Zesto, WyWires, and TAD take the whine out of Rickie Lee Jones

I loved the pure, clean sound and sense of touch and bloom that came with Ben Webster’s tenor sax on “Stars Fell on Alabama” from Billie Holiday’s great Songs for Distingué Lovers. And, in “A Foggy Day,” Lady Day’s voice was as rich and true as can be.

Later, I noted fine snap and brassy pluck to the sound of acoustic guitars during “Chuck E.’s in Love,” the opening track to Rickie Lee Jones’ self-titled debut, an album that people often love or hate.

One female listener was surprised by the sound: “This system takes the whine out of Rickie Lee Jones’ voice!”

“Is that good or bad?” someone asked.

“Good for me,” she responded.

And then there was the great sense of space around Jones’ voice, which somehow made it easier to appreciate the wistfulness of “On Saturday Afternoons in 1963.”

Good for me, too, I thought.

The system: TAD Compact Reference CR1 loudspeakers ($42,000/pair) driven by a GamuT D200 power amplifier ($6000) and Zesto Audio Leto tubed linestage ($7500); Merrill Williams Audio REAL 101 turntable ($7200), fitted with a Tri-Planar tonearm and Dynavector XX2 Mk.II phono cartridge; Zesto Audio Andros PS1 tubed phono stage ($4300); WyWires cables, interconnects, and power cords; Steve Blinn Designs equipment rack; and Acoustimac room treatments.

LauraSkaer's picture

I spun a lot of vinyl in this room, Baba O'Riley from the Classic Records reissue of Who's Next; A Man Needs a Maid/Heart of Gold and Cowgril in the Sands from Neil Young's LIve at Massey Hall 1971; side one of Classic Records reissue of David Crosby's If I Could Only Remember My Name; and Riders on the Storm from the phenomenal Doug Sax remastered 45 RPM of The Doors L.A. Woman pressed at QRP. The Zesto phono stage is an absolute killer -- great looking and most importantly, great sounding. It was very easy to get immeresed in the music in this room. Great dynamics, tonallity, and a wide and deep soundstage. Plus, George, Carolyn and Alex are terrific folks.

JohnnyR's picture

I think Ms Jones sounds fine as is, if a system alters the original sound then it's NOT HiFi and another vinyl system?  Snoresville. Too pricey once again. for what you get.