Monitor Audio, Rotel Michi, Nordost

MartinLogan's Motion F200XT in the Planète Haute-Fidélité room wasn't the only speaker in town to employ a Heil Air Motion Transformer tweeter. So did Monitor Audio's 3-Way Platinum 300 3G (for 3rd generation) floorstander ($22,000). Monitor Audio calls the tweeter an MPD (Micro Pleated Diaphragm) III transducer. Also equipped with two 8" woofers (in addition to a 4" midrange), the speaker is said to go down to 17Hz in-room, with a rated sensitivity of 88dB/2.83V/m. A speaker like this probably needs some juice to get it going; hence the amps that were feeding them, a pair of Rotel Michi M8 monoblocks ($10,000 each), which are capable of delivering 1080W to an 8 ohm load and 1800W into 4 ohms. Also in the system was the companion Michi P5 preamplifier. The source was a Roon Nucleus feeding a Rotel Diamond Series DT-6000 DAC-transport ($3000; see Herb Reichert's take). Nordost cables cabled everything together.

Playing Tidal-streamed rock and vocal tracks, the Monitor Audio / Rotel system exhibited liquid momentum, extended dynamics, life-sized images, explicitly rendered vocals, a fascinating sense of the energy of notes being expulsed into the air, and a deep, layered soundstage.