Sony and Pass Labs Do It Again

Sony’s new SS-NA2ES loudspeakers ($10,000/pair, to be reviewed in the September issue of Stereophile) are hardly huge speakers. Yet in a ballroom system that included Pass Labs’ highly prized X600.5 monoblocks ($22,000/pair) and XP-20 preamplifier ($8600), the Sony speakers delivered an amazingly large soundstage further distinguished by an exceedingly beautiful, warm, and clear sound.

Part of this, of course, was due to the excellence of the digital front end I heard—dCS Debussy DAC ($10,950) and EMM Labs XDS1 SA-CD player ($24,000). None of it was possible without Kimber Kable’s KS-1111 balanced cable interconnects ($750/3ft. pair), KS-3033 speaker cable ($3400/9ft. pair), PK-10 Gold power cable ($350/4fr.); and the Grand Prix Monaco Audio Rack ($4925) from a company whose products are so good that Hugh Fountain of Music Lovers Audio told me that the first time he ever put an inexpensive CD player on one of Grand Prix’s acrylic racks, it sounded so good that a customer bought the whole package. But as good as all that may be, you can’t get a big soundstage if the speaker is incapable of delivering one. Hats off, once again, to Sony’s achievement.

Dynamic's picture

I was looking forward to listening to what sony hard to offer at this price range , I tryed my best to find a reason why to like them but I couldnt , The sound was generic to me without sound stage or imaging . Im not sure if it was the music that was being played or what. Also these speakers were designed to be to close apart to provide the best sound posible. I heard 600 dollar speakers from silverline that destroyed these. Now the type of music that was being played could have been the cause but i listened for about 20 mins and was not impressed. Ill have to give them a 2nd go next time since Jason says that they do have an amazing sound stage.

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

I'm looking forward to JA's review in the September issue. Given that he'll have had the opportunity to play the Sonys in his reference system, his insights into quality of sound as well as soundstaging may help explain our differences of perception.

Having said that, I absolutely hear your comments about how the quality of the music being played affected your perception. Right after I had completed my initial assessment, which I report above, someone asked if Yuki would play his CD-R. "Play one minute of each of the first four tracks," he said.

There is no accounting for taste, of course. To some people, the music I love most sends them flying. And vice-versa. Mid-way into the second track, I fled the room.