Having heard the glass enclosed Waterfall Audio Victoria Evo loudspeaker at CES, the French import was performing even better at Newport in the hands of the reborn Aragon 8008 amp–a 200Wpc dual mono design that includes state of the art network technology for monitoring over a home network. Look for my review of this amp in a forthcoming TAS.
Small never sounded so sweet as the Audion Super Sterling 120 amp.(see pic below) As Audion pointed out, a KT120 wasn’t designed for single-ended. Uniquely it has successfully adapted the Tungsol KT120 pentode valves for single ended use. It delivers a solid 24Wpc into 8 ohms and is optimized for speakers with sensitivity ratings of 86dB and higher. Price: $4175.
Another tip of the hat to The Lotus Group and their stunning performance from a system which included the always impressive G2 open baffle, DSP cross-over speakers, an SMc VRE-1C preamplifier, PranaWire Cables, Hanss T-60 Turntable (with Durand Telos 12" tonearm/Ortofon MC Anna cartridge. dSC Scarlatti stack and the musica pristina music server and Esoteric A3 Stereo power. As I was seated they were playing the Eagles’ “Hotel California” from the band’s Live LP. It features Don “Fingers” Felder with an acoustic 12 string that sounded so riveting, colorful and lively with micro dynamic energy that in spite of my weariness of this track I didn’t move a muscle.
Finally, system/room synergy is always in short supply at these shows but bravo to a couple exhibits–at the Hilton, to Zesto Audio, its phono and preamp and VAC amplification with TAD Evolution One loudspeakers, Merrill-Williams table/Tri-planar arm and Wywires cabling, and in a larger room at the Atrium, Constellation Audio electronics (Cygnus server, Virgo pre amp, Centaur mono amps) driving the Magico S1 via Kubala Sosna Emotion cables. Both of these systems vanished within the large projection of music and ambience that spread across the front of their respective rooms. These guys had it all going on with stunning resolution and extension and out of this world coherence.