Callas and SotM Surprise at AXPONA

As much as I was aware of the dizzying array of diminutive, Korean-made SOtM (Soul Of the Music) components, each identified by a different difficult-to-type assortment of upper and lower case letters plus numbers and dashes, I did not expect them to sound as good as they did. Allied to K Sound Lab's Callas Nostalgia Jr. loudspeakers ($26,990/pair), manufactured by a 25-year old company that is reportedly well known in Korea, the system displayed lovely colors, a rounded midrange, and enviable clarity on a file of "I am at Ease in the Arms of a Woman."

Switching to vinyl, and again listening in the nearfield, Kyung-Wha Chung's violin sounded full, lively, energized, and surrounded by a bloom of color in the Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto. I was quite captivated. I never expected this amount of color and natural warmth from the sPA-1000 class-D amplifier ($3500). I wish I could have heard the effects of SOtM's new sPQ-100 phono EQ unit ($600), but it didn't arrive in time.

I was also privileged to meet the designer/heads of both companies: Sung-Yoon Kim of Callas/K Sound Lab and Il Won Lee of SOtM (shown in heading photo). I don't have the energy to post every component and price in SOtM's array, but the Callas Nostalgia Jr. contains 9" and 5.5" Accuton drivers and 2" and 1" Morel drivers. A four-way, back-ported floorstander in a "bass-reflect" cabinet, it uses a 30dB/octave fifthth-order, four-way crossover.

chanabijoy's picture

Chung is her family name, so it should never be preceded by a hyphen.

Jim Austin's picture


Jim Austin, Editor