Pro-Ject RPM 10 Turntable, Sumiko Songbird MC Cartridge, VTL TP-2.5i Phono Stage and VTL TL-5.5 Series II Line Stage, Meridian 218 Zone Controller, Vandersteen M5- HPA Monoblocks and Vandersteen Quatro Loudspeakers, AudioQuest Cabling

It always helps to end 7.5 hours of show coverage on a high note. That was certainly the case in the Audio Concepts room, where the midrange sounded gorgeous on a recording of Beethoven’s Paris Trio. Images were a mite small, as one might expect from smaller speakers in a small room, but the liquid flow and notable musicality of this system more than compensated. Switching gears, Hugh Masekela’s “Abangoma” benefitted from a perfectly proportioned, ideally illumined top and captivating midrange. Bass was a bit thud-like, but those sounda were correctly pitched, which goes for a lot. I’m not sure I heard a digital source in this system, but what I did hear felt perfect. The complete equipment list included a Pro-Ject RPM 10 Turntable and arm ($3,499) with Sumiko Songbird MC Cartridge ($899), Meridian 218 Zone Controller DAC ($1,250), VTL TP-2.5i Performance Phono Stage ($5,000) and TL-5.5 Series II Linestage preamplifier (($9,500), Vandersteen M5-HPA Monoblock Power amplifiers ($15,800/pair) and Quatro loudspeakers ($15,499/pair), AudioQuest William Tell, Water, Earth, and Dragon cabling plus Niagara 5000 Power Conditioner ($3999), and VTI 4-shelf Component Rack ($329).

eriks's picture

In a show full of rooms sounding terrible to horrible, the Vandys were among the best, along with the ESL's and Fritz.