Cary Audio Design SLM-100 monoblock power amplifier System

Sidebar 2: System

To audition the Carys, I utilized my Goldmund Studio/Syrinx PU-3 Revised/Koetsu Urushi and CAL Delta/Sigma II front-ends. Preamplification was via a Vendetta Research SCP-2C phono stage and Audible Illusions Modulus 3 and L1 line stages. Speakers were the Infinity RS-1Bs (amplified by a Perreaux 2150B amplifier below 100Hz), and the full-range Acarian Systems Alón 5 Mk.IIs. Comparison amplifier was the Audio Research Classic 60. Wires included MIT MI-350 Twin CVTerminator and MIT '330 Shotgun interconnects, MIT Digital Reference interconnect, MIT MH-770 Twin CVTerminator, and (for the Alóns) Acarian Black Orpheus tri-wired speaker cables.

The appearance of the Alón 5s represents the first time in 11 years that I've replaced the Infinity RS-1bs in my reference system. The Mk.II version of the Alón 5 is among the most dynamic, revealing, and transparent speakers I've heard. It can also put out a convincing 20Hz in the right room. But its greatest strength is in its tonal balance—it's the least-colored high-end product I've experienced. Moreover, the relatively benign impedance curve makes it a fairly easy load for an amplifier to drive. In effect, the Alón 5 acts as a magnifying glass for the electronics placed before it, making it an ideal tool for reviewing amplifiers.—Robert J. Reina

Cary Audio Design
1020 Goodworth Drive
Apex, NC 27539
(919) 355-0010