PBN Audio–ZenSati–EM

When I entered the room with equipment from PBN Audio, EM from Japan, and Mark Johansen's ZenSati cabling, I encountered PBN President Peter Noerbaek playing an LP of one of the Bach solo cello suites. This he followed with cellist Aage Kvalbein's audiophile-quality CD of the Theme from Charlie Chaplin's Limelight, available on the KKV.no label's Mirakler far den nye Verdem (Miracles from the New World). (Click here and here for more information.] The sound was very detailed, clear, and warm, with great dynamics. New was PBN Audio's fully balanced, all-FET EB-SA2 power amplifier ($34,995), which outputs 650Wpc into 8 ohms and 1200Wpc into 4. "It's way overbuilt, as is everything we do," said Noerbaek of his 165 lb baby.

Joining it on CD were the PBN Audio Olympia LXi line level preamp ($22,000) and PBN Audio DX dAc ($17,500), whose unusual "dAc" classification indicates that it includes an analog section. On the Bach LP, I heard the PBN Audio PXi phono preamp ($22,000). Speakers were EM's Pari Passu from Japan ($35,000/pair in leather-wrapped finish, $50,000/pair in Japanese Urishi lacquer), which are internally wired with ZenSati Seraphim.