Jason Victor Serinus

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 10, 2019  |  10 comments
An intriguing system from MK Audio LLC of Charlotte, NC, brought to the fore Arion Audio’s nearly full-range AMT line-array Apollo System loudspeaker ($24,900/pair). The Apollos, which were paired with active subwoofers, claim an astounding 105dB sensitivity—sensitive enough to work with Triode Labs' 2A3 3.5W vacuum tube amplifiers (no price supplied). At least I think I was hearing the 2A3s, because also in the rack were Arion Audio’s LS-500 hybrid Class D amplifiers ($6995/pair). Preamplification was the company’s LS-200 hybrid line-stage ($3995).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 10, 2019  |  1 comments
After trying more than once to get into the CAD room at Munich High End, I ended up hearing a significantly smaller version of their system in Long Beach. This time, the hybrid integrated amplifier was the excellent Aesthetix Mimas ($7000 without optional modules), which I’ve reviewed for the August issue of Stereophile, and the speakers the diminutive Swiss Boenicke W8 SE ($12,500).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 10, 2019  |  4 comments
You’re going to need to indulge me a bit, because, due to some communication difficulties, I’m not totally confident of some prices and components in this room. If I understood correctly, the handmade-in-Japan, 1-bit Sparkler Audio S503 CD Player/Transport costs $1650, and the build-it-yourself EleKit TU-8600R integrated amplifier, also from Japan, goes for $1785.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 10, 2019  |  5 comments
See that weird looking thing? It’s the outboard crossover to end all outboard crossovers, and it belongs to the relatively slim Evolution Acoustics Exact Series Maestoso 3-way loudspeaker system ($18,900). Heading an impressive and hardly bargain system from Blue Light Audio of Portland and The Audio Association of Anaheim Hills, the Maestoso made one of its first show appearances since I covered its debut at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest—was it three years ago?
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 09, 2019  |  5 comments
When I entered my penultimate Scott Walker Audio room, Kevin Wolff of Bowers & Wilkins was playing outtakes from a 1989 recording by Branford Marsalis. The sound of Marsalis's sax was so distinctive and, to my ears, beautiful that I began to smile. (Trumpet was another instrument whose sound this system conveyed with perfection.) As Kevin segued into a 16/44.1 file of Thomas Dolby's "I Scare Myself," I scribbled in my notebook, "This is a system that reminds you of what the high end is all about."
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 09, 2019  |  21 comments
Oh boy, was soundstaging excitingly three-dimensional in the Scott Walker room that headlined Gryphon electronics. Listening to 15ips tapes played on a Sonorus reel-to-reel deck ($19,500) by Philip O'Hanlon, of Gryphon distributor On a Higher Note, the extraordinary depth on Sarah Vaughan's "When Your Lover Has Gone" certainly seized my attention.

Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 09, 2019  |  1 comments
Tonal beauty, clarity, and transparency were just some of the hallmarks of a system that, to my ears, was musical to a "T." (Should that be "M"?) I loved the warm yet neutral sound of a recording by Ana Caram—I detected no extra "tube-like" sweetness, for example—and the system's ability to present music with a quality I can best describe as "grace": not scientific, I know, but when the spirit moves you, the least you can do is acknowledge it.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 08, 2019  |  1 comments
In the second Scott Walker Audio room I visited—since I visited five of them, I know it's going to start sounding like "Five power cables, four balanced interconnects, three phono cartridges, two mighty monoblocks, and a speaker shaped like a pear tree," but it really did sound like Christmas in most of these rooms—the Constellation Argo integrated amp ($29,000), Magico A3 Speakers ($12,300/pair), and MSB Discrete DAC ($12,500) vied for pride of place with an Aurender ACS10 server ($6000) and Synergistic Research PowerCell 12 UEF SE Power Conditioner ($6,495), Atmosphere cabling ($18,500), and various room acoustics products ($3,500), plus a Solid Tech Rack ($2,600).
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jun 08, 2019  |  85 comments
Scott Walker Audio staked out its own mini-empire at the Hilton Long Beach, occupying six of the hotel's largest suites on the third floor. The first one I encountered revealed the inimitable Ted Denney of Synergistic Research staging a pretty ballsy demo. Ted set up two identical systems in adjacent rooms, both with a McIntosh C2600 tube preamp ($7500) and MC462 Amplifier ($9000), Elac Adante AF61 floorstanding speakers ($4995/pair), Bluesound Node 2i streamer ($500), and Solid Tech Rack ($2600). The difference was that one system took advantage of a Synergistic Research PowerCell 8 UEF SE power conditioner ($2995), new Synergistic Research entry-level Foundation interconnect and speaker cables plus UEF Blue power cords ($4000), and a host of various Synergistic Research room acoustic products ($6500), which in my experience are quite effective if nonetheless baffling to many.

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