"What a refreshingly honest blog about listening to music through hi-fi. So happy to see views based upon the enjoyment of music rather than so-called sound 'quality'." - Peter Comeau, Director of Acoustic Design at Mission / Wharfedale

Monday 27 March 2023

Audio Show Deluxe, Whittlebury Hall, March 2023 - High Commended - Boyer

Some very good looking equipment in this room - a refreshing change to see modern looking minimalist valve amps that avoid the steam punk or overly ornate "gold plated everything" aesthetic.

Engstrom Arne integrated amp on static display

Engstrom Lars power amps on static display

The playing system featured this ethernet switch and power supply combination

Vitus provided the DAC for digital files from the Taiko server

Eric Encore Power Amplifiers were playing on our visits

A different approach to cable lifting

A selection of Kroma speakers

On the FalkenOhr rack at the back, the burnt orange box on the left is the Monica pre-amp, that on the right either the power supply or the M-phono stage

The line up here is a Taiko server feeding a Vitus DAC playing into Engstrom Monica pre-amp and Eric power amps through Kroma Stella Extreme speakers notable for using a mid-range driver similar to those recently enjoyed in Lyngdorf speakers at Bristol and a bass driver similar to those in many a speaker from Wilson Benesch. A quick bit of loose arithmetic, excluding cables, tells me this system is in the region of £400k, so suiting the Audio Show Deluxe brief very well. Shunyata was also deployed in this system for power management and distribution. I noted some of the colourful finishes available on the static display Kroma speakers along the size of the very well presented room.

This was a big room for moderately sized speaker but they did a good job. I enjoyed the music in this room and sat through a good few tracks - despite its physical appearance this is not a "show off" system in the way it performs, but neither does it underperform like so many beautifully built products can do.  It is unassuming, effective, unobtrusive in terms of letting the music through to the listener. A room worth going back to for more.

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