Endeavor, YFS, Constellation, and EMM Labs Won't Say No

You should have seen the sad sack look on the faces of Your Final System's Kevin O'Brien and Endeavor Audio Engineering's Leif Swanson when I told them I was trying to restrict my coverage to new product introductions. "We were handicapped by a bad cable and bad USB input when you covered us at the California Audio Show last year," Kevin complained.

"Give me one reason to stay here and I'll turn around," said I, turning to the door. Just like that, on comes a version of the Carmen Fantasie, with wonderful, smooth sound, engagingly neutral tonalities, and none of that overripe tube lushness or artificial solid-state sweetness that, albeit seductive, I have yet to hear in a single live unamplified performance. Even if I had a hard heart, which I don't, I would have melted at the sound.

Doing the honors, in the order presented on the room's equipment list: Endeavor E-3 loudspeakers ($6995/pair), EMMLabs DAC2X ($15,500), Constellation Audio Virgo II preamplifier ($25,000) and Centaur Stereo power amplifier ($27,000), YFS HD Ref-3 music server transport system with touch screen and tablet ($15,500), and Swanson's Master-Built cabling (approx. $50,000). Note how the loudspeakers more than held their own and shone with far more expensive components.

Pro-Audio-Tech's picture

Is what I said after listening for a while, these babies are swinging way above their weight class. Nice highs and a tight controlled bass even in the Westin hotel room!

otaku's picture

I know that any complaints about cabling will start a flame war, but I really have to question adding $50,000 worth of cables to $90,000 worth of gear.

EscritorJuan's picture

I really enjoyed this room and getting a chance to listen to the EMM Labs DAC-2X, as reflected in my online report, which may be going up under "Member Reviews" on The Hub magazine at www.audiogon.com. In the meanwhile, you can view it at: