Ultra Fidelis impresses with Vandersteen, HRS, and more

Harmonic Resolution Systems (HRS) unveiled its new, significantly less expensive EXR-1921-4V audio stand ($7795) at AXPONA. (I'd originally seen this stand at Definitive Audio's private Music Matters event in Seattle.) Put to good use in the Ultra Fidelis Room, it joined HRS's SXR-1921-5V audio stand ($11,550/frame), M3X2-1921 isolation base ($3995), R3X-1921 isolation base ($1975), and Vortex V150 isolation feet ($1630/set) to support a system that included Vandersteen M5HPA High Pass Amplifiers ($16,800/pair) and Kento Carbon loudspeakers ($41,700/pair), an AMG Viella Forte turntable ($22,000) with AMG 12J Turbo tonearm ($8500) and Lyra Atlas Lambda cartridge ($11,995), Aurender N30SA streamer ($25,000), Audio Research DAC9 ($10,000) and Reference 6SE preamp/line stage ($18,000), and an AudioQuest Niagara 7000 power conditioner ($11,000) in a system that was loaded with various models of AudioQuest cabling.

On Ricardo Chailly's recording of Stravinsky's score for the ballet, Ragtime, this system put music at the forefront. Beyond the fact that the percussion was clean and absolutely tight, and every higher-pitched instrument was colorful, the system conveyed all the humor in the excerpt played in the filled-to-capacity room. Good stuff indeed.