MoFi, HiFi Rose, Piega, Leak, Wharfedale

I counted more than 40 audio products in the big MoFi Distribution display in the Schaumburg B ballroom. How to cover such a cornucopia? Making my job easier was that only eight of them were hooked up and ready to play. The others were there to be oohed and aahed over, perhaps prodded and poked, but they’d (re)produce no music at the show. Makes sense. If you value your hearing, and your sanity, you can’t have multiple systems playing in a room all at once. Plus, many of these products could be heard elsewhere at the show—just head upstairs.

So, I admired the look of the retro-styled Leak Stereo 130 and 230 integrated amplifiers ($1195 and $1695); noted that the ribbed lines around the chunky black chassis of the Music Hall MMF 9.3 turntable ($2995 with an Ortofon Black cartridge) kinda evoke the grooves of a record; and lusted after the brand new HiFi Rose RA280 integrated ($2995), a 250Wpc GaN-FET amp whose fascia is a toned-down version of its bigger, older brother’s, the RA180 ($6995, reviewed by JM here).

The active (that is, sound-producing) system featured three sets of speakers, played consecutively. In ascending order of price, there was a new floorstander, the Andrew-Jones-designed MoFi Sourcepoint 888 ($4995/pair); an imposing Wharfedale Dovedale standmount ($6995/pair); and the slender, aluminum Piega Coax 611 tower ($19,995/pair), which sports a C212+ coax mid-treble driver and two 6.5’’ woofers.

The analog front end consisted of a Music Hall Stealth 'table ($1649) and a MoFi MasterPhono phono preamp ($6995). A HiFi Rose RS150b network player ($4995) performed digital duties. Amplification came courtesy of a pair of Italian, artisanal-looking Mastersound 845 tubed monoblocks (19,995/pair; KM reviewed the integrated version here), alternating with the HiFi Rose 180 I mentioned earlier. AudioQuest, Cardas, and Isotek supplied cabling and AC appliances.

Due to the changing configurations of the system, the hubbub in the room, and the two-times-three, side-by-side placement of the speakers, I found it hard to draw conclusions about the sonics of any single piece of this complex puzzle. Suffice it to say that I have had very good experiences with recent Piega and HiFi Rose products in my own listening space; and that everything I heard in the MoFi room made me want to learn—and hear—more.