Time with the Big Boys #2: Audio Limits, Audiovector R8 loudspeakers, Thrax Libra 300 preamplifier & Spartacus power amplifier, Tom Evans turntable, Weiss DAC

Darrin O'Neill's Audio Limits, located outside Las Vegas, showcased an impressive system that included the debut of the Audiovector R8 Arreté ($69,995/pair) and Thrax Libra 300 Differential Balanced 300B tube preamplifier ($57,500). The four-way speakers are claimed to have a frequency range of 22Hz–52kHz, 92.5dB/2.83V/m sensitivity, 8 ohm impedance, and the capacity to handle up to 500W power. (Jim Austin is working on a review of the R8 to be published in the September issue of Stereophile.—Editor.)

Air-walled rooms defeated low bass in this system, but everything above sounded absolutely lovely. The midrange was wonderful. In a better room, I expect I could have sat for hours in front of this system.

Equally notable, but difficult to capture in low light, were the heavenly sounding Thrax Spartacus Pure 300B Mono power amplifiers ($80,000/pair). Also notable were the Antipodes K50 music server ($15,000), which may be awaiting me when I return home—review forthcoming—Tom Evans turntable with Schröder tonearm, Weiss Medus DAC, and Hemingway Series cabling. I want to hear this set-up again, and hope I have the opportunity to do so.