EAR's Luscious Earful

Everyone who knows Dan Meinwald of EAR USA looks forward to his exhibits, as much for their wonderful sound as for the opportunity to discover sometimes unusual, musically engrossing vinyl titles. This year was no exception. Once an attendee who was dominating the proceedings finally settled down, and Dan played a master tape-sourced file of Heifetz and Smith playing Beethoven's Kreutzer Sonata and a hi-rez copy of the Concierto de Aranjuez (I think), the room transformed from a showcase for a loudmouth into an island of warm sanity. It was luscious.

Driving the handsome Marten Django XL loudspeakers ($15,000/pair, review underway) were, as sources, a MacBook Pro sitting on its own platform (see below) and playing Pure Music, the EAR DACute DAC ($5895 black, $6595 chrome), Townshend Rock 7 turntable w/DC motor drive and linear power supply ($5100), Helium Omega Silver Ruby tonearm ($5225), and Dynavector XV-1s cartridge ($5450). Powering them were the EAR 912 preamplifier ($13,000), EAR 890 amplifier ($8295), and World Power Power Wing AC line conditioner ($2850). Cables were by Jorma: Origo interconnects ($5250 1m/pair) and Origo speaker cables ($7000/1m pair).

When I questioned Dan about the feet he had positioned under his MacBook Pro, he sang the praises of the Red Point Black Hole feet. Dan was so enthusiastic about how much of a difference these feet can make that I immediately determined to try various spare feet I have on hand under my MacBook Pro and external HD to see what works best.