EMM Labs' Mighty Amps

So accustomed am I of associating Ed Meitner's EMM Labs with digital reproduction that I almost missed his first amps for the company. The MTRX class-A/B monoblocks ($130,000/pair), which output 1500W into 4 ohms and 3000W into 2, were designed as an homage to Meitner's previous Museatex MTR-101 monoblocks. Ten years in the making and first shown at last October's RMAF, they are claimed to "drive anything with ultra-low distortion."

Shoehorned into a small space, and paired with Sony SS-AR1 loudspeakers ($27,000/pair) via Kimber Select 3038 pure silver speaker cable and 1136 pure silver interconnects, the amps sounded very nice and smooth on an IsoMike recording of Mendelssohn's Octet by players from the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Too smooth, in fact; the highs lacked spark. Given that I've had problem with the sound of this recording at a previous show, I can't help wondering, in retrospect, if I would have been better off asking to hear something else. Here's hoping I can audition the MTRX monoblocks again, soon.