppelin, a band I've heard far more than few times at audio shows, were exceptional. Said Ed, "The biggest thing this arm does is to let the cartridge do its job."

When I'd finished listening to the LP, I requested the 24/96 FLAC remastering of the track, supplied via a wired stream from Qobuz. Did the LP sound more liquid, spacious, and open? Did it exhibit purer and more mellifluous tones? Was its lower foundation superior and its images rounder? Did it convince more on every musical level? You betcha. Was this due to the file's less-than-DXD bit and sample rate, the quality of the digital remastering, and/or a host of other possible variables? Not even my hairdresser knows for sure.

Glotz's picture

Unreal... Want! Need! My pick for retirement! The rest of the system is to die for too... err in retirement, not death.