VAC Master Signature Preamp, Magico M2 Speakers, MSB Premiere DAC, Synergistic Research Cables, Power Tech Stand

Tonal beauty, clarity, and transparency were just some of the hallmarks of a system that, to my ears, was musical to a "T." (Should that be "M"?) I loved the warm yet neutral sound of a recording by Ana Caram—I detected no extra "tube-like" sweetness, for example—and the system's ability to present music with a quality I can best describe as "grace": not scientific, I know, but when the spirit moves you, the least you can do is acknowledge it.

On a 15ips tape of violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter performing the well-worn Carmen Fantasy, I heard the most beautiful midrange of the five systems I'd encountered thus far. The soundstage seemed boundless: I left the room feeling as though this system had really revealed differences between sources.

Interestingly enough, the system was built around discontinued VAC Statement 450 mono amplifiers ($90,000/pair). Doing the rest of the considerable honors: the VAC Master Signature preamp with phono stage ($40,000), MSB Premiere DAC with upgraded Powerbase & clock ($35,500), Aurender W20 server ($17,000), Sonorus ATR10 reel-to-reel deck ($19,500), Acoustic Signature Ascona turntable (unheard) with TA5000 arm and Air Tight cartridge ($49,500), Magico M2 speakers with MPod footers ($63,600/pair), Synergistic Research PowerCell 12 UEF SE power conditioner ($6495), Synergistic Research Galileo SX interconnects, speaker cables, and power cords plus various accessories ($4500 total), and Solid Tech Racks and Amp stands ($6500).

romath's picture

I don’t understand what’s meant by “warm yet neutral,” since in common usage they both refer to different tonality. In fact, any number of developers refer to their cables, e.g., as neutral, as counterposed to warm. And acoustical instruments are typically warm, though not sweet.