Audio Research and Vandersteen

The Audio Alternative had a number of rooms on the 9th floor of the Denver Marriott Tech Center Tower, the largest of which boasted an impressive set-up. Audio Research Corporation's Anniversary Edition Reference Preamplifier ($24,995), Reference 210 amplifiers ($19,900/pair), Reference Phono 2 ($11,995), Reference CD8 ($9995) and DAC 8 ($4995) were dancing with Vandersteen 7 speakers ($45,000/pair); Linn LP12 turntable, Ekos SE tone arm and Lyra Titan cartridge ($24,000 total); AudioQuest Wild Blue Yonder XLR interconnects ($16,800 for 26'). Wildwood speaker cables ($11,600 for 8'), NRG WBY AC power cords ($4400 for 12'), and WBY XLR interconnects ($4200 for 3'); and Harmonic Resolution Systems SXR 1921 isolation stand ($4995), M3X 2123 isolation base ($2895), and R1-1921 ($1095). (Whew!) The room was full of people making too much noise; the sound loud (there was no choice), impressively big and solid. Short of blowing a whistle, there was nothing I could do except collect literature and promise myself that at the next show, I'll finally get a chance to hear the Vandersteen 7s that received raves at the 2010 CES.

worldcat's picture

I thought second best sounding room. The 7 can play it all. They sound very very good. P.S. Magico wasn't the best room.

Rob Robinson's picture

Jason, may be it wasn't on the list of components, but Channel D Pure Music ($129) was used for computer audio playback... I also had a nice chat with Richard.

Bill's picture

Hands down, the best sound of the show. The Vandersteen 7s impress me more each time I hear them, and for $45K/pair, a nearly inconceivable price for speakers anywhere but this show, they certainly should.It could almost be argued that compared to many other high end speakers, the Vandersteen 7s could almost be argued to be a DEAL.

Jim M's picture

I visited this room each of the three days of the show. It was usually crowded so I did not stay too long on any visit. On the first day I thought this was one of the better sounding room I heard. Each subsequent visit left me feeling that something was missing. Either other systems raised the bar or I just preferred something more dynamic. Never did it sound bad though.

Thomas's picture

It was ok but not great by any means , it had a large soundstage but poor resolution. And the woofer was distorting on my K2 sampler of track 1. Plus the damn cabinet behavior of the bass enclosure was almost plusing during any bass power.

Thomas's picture

i mean to say pulsing