UniQue Home Audio

The room of Tampa-area dealer, UniQue Home Audio was hosted by Michael Swek and offered unique gear and interesting sounds. Their products included the MoFi Ultradeck turntable ($2499) with an Ultragold MC cartridge ($1495) feeding a Coda 06X FET phono preamplifier ($6000). Digital audio was handled with a HiFi Rose RS-130 Network Transport ($5195).

Also in the room was Theoretica Applied Physics's innovative BAACH-SP III Adio Stereo Purifier ($26,800), "for Virtual Reality 3D Imaging," boasted the room banner.

The remaining components included an IsoTek V5 Polaris Power Conditioner ($895) (I can attest to its line-cleaning goodness), Empirical Design cables ($ depending on length), and Acora Acoustics SRS-G speaker stands ($5000/pair) supporting the Dutch and Dutch 8C loudspeakers ($14,995/pair). Our own John Atkinson wrote of these speakers, "I echo Kal (Rubinson's) conclusion that the D&D 8c demonstrates that active, DSP-empowered speakers are the future. I also echo what I wrote in our original review: 'Wow!'"

When it comes to hi-fi, I'm all about meat and potatoes, which to me means turntables and MC cartridges, tube amps and passive loudspeakers. But the mind of an audio reviewer must remain open to new experiences, sounds, and possibilities. I quickly fell for the sleek, pure sound of the Unique Home Audio system.

"Pure" is the word for the voice of Dominique Fils-Aimé, particularly as rendered by this system; her main vocal was surrounded by a choir within a large, dead-quiet, starkly black soundstage. Hank Mobley's No Room for Squares played with punch, articulation, precision, and tons of instrument-revealing air and space. My notes were a hallelujah chorus of praise and excitement: "Amazing imaging," "incredible stereo spread," "deep soundstage," "ultradynamic." This extreme purity led to a slightly alien, out-of-this world quality that was unsettling, but resistance was futile. Gimme DSP!!