CH Precision, Peak Consult, AudioQuest and more from Sunny's Components

This year, Sunil Merchant's Sunny's Components occupied a single room at T.H.E. Show in which to turn the spotlight on CH Precision's less expensive but hardly bargain basement 1 series. CH Precision's powerhouse line-up, shown below without the optional power supplies that can beef up performance, consisted of the CH Precision M1.1 stereo amplifier ($54,000), L1 stereo preamplifier ($34,500), P1 phono stage ($31,000 and up), C1.2 D/A processor ($36,000 and up) with 16× upsampling, and D1.5 SACD/CD/MQA transport/player ($41,000 and up).

These joined forces with Peak Consult Sinfonia loudspeakers ($55,000/pair), a Brinkmann Taurus turntable ($16,990 and up) with Acoustical Systems 10" Aguilar tonearm ($13,000) and Acoustical Systems Archon cartridge ($4000), AudioQuest Mythical Creatures Dragon cabling, power conditioning from AudioQuest Niagara 7000 (for the amps) and Niagara 5000 (for everything else), Harmonic Resolution Systems racks and damping plates, and Art Novion room treatment.

The sound was clear, toned down, and grounded. Period woodwinds sounded nigh ideal on Frederic Gulda's performance of Mozart Piano Concerto No.23, conducted by Nicholas Harnoncourt, and a Red Book CD rip of a Buddy Holly recording from 1958 sounded marvelous. The system did a superb job of revealing how cleverly Holly selectively leaned into his vibrato to exaggerate the sentimental romanticism of the song.

Switching musical gears once again, Wolff turned to Taylor Swift on LP. Once again, the system delivered lovely, grounded, and convincing sound devoid of hype. Room resonances intruded after I asked him to turn up the sound. This is a common problem in small hotel rooms—one which savvy exhibitors frequently address by wisely keeping volume at moderate levels until eager reviewers ask them to turn it up.