Orbs of Delight

After my first day of blogging, one dedicated Stereophile reader dropped John Atkinson a note to lament that I was mainly concentrating on large systems to the expense of smaller ones. Happily for all parties, one of the smaller exhibits he urged me to visit—the Feastrex rooms—I had already checked out and have since blogged about.

I do, however, acknowledge the truth in his lament. At last year's RMAF, when John Atkinson and I split sides of the hotel, I ended up mainly visiting the smaller rooms. At CES 2008, I stuck to T.H.E. Show (which I greatly enjoyed), while everyone else at Stereophile hung with the big boys and girls over at CES's The Venetian. This time, having the opportunity to visit a host of big RMAF exhibits that in some cases feature the cutting edge of the high-end, I decided to start with them on the mezzanine, then work my way up to the smaller rooms.

I also made a visit to the Hyatt, which only hosted big exhibits. In other words, guilty as charged, and determined to make amends with my Sunday coverage.

I just checked the winning numbers in Saturday night's California Lotto, and see that I as yet have no chance of buying a dCS Scarlatti stack, complete MBL system, or Scaena's fabulous-looking. Dalmatiion-spotted Model 3.2 loudspeaker system ($54,000). But for those who either do have the means or wish they did, the 3.2's on display at the Hyatt consist of two towers with Quartz base and four machined-aluminum retractable spiking footers. Each tower boasts 12 midrange units, 9 ribbon tweeters, and a separate woofer with its own amplifier and electronic crossover.

Paired with Alan Eichenbaum's own mighty VTL-S 400 power amp equipped with KT-88s—note that even four-legged critters covet VTL—the dCS Scarlatti stack discussed in an earlier blog entry, and equally coveted, miraculous sounding Nordost Odin cabling that I've also blogged about in great detail (be sure to check out the full entry, which is somewhat hidden from view), this system excelled in three dimensionality. Very extended on both top and bottom, the sound was a mite dark (which many prefer) and exceedingly beautiful. Exceedingly beautiful. Sigh...