Audioarts: Zellaton, Robert Koda, CH Precision, Trinity, and more

I’ve come to expect nothing but great and interesting music from Audioarts’ Gideon Schwartz. I walked in to Dead Can Dance’s Spirit Chaser, and, though the volume was much lower than that heard in most other rooms, the music was nevertheless engaging and in many ways more inviting: smooth and detailed, with exceptional image focus and superb stage balance.

Schwartz explained that Zellaton’s new Grand “Purist Version” loudspeakers ($49,750/pair), with Dueland custom-cast passive crossovers, delivered the tightness, focus, and purity he most values in music playback, while Robert Koda’s K-10 preamp ($31,000) “captures tube beauty without sacrificing solid-state speed.”

Other components in the system included CH Precision A1 monoblock power amplifiers ($74,950/pair); CH Precision C1 DAC ($32,975) with Ethernet streaming board ($4950), USB input board ($3975), and X1 power supply ($14,975); CH Precision D1 CD/SACD player ($37,750); and Holborne Analog 2 MkII turntable ($13,225) with Jan Allearts MC Finish cartridge (TBA), driven by the versatile Trinity phono preamp ($34,750; and, according to Michael Fremer, one of the most dynamic-sounding phono pres he's ever heard). Cables were van den Hul and racks were Audiostrata Exclusive for Audioarts.

I exited with Wild Beasts’ “Bed of Nails,” which was reproduced with the most compelling combination of detail and warmth I think I’ve ever enjoyed.

canuck vinyl addict's picture


I heard Dead Can Dance (haunting voices recreated the church reverb) in this room as well, and Sonny Rollins - drum tracks were precise, sharp and clear and dropped to black backgrounds with the right amount of natural decay off the skins. It was one of my top sounding rooms at the show this year and in a small unassuming room with no treatments! That is impressive.