Auspicious Debut

Until I encountered the world premiere of the imposing Wharfedale Airedale Neo loudspeaker ($20,000/pair), I hadn't run into speakers from the 70-year old company in many a year. The wait was worth it. This wonderful-sounding speaker, which weighs over 125 lbs and can handle up to 400W power, boasts point-to-point wiring, frequency response of 25Hz–45kHz, and 88dB senstivity.

The speakers weren't the only premiere in Ron Gold's Gold Sound room. Parasound CEO Richard Schramm (right) introduced three new products: the John Curl-designed JC3 phono preamp ($2000), Z CD/SACD player ($400), and Z phono w/USB ($400). Along with Parasound's universally praised Halo JC 2 preamp ($4000) and Halo JC 1 monoblock amplifiers (a steal at $8000/pair), this system delivered great highs, ear-opening depth and three-dimensionality, and excellent midrange. With the volume turned way up, there wasn't a hint of strain on mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato's voice. As for the beginning of Mahler's Symphony No.2, as conductor by Ivan Fisher on a Channel Classics Record-to-Die-For, the sound was sensational enough to live for.

Buddha's picture

What if you have 401 watts?


Great coverage, Jason! Kudos!

me's picture

If you have 401 watts, you will need to donate your amp to me :)

I would love to hear more about the Z cd/sacd's picture

Did any one listen to it? Is it stereo only?