Ray of Sound's European Imports

Ray Lombardi's international set-up was getting much better sound from JBL's 1400 Array ($11,500/pair) than at the first California Audio Show (CAS) a few months back. In fact, Diana Krall's semi-lethargic rendition of "Let's Face the Music and Dance" sounded much less doped-up than it did when I last heard it at the Aurum Cantus factory in China. The presentation featured crisp and sweet highs, and a natural midrange. Neither Sound Applications power treatment (model not specified) nor ASC Tube Traps could totally tighten up the speaker's soft bottom, but I don't recall it sounding very tight at CAS either.

Doing the honors were the Audio Valve Assistant 50Wpc integrated amp ($6499), Blacknote DAC 30 tube ($4495) from Germany and Italy, respectively, as well as a MacBook Pro from the US and China. Also on display were Italian electronics from Lector.

Jim Tavegia's picture

Could a low damping factor of the only 50 watt/ch Iamp be the culprit for the less than pleasing bass?

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

The demo at CAS used an entirely different animal altogether: Mark Levinson amplification. The sound was dark and muffled. It's possible that neither amp was ideal, and that the room dimensions were another major factor. I'm happy to give the baby a third try at another show.