Genesis Prime+ speakers lord over Merrill 116MX amplifiers and Caileigh preamplifier, Viola Sonata preamplifier, VPI and more

So large in size that few if any dealers will ever be able to carry them, the prototype Genesis Prime+ loudspeakers ($680,000/system) exhibited a beautiful midrange on an LP of Oleta Adams singing "Don't let the Sun Go Down on Me." Ditto for the voice of Mel Tormé, accompanied by George Shearing on "You'd Be So Nice To Come To."

Both LPs were played on a VPI Avenger Direct turntable ($36,000) with Wand tonearm and a Goldenberg Maestro cartridge ($6000). The phono stage was a VPI prototype (projected at $6000). The line stage preamplifier during my time in the room was the Viola Sonata ($38,000), from a company whose electronics acquitted themselves quite well at PAF. When sources required a balanced connection, speaker designer/Genesis owner Gary Leonard Koh (above) sometimes used a prototype Merrill Audio Caileigh preamplifier ($22,000). Amps in both cases were the Merrill Audio 116MX amplifiers in monoblock configuration; power interfaces, interconnects, and speaker interfaces were by Genesis.

The Genesis Prime+, designed by the same man who co-designed the 7th generation of Genesis IRS loudspeakers with the late Arnie Nudell, are a four-tower dipole line source. The 10th Generation since the original IRS launched for Infinity in 1980, they have 20 Genesis ring-radiator ribbon tweeters (front-facing) in a line-array, a 1.9m (72") line-source midrange in a high-frequency wing, and twelve 12" servo-controlled woofers in a separate bass tower. The bass towers are powered by 6 channels of servo-controlled bass amplification that is included with the system.

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