Wes Bender Studio, EAR, & Hansen

Brooklyn, NY-based Wes Bender Studio was demming the new leather-covered Hansen The Dragon Legend E speakers $60,000/pair), driven by EAR 509 monoblocks ($15,700/pair), an EAR 912 preamp ($13,000 with phono stage), and an EAR Disc Master turntable ($28,500) fitted with a Helius Silver Ruby tonearm ($5225) and Transfiguration Proteus ($6000) or SteinMusic Aventurin 6 Mk.2 ($6500) cartridges. Cabling was all Waveform Fidelity; racks were the impressively made Stillpoints.

This was the last room I went into at the show, so my hearing was pretty fatigued. Nevertheless, I thought a track from tenor sax player Archie Shepp playing a transcription of a Charlie Parker piece, on which he was accompanied by the late great Danish bassist Niels-Henning Oersted Pedersen, was reproduced with superbly natural tone colors and tangible imaging.