Party in the Music Hall room

Familiar sights in the Music Hall room: stacks of LPs, beautiful women, Roy Hall, Leland Leard, and the Ikura turntable.

We first spotted Music Hall’s beautiful Ikura ($1195, including cartridge) back in January, at the Consumer Electronics Show. The ‘table, which ships with Ortofon’s excellent 2M Blue cartridge, will finally be available in early 2014. Word is that Mikey Fremer will receive the first sample and that old Sam Tellig wants a shot at it, too, but you can be sure that I’ll get my turn. Music Hall’s sexy Mooo Mat platter mat ($75) is made of real cowhide bonded to a piece of cork. I’m as concerned as Mikey Fremer about the potential for static and stray cow hairs, but Music Hall says cowhide actually has very good anti-static properties and the combination of cowhide and cork does a great job of canceling vibrations. Further, the hides go through a special tanning process to eliminate the possibility of shedding and odor. (Whew.) It looks so good, I’m willing (and anxious) to try it.

Besides the always interesting gear, Music Hall’s rooms invariably contain plenty of outstanding music. I walked in to Daft Punk’s “Lose Yourself to Dance.” The sound was clean, present, full-bodied, and full of groove. The system was beautifully balanced and modestly priced: Ikura turntable, Epos Elan 10 loudspeakers ($1000/pair) on their matching st15 stands ($299/pair), and Music Hall a15.3 50Wpc integrated amplifier ($549) and matching c-dac15.3 CD player/DAC ($549). Although the a15.3 comes with a built-in phono stage, for this show, Music Hall employed Creek’s obh-15mk2 MM/MC phono preamp ($595). I have samples of the amp and CD player waiting to be opened; look for reviews later this year.

By the end of my visit, I was drunk—on music, that is, Music Hall’s Leland Leard having fed me shot after shot of great new music recommendations.

andy_c's picture

Is there anything here of substance at all? Or is it just the standard bullshit of manufacturer BJs?

michaelavorgna's picture

Is there anything here of substance at all? Or is it just the standard bullshit of anonymous commentor BJs?

FSonicSmith's picture

[Text deleted by John Atkinson] So andy_c, here is what you should know. All of the S'Phile staff have moaned about the excess of audio shows and Mr. Mejias has written at length about how shallow and relatively meaningless they are. So give 'em a break. They are reporting on what they can. Traditionally, shows are about introducing new products and often they are static mock-ups. At least here, Stephen was commenting on pieces of gear that were actually in use.  

John Atkinson's picture

  often they are static mock-ups.

Very rare, in my 38 year experience. Especially at consumer shows.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile

jimtavegia's picture

This black one looks like it has a carbon fiber arm mounted.  Did the White one have a different arm?  

jefdort's picture

the white one has a carbon arm also 

jimtavegia's picture

It also has a detachable finger-lift. It may sound better, but they are different and the carbon arm is usually on Music Hall's better tables.  Just an observation, not a criticism as it looks like a great table. Should be a great seller for Roy and Leland.  

LS35A's picture


I have the Epic 2's and it is a very musical speaker and a great value.  But discontinued, strangely.   I'm really wondering what the up-market Elan series brings to the table. 

If they are better than the Epics (and why wouldn't they be?) they must be pretty darn good. 

eugovector's picture

I'm in the market for a set of $1000 speakers.  I'll be looking at SVS, Ascend, Bamberg, and others.

[off-topic rant and its responses deleted by John Atkinson]

DannyBoyNYC's picture

Its only stereo equipment. Where's the perspective?