Fun with The Signal Collection & M•A Recordings

I fell in love with Todd Garfinkle's oft-exotic, ambience-rich, superbly recorded gems on M•A Recordings years ago, and have always looked forward to seeing him displaying his latest discs at shows. Now relocated from Japan to Los Angeles, Todd has found an ideal show partner in Chris Sommovigo. Chris, importer of Michael Fremer's reference Continuum Caliburn turntable and designer of the once heralded Illuminati digital cable, currently resides in Atlanta, where he engages in mischief and distributes a host of components, including his own Black Cat Morpheus! cabling, under the umbrella, "The Signal Collection."

I almost broke into laughter when I saw the adorable little Davone Mojo omni-monitor ($2299/pair). These babies come in cherry, walnut, and maple, and don't let on that they have a down-firing woofer concealed within until they reach down to maybe 50Hz on their own.

Laughter turned to wonder when, paired, with a REL R328 subwoofer, the little Davone Mojos sounded far better than I ever would have expected. Paired with Klimo's "Tine" EL34, push-pull, class-A, 40Wpc monoblock amplifiers ($8999/pair) and "Merlino" tube preamp wioth remote ($6599); the same Korg MR200s DSD recorder that Todd has used for some of his recordings ($2499), Black Cat Morpheus! cabling (interconnects $127.50/1m pair, speaker cables $350/3m set), and various Black Ravioli Big Pad and Foot vibration-control pads ($120–$399 each), this system made music.

Of course, Todd's recordings helped. There was a fabulous—especially for the price—sense of air and space on a hi-res file of M•A's best-selling Sera una Noche. Just as great, the beautiful timbre of the fortepiano on M•A's new recording of a Mozart piano sonata sounded correct. I was really blown away. If I didn't already have Dynaudio Focus 110A self-powered loudspeakers on my desktop, I'd try pairing the Davones with my iMac in a flash.

I apologize for the low-resolution photo. I was so busy having fun with the speaker, recommending Sera una noche and Todd's beautifully ambient recording of the Bach Cello Suites to an enthusiastic couple that came in, and enjoying the company that I forgot to pull out my camera. Thanks to Chris for coming to the rescue with something he snapped with his iPhone.