EAR Phono Box Phono Preamp, Merrill-Williams 101.3 Turntable, Koetsu Rosewood Cartridge, Marten Django L Loudspeakers, Magnan Cabling

As soon as I entered the second Kyomi Audio room and heard a track from Alice Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders' great recording Journey in Satchidananda, I realized that it had been far too long since I'd had the pleasure of listening to Dan Meinwald's eclectic and thankfully outside-the-norm music selections. Meinwald, a longtime member of our industry who has spent a considerable time working for EAR USA, had paired the EAR Acute Classic CD player ($6795), V12 integrated amplifier ($9795), and, in a world premiere, the company's new Phono Box phono preamp ($1895 in black) with a Merrill-Williams 101.3 turntable ($8995) with Helius Omega Standard tonearm ($3695) and Koetsu Rosewood cartridge ($3495). Speakers were Marten Django L ($10,000/pair) and cabling Magnan Silver and Signature.

The sound was as fresh as the music was fabulous. After Coltrane and Sanders' cosmic dazzle, we turned to a track from The Haxan Cloak—a 16/44.1 transfer from LP that showcased the system's ability to portray realistic depth—and the Penguin Café Orchestra's "Cutting Branches for a Temporary Shelter," also in 44.1. The vivid, alive, and thoroughly fresh sound was silvery on top with a lovely core and welcome silence between notes.

Russellbobby's picture

Playing the lovely digital files. Very popular player!!

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

You are correct. My bad. I don't have the equipment list to see if it was on it and I omitted it by accident, but it is likely that files were played with the N10 as the source.

Please see my follow-up on the N10. Yes, it is very popular, because Aurender has cannily saturated the market. And, yes, it is somewhat more transparent than a computer source. But if I had a choice between using the N10 and using a Roon Nucleus to feed files to my system via a dCS Network Bridge—the choice would depend totally on what connections the DAC can accept, as well as one's budget—I would go with the Network Bridge in a heartbeat. It is far more transparent than the N10, and the sound is superb.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

May be JVS could review the new Aurender A-30? :-) .......

Dcbingaman's picture

I loved the sound of this set-up, both with the digital and analog sources. The room was expertly setup asymmetrically by Dan Meinwald and Tim de Pavarchini. The new phono box (which replaces the 834) was a knockout at a great price.

The Audio Video Interiors of Chicago "Properity" room in the conference center with the B&W 802D Series 3's driven by Macintosh, and the "Utopia D" conference room with Vandersteen 7/9 and Vandersteen amplifiers with Channel D sources all sounded magnificent.

The JTR home theater room ("Nirvana C") took the cake for the most impressive dB's per square foot. Their multi-channel playback of the opening credits of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was a riot. The big JTR monitors, (I think they had about 12 of them), even made the big Magicos in the atrium sound small. Unreal.