A bit more Press Feedback today from EnjoyTheMusic.com…
Border Patrol, Triode Wire Labs, And Living Voice
Local manufacturer Border Patrol, had a very quiet room, I mean a black background from which small details sprung forth revealing musical info missed by other systems. Gary Dews, designer for BP should be nick named power supply Czar. Gary’s amps and preamps have giant outboard power units relaying his opinion on just how important a p/s is to the sonics of a design. For 2015 CAF Gary dispensed with a preamp and ran a MacMini into a Border Patrol USB NOS DAC $1,250 with tube rectified power supply as used here, add $750. Speaking of power supplies, the BP S20 amp from $13,750, (the silver knob on the amp is a volume control), has 2 mono p/s units to let this 18 watt parallel single-ended 300B based amp sound much bigger than the ratings suggest, and I don’t think any other 300B amp has the frequency extension at both ends of the spectrum as the S20 does. We all gush over the SET mids, but this amp is wide band and has good bass slam and clear highs. A pair of Living Voice Avatar OBX-RW speakers $11,850 were connected with Triode Wire Labs American Speaker Cables Bi-Wire version $1,099/pr, with TWL Spirit ICs $349/pr and a TWL Silver Statement power cord $1,199 , and a few Digital American cords $499 ( $699 for HP version) were used throughout the system.The system had a very interesting ability to draw you in to the music, nothing jumping out, but instruments and voices sounding just right. Surprising to me was the drum kit impact, and the slew of small details flowing easily into the room. Only the soundstage seemed a bit small, but the room contributed to that aspect. Everything else was superb, violin and guitar tones were spot on, voices tightly focused and clear, sax sounded raw and powerfully dynamic, and Michael Hedges’ “Rickover’s Dream” had the immediacy and explosiveness to be exciting and live. Another room using TWL cables that was neutral balanced, low noise floor, and just a wee bit sweet on top, in a marketplace that can be wildly priced, Pete’s cables are a real value.
Volti, Triode Wire Labs, And McIntosh Labs
Every time I see these horns, the exquisite craftsmanship and woodworking skills to make these blows me away, and then I wonder how great they’d look in my family room. Greg Roberts drove down from Benton, Maine bringing with him the Volti Audio Vittora System $25,000 for the three-piece set that includes the two main Vittora speakers and an Extended Low Frequency cabinet. McIntosh supplied a C22 Preamplifier $6,000 and a pair of MC75 Mono amps $7,500/pr. displayed on canted Volti stands. Triode Pete seems to be everywhere this show, especially in great sounding rooms. TWL cables were on the amps, Seven Plus P/C $499, Ten Plus $349 on the preamp, Digital American P/C $499 on the CD/SACD player, and TWL ICs and Speaker cables connected everything else. I have heard enough systems with TWL cables to appreciate their neutrality and lack of a sonic signature; they just get out of the way of the music and allow it to spring from a black low noise background. I had Greg play “New York City Serenade” from Bruce Springsteen’s The Wild, The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle, and the piano intro was stunning in it’s realism and not bettered in any room at the show. Details of the beginning of percussion instruments strikes was lightening quick, and the dynamics were very wide. My cut from Michael Hedges’ “Rickover’s Dream” was explosive and live sounding, great string detail and the sense of the wooden bodied guitar was evident. Saturday night Vinnie Rossi brought down his LIO integrated amp and hooked it up to the Vittoras, what a synergistic combination. The lower noise floor helped maximize the Vittora’s strengths, especially revealing low level information clearly while other instruments are playing much louder.