Room 1004, Playback Distribution: Vienna Acoustics, Esoteric, Quadraspire, Esprit

Another heavy hitter, showing in five rooms with multiple product lines, was Rob Standley’s Playback Distribution, featuring equipment from TEAC, the new-to-me company Advance Paris, PMC, Amphion, Vienna Acoustics, and a heaping helping of Esoteric.

Playback’s room 1004 featured no fewer than five US debuts. The front end and amplification was all Esoteric: the K-1X SE SACD Player/DAC ($38,000), the N-01XD SE Network Player/DAC ($22,000), the Grandioso C1X preamplifier ($46,000), and the S-1X Class A stereo amplifier ($32,000). All new!

Loudspeakers were the new Vienna Acoustics Liszt Reference floorstanders ($21,995/pair in Rosewood), which feature XP4 flat drivers and the "Music Center turning mechanism," which allows the cabinet's top section to be angled for "ideal placement and imaging." 91dB sensitivity at 4 ohms (units otherwise unspecified) allows the use of a wide variety of amplifiers.

Cabling was Esprit Eterna; Quadraspire supplied SVT furniture.