Gershman Acoustics, Kronos, MSB, Cardas, True Life, Antipodes Audio

Ofra Gershman premiered Gershman Acoustics’s 30th Anniversary Black Swan speakers ($95,000/pair) at Munich, and a fine sight they were. The two-in-one speaker construction come with a specified frequency range of 18Hz–24kHz, 88dB/W/m sensitivity, and 6 ohms nominal impedance and stand 52" high by 15" wide and weigh 145lb each. Who says good things don’t come in large packages?

The Black Swans “incorporate two entirely separate enclosures placed one above the other” states the Gershman website. “Each loudspeaker has a woofer enclosure placed on metal cones, and an A-shaped enclosure suspended above it to accommodate the midrange and tweeter. The A-shaped cabinet straddles the woofer cabinet with long double-HDF layered extensions, held in place with a set of IsoAcoustics state-of-the-art isolation feet. When placed appropriately, the loudspeaker looks complete as one cabinet.

“[This] method houses the high and mid frequencies in a separate enclosure that is supported by a bridge suspended above the bass enclosure thereby retaining appropriate time alignment as well as solidity to control vibrations,” the site continues. “Thus, the [system] provides an almost resonance-free, stable environment for the drivers, promoting clearer sound, better resolution and three dimensional imaging akin to small enclosures, known to be best.”

Though the Black Swans garnered most of the attention in the room, the analog front end was no slacker: Kronos Perpetual Turntable (€70,000) and Kronos Discovery RS Tonearm (€24,000), and Kronos Perpetual SCPS power supply (€20,000) sitting on a Kronos Rack (€20,000). Cartridge info not supplied. [Looks like a My Sonic Labs Eminent EX–Jim Austin]

Digital bits were parlayed by an Antipodes Audio Oladra Music Server ($30,000) and MSB Cascade DAC ($95,000). TrueLifeAudio’s Aristomenis Georgiadis showed his TrueLifeAudio SSP-1 Preamplifier (€50,000), and TrueLifeAudio SSA-350 Mono Power Amplifiers (€75,000/pair). Cardas Clear Beyond wires did their part, as well.

Streaming the popular Munich show track, Annette Askvik’s “Liberty,” this mighty assemblage produced deep, dynamic, rich music. Ry Cooder’s acoustic lullaby “Cancion Mixteca” was sweet, even poignant through the Gershmans, every guitar pluck and piano strike equally resounding, intimate, and deep-staged.