The King of Limbs: Simaudio, Dynaudio, Shunyata, Quadraspire

In one of several rooms set up by local dealer Audio Vision, an attractive and deceptively simple little system was making some outstanding music: Simaudio 650 D CD/DAC transport ($7999), Simaudio 600 I integrated amplifier ($7999), Dynaudio C1 Signature loudspeakers ($8950, with stands), and cables and accessories from Shunyata: Black Mamba power cables ($595 each), Anaconda power cables ($1999), Anaconda speaker cables ($3499/2m pair), Anaconda interconnects ($2499/1m pair), Dark Field cable-lifters ($295/pack of 12). The components sat on a Quadraspire Sunoko rack ($395/level).

Dyanudio’s Mike Manousselis always—always—plays good music and on this day it was Radiohead, Cold Cave, Low: Music with passion, depth, respect for the sound of instruments and voices, soul.

I needed time with Radiohead’s King of Limbs before I could truly appreciate its many layers. The music is strange and vague, held somehow together with tugging bass lines, relentless percussion, and Thom Yorke’s delicate verse. Sitting here listening to that album’s first track, “Bloom,” through this system, Yorke churning, “You’ve got some never coming here…,” I found myself wondering what took me so long. How could it have taken me so long to appreciate this strange, strange album? The system made clear its typewriter percussion, deep and round bass, smooth and lovely midrange, and exhibited a great sense of momentum with stunningly fast, clean starts and stops, appropriate to the music’s subtle rhythmic shifts.