Liquidity From the Innovative Audio Analog Room

Innovative Audio Video Showrooms, a New York City hi-fi gallery hosted two rooms this year: one room with an ultimate-truth to recording digital playback system and the ultra-smooth analog room.

Scott Haggart, a passionate Innovative employee and expert hi-fi demo deliverer was in the midst of a presentation upon my arrival. Haggart treats his work with serious care, and as anyone who has experienced one of his demos can attest to, he guides the listeners patiently through the exact gear that they are listening to and details about the music, a skill not many exhibitors at this hi-fi show demonstrated.

Unsure of how this system would handle a less-than-perfect R&B recording, I handed Haggart my Billy Paul Let Em In LP. Haggart yelped, “This is filthy!” but still kindly placed in on the Spiral Groove SG2 turntable with Centroid tonearm ($20,000) and Lyra Kelos MC cartridge ($3000) after giving it a swipe with an Audioquest anti-static brush. Powered by Lamm M1.2 Reference hybrid monoblocks ($24,190/pair), the strings and vocals on this Paul McCartney cover by Philadelphia soul legend transmitted with the ultra-smooth liquidity I’ve heard a few times now from the Wilson speakers, this time with the Wilson Sasha W/P ($27,900/pair). Preamplification was provided by VTL with their VTL TP-6.5 Signature phono stage ($10,00) and VTL TL-7.5 Series III Reference preamp ($20,000). What struck me the most about this recording through the system though was the clarity of the closed hi-hat: although the two cymbals were closed shut, one could hear the drum stick cracking down and causing the two to smack together firmly on each quarter-note count.

The Spiral Groove SG2 and Centroid Tonearm ($20,000)

Racks on racks on racks. The Finite Element Pagode holds stacks of gear from Naim and VTL.

The power supply for the Spiral Groove SG2.

The Wilson Sasha W/P from afar.

Stirling Trayle of Immedia, distributor for Spiral Groove, and Luke Manley of VTL pose next to their gear.

volvic's picture

That turntable sounded wonderful playing some Nat King Cole if I recall, I really enjoyed that room.