Harman/Revel & Mark Levinson at AXPONA

In search of beauty and excitement, I struck a lode on the fifth floor, where a pair of just-introduced, double-ported, full-range Revel 328Be speakers ($17,600) played in tandem with a spiffy Mark Levinson front end: the No 5101 streaming SACD player/DAC ($5500), the 5206 preamp ($9000), and the 5302 power amp (also $9000).

The speakers' six 8" woofers, three on each side, performed with great tautness and speed, no overhang. On the other end of the frequency range, the beryllium-dome tweeters (hence the Be in the Revels' model name) carried musical overtones and harmonics with airy, no-drama extension. Put it all together and somehow Stanley Turrentine and his tenor sax, via Kenny Burrell's Midnight Blue album, were practically in the room with me. It's the kind of auditory illusion, bordering on magic, that never gets old.