I always look forward to visiting Vladimir Lamm's room at a Show; my Brooklyn neighbor both has excellent taste in music and knows how to set up a system so that it works with the room. At CES, Vladimir was driving Wilson MAXX3 speakers ($68,000/pair) with his four-chassis ML3 Signature single-ended 32W tubed amplifiers ($139,200/pair), LL1 Signature dual-mono tube preamplifier ($42,690/pair), and LP2 phono preamplifier ($7590). Cabling was all Kubala-Sosna Elation series—$92,500 worth—which with the Onedof turntable with Graham Phantom II tonearm and Benz Micro cartridge, the Neodio digital front end, and Harmonic Resolution Systems racks, gave a total system costs of $599,000! (This is what you would pay for a 3-bedroom family home in our part of Brooklyn.)

But the sound! The delicacy of touch on a Duke Ellington piano LP, the uncolored, palpable midrange on a Mozart piano concerto recording, the midrange dynamics on a recording of a tenor ending his song with a head-back, chest-forward blast of a high note. . . I kept waiting for the system to crap out, but it just soared. And soared. This was one of the first rooms I visited at the 2012 CES and there were very few rooms that equaled the sense of musical communication that this system possessed. From 32 single-ended watts! For $599,000!!

tom collins's picture

good to know where the state of the art lies.  one version of it anyway.

JBLMVBC's picture

"...sense of musical communication that this system possessed. From 32 single-ended watts! For $599,000!!"

Yet, according to Stereophile Sept. 2009 Michael Fremer article, the MAXX 3's efficiency is rated at 90dB, even at maximum power 32 watts, such system would only be able to deliver 108dB in stereo should you sit one meter away from the speakers. That is to say that technically, this system is unable to deliver live music dynamics reproduction in a generous listening room...

High Fidelity to what? Your bank account perhaps... blush

MikeMercer's picture

I've heard alot of systems in hotel rooms, dating back to my teenage years at TAS (and thinking of my first CES in 1997) but this system was simply jaw-dropping.  I didn't get a chance to stay long (but fortunately got a chance to s/w Ester Lamm - and she really gets it, it was a sincere pleasure) but what I heard actually re-defined, for me, what was possible in an environment like that.  Hats off to EVERYBODY involved.


Aleks Bakman's picture

Unfortunately at the last moment we had to replace Benz Micro LP S cartridge, which is stated in the bill of equpment, with the Zyx Omega cartridge.  Coincidentally both cartridges have the same price $5000. 

Aleks Bakman, Onedof Turntable