High End Palace Points the Way

It's always a good sign when the first room you enter at an audio show makes you happy that you're there. Better yet when the room is on the lobby level, and acts as a good feng shui portal to the 27 other rooms to follow.

Larry Diaz of Miami's High End Palace had put together a fine system whose sound was solid and a bit sweet. I don't know what guitar track was playing when I entered, but the combination of Reference Playback Computer Systems' Nirvana Model 8200 ($8500), Krell S-275 amplifier ($4480), Tact 2.2 XP digital preamplifier ($6800), EgglestonWorks Fountain Signature loudspeakers ($8000/pair), Stradivari No.6 power plant ($7500), and cables from Stealth Audio and Kimber was doing an excellent job of rendering the crisp slam of the electric guitar. I also admired the warmth of the midrange on Bruce Company's "Cold Rain." Peter Schneider & The Stimulators' cover of "St. James Infirmary" confirmed what a large soundstage the Egglestons throw, while a great track by Box Scaggs revealed how well the system "got the tinkly stuff" (to quote my notes).

It was a challenge to listen to the quieter "Pie Jesu" track from Rutter's Requiem over the competition from John Yurick's lovely live pianism on the landing outside and above the opened-door room, but the system sure nailed the low note on the organ for all it's worth. This system would make a lot of audiophiles very happy.