Coup de Foudre's Wilson/Dan D'Agostino room

Montreal dealer Coup de Foudre's Wilson/Dan D'Agostino room had Wilson's new Sasha II speakers ($29,900/pair), combined with Dan D'Agostino's Momentum Line stage preamp and stereo power amp ($32,000 and $29,000, respectively). The sound was truly excellent.

That is, until I asked Wilson's Peter McGrath to play one of his opera recordings. Peter obliged, but, after a brief listen, he said he wasn't entirely satisfied with the sound, a sonic shortfall he attributed to using the digital recorder to drive the amplifier directly, a task that the recorder was not really designed for. He re-jigged the system, this time connecting the digital recorder to the Momentum preamp, turned on all the components, turned up the volume, pressed Play on the recorder, and—nothing. No sound, except for a slight "pop." Peter and his associates checked the cables, turned the digital recorder off and on, even tried playing an LP—and still no sound. Gremlins at work? I left after about 15 minutes, continuing my rounds.

I went back later for a listen, and the system was working perfectly—in fact, it was probably the best that I've heard Wilson speakers sound, whether this was attributable to the improvements in the Sasha or particular synergy with the Dan D'Agostino electronics. The problem was apparently a static discharge that had caused the preamp to shut down. The solution was to turn everything off and then turn on again; there was no harm done to the equipment.