Vinnie Rossi Audio with QLN, Innuos, Merason, Gigawatt, and Swiss Cables

Peace and quiet at a busy audio show is hard to come by. I especially wasn't expecting mellow respite on a Saturday show day. But I found some lovely-sounding music and a chilled-out vibe in Vinnie Rossi's demo room 488. Only a couple of listeners came and went during that time. Control of the iPad—and Vinnie Rossi remote control—were mine.

Vinnie recently introduced his namesake company's move upmarket with his flagship Brama tube-hybrid amplification. The Vinnie Rossi Brama integrated amplifier ($38,995, above), which uses 300B vacuum tubes in the preamp stage and a high-current, class-AB, lateral-MOSFET design in the output stage, is rated at 350Wpc into 4 ohms.

At AXPONA, the Brama capably drove the two-way QLN Signature 5 loudspeakers ($18,000/pair). Although those 8-ohm speakers have a somewhat low sensitivity spec of 87dB, Rossi's North American sales rep Mark Sossa told me that they're an easy load without big impedance dips. The QLN Signature 5 speakers use a proprietary 7" Kevlar-cone woofer and both its and the tweeter's designs use underhung voice-coils. The speakers will be shipping in autumn 2022.

Rossi's Brama integrated was designed with analog in mind. The aluminum volume control knob has a sturdy feel as it turns, attached to Swiss-made rotary switches (a 100-stepped resistor ladder). Its front panel's analog gauges use precision air-core movements.

Playback was all-digital—a new-school contrast to old-school tubes. An Innuos Statement music server ($15,100) wired to an Innuos PhoenixNET network switch ($3500) sent data bits to a Merson DAC1 ($6000) for conversion ahead of the Brama integrated.

Tech and tubes played nicely together. Fleet Foxes' sweet harmonies emerged on "Mykonos" from remarkably quiet backgrounds with soaring purity—unadulterated. Tones sounded true. Ditto on the Taylor Swift and Bon Iver duet, "Exile" with pretty piano sustains. I also streamed a couple of hi-rez Qobuz tracks. I needed to restore my energy before reentering the show fray, so I chose an upbeat classic favorite: A 2019 remastered version of Curtis Mayfield's "Move on Up" grooved hard. The funky midsection breakdown packed punch and snap. The amp delivered impressively quick transient attacks.

A Gigawatt PC-4 EVO+ power conditioner ($14,500), cabling from Swiss Cables Diamond Series, ($2800-$7150), and an SGR Audio Statement rack ($12,000) completed this delightful demo system.

thethanimal's picture

Where is Vinnie hiding two 300B tubes in that chassis?

asherrick's picture

The tubes are mounted horizontally

Glotz's picture

Near the back corners.. very full box. There are pictures by another online enthusiast mag.

avanti1960's picture

His systems always look and sound amazing.
This one sounded powerful on the bottom and laid back from mid band and up. More forgiving than most systems this year.

Julie Mullins's picture

This one sounded powerful on the bottom and laid back from mid band and up. More forgiving than most systems this year.

I agree the lower end was pretty powerful but I didn't find it laid-back in the midrange. Also I still found the attacks pretty quick (as I mentioned on the Curtis Mayfield). But these are just my impressions after listening only to a handful of tracks.