YG Vantage Loudspeakers, Audionet Heisenberg Amps, Kronos Reference Phono Preamp, Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC, Kubala-Sosna XPander

On the top floor of the Schaumburg Hotel, retailer GTT Audio assembled an alluring system from many of its top brands. Including three premieres—Kronos Reference Phono stage ($45,000), Mola Mola Tambaqui DAC ($13,400), and YG Acoustics Vantage loudspeakers ($32,800/pair)—the system displayed a finely graded range of colors within a cool color palette. How this particular assemblage of components will sound once its speakers have been broken-in for far more than 48 hours is something I'm eager to find out.

I listened to two tracks: a file of the beautifully recorded "Volver," from the Yarlung Records recording Anthony Lysy at the Broad, and, on LP, Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead doing a very sweet version of "Ripple." The latter displayed a really lovely midrange, and sounded noticeably more liquid than the digital file. I expect someone will want to shoot me for saying this, but Garcia's ballad struck me as a perfect nursing-home sing-along for aging Boomers: "Star, dear, it's time to stop putting all those flowers in your hair and instead join in. All together now . . ."

Also heard: Audionet Stern preamp ($45,000) and Heisenberg monoblocks ($105,000/pair); Kronos Pro turntable ($42,000) with Black Beauty tonearm with armboards ($12,375), Kronos SCPS 1 power supply ($15,000), Kronos upgraded Reference umbilical cables ($5400), and AirTight Opus 1 cartridge ($15,000); Auralic Aries G2 streamer ($4000); and Kubala-Sosna Realization cabling and XPander.