Credo Audio EV Reference One Speaker, EMM Labs MTRX/2 Monoblock Amp, DV2 DAC/Pre, Reference Stereo Preamp, and NS1 Streamer, van den Hul Grail SE+ Phono Stage, VPI HW-40 40th Anniversary Turntable, Wolf Audio Alpha 3 SX Audio Server

AudioShield, now the distributor for Credo Audio of Switzerland, partnered with Florida dealer House of Stereo to introduce the Swiss maker’s EV Reference One speaker ($40,000/pair) in a system driven by a full suite of EMM Labs high-end electronics, with EMM’s DV2 integrated DAC with preamp stage and volume control ($30,000) and NS1 streamer ($4500) and Wolf Audio Systems Alpha 3 SX Audio Server ($9895) as digital sources. A van den Hul Grail SE+ phono stage and a VPI HW-40 40th Anniversary turntable served as the analog front end.

The Credo EV (as in Evolution) Reference One three-way speaker is small-batch hand-made—including most all its parts—product, and is supplied in two completely separate sealed cabinets (joined by jumper cables), with side-firing woofers (one per channel) and drivers custom-made by ScanSpeak. Having two separate enclosures per side improves isolation and vibration control through decoupling but also allows for versatility in positioning the speakers: You can have the 12-inch long-throw woofers face outwards or inwards by swapping which side they’re placed on; same for the coated-textile tweeter and coated-paper-cone midrange units with their off-center tweeters. The bass, which sounded nice and punchy on some funky hi-rez digital tracks, is said to reach down to a 20-to-30Hz rolloff (at -10dB to -3dB); frequency response is spec’d as 40Hz to 20kHz.

Wolf Audio showed its Alpha 3 SX audio server that also does ripping, streaming, and more. Based on HFAS+ Apex, it contains 32GB of RAM and is capable of 1024DSD playback over USB (a rare feat in itself) and plays six-channel DSD256. 2TB of onboard storage comes stock with upgrades to 4TB, 6TB, 8TB, 10TB, and 12TB, available at additional cost.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

Look for my review of this music server in the May 2020 issue of Stereophile (I think - I lose track of what appears when).