PureAudioProject's open-baffle speakers with Pass Labs, Denafrips, and VPI

The email read, in part, like an equipment list with Herb Reichert's name on it. The room had one raison d'être: to showcase Pure AudioProject's Trio15 Classic open-baffle speaker ($9740/pair), which includes a Voxativ AC-PiFe wooden-cone center driver and three 15" woofers custom-manufactured for PureAudioProject by Eminence. To do so, Ze'ev (Wolf) Schlik paired his speaker with Pass Labs' INT-25 integrated amplifier ($7500) and XP-17 phono preamp ($4300), the Denafrips Terminator Plus DAC ($6400), and VPI Industries' Avenger turntable ($12,000) with Shyla cartridge ($2000).

One listen to the beauty of the system's highs confirmed both the speaker's excellence and the Pass signature. Bass, however, was challenged by the room. On James Blake's "There's a Limit to Your Love," for example, the famed bass that sends woofers shaking was mild in its impact, and the switch to the lower pitch that comes midway in the bass assault remained pretty soft. Had there been more hours in the day, I would have stayed for more, especially if Ze'ev kept the speaker grilles off.