At this year’s RMAF there were three system that were so good that I wasn’t sure how they could each be given a Beatnik Bongo award for the best system at the show. Then, I noticed the difference in their prices, and I decided that I could give each system an award based on three different price points. You may think that I’m wimping out, but they all were that good. So, I’ll start with the most expensive.
Verity Audio / TW Acoustic – Best Room Under $500K
The system consisted of a pair of Verity Audio’s Lohengrin IIS speakers at $133,000 driven by the North American premiere of the Verity Audio Monsalvat Amp 60 at $58,000 and the Verity Audio Monsalvat Pre-2 preamplifier at $35,000.
The source was a TW Acustic phono preamplifier at $18,000 and a TW Acoustic AC Anniversary turntable with Black Night upgrades and two TW 10.5 arms for $47,000 mounted with an Ortofon A95 cartridge at $6,500 and an Ortofon Cadenza Mono cartridge at $1,280. The interconnect and speaker cables were Signal Projects Andromeda.
Von Schweikert / Audionet / Kronos / MasterBuilt – Best Room Under $300K
Von Schweikert teamed up with Audionet for a very intriguing sounding system. There was a beautiful musical tone in this combination. For the source, they used a Kronos Pro turntable at $38,000, Kronos SCPS-1 power supply at $13,500, Andre Theriault Black Beauty tonearm at $8,500 mounted with a ZYX Audio Ultimate 4D cartridge at $4,400, with an Audionet PAM G2 with EPX phono stage for $20,000.
The line stage was an Audionet PRE G2 line for $23,350 matched up with a pair of Audionet MAX monoblocks for $30,500 for the pair. The speakers were Von Schweikert Audio VR-55 Aktive loudspeakers at $60,000 per pair, and a Von Schweikert Shockwave V12 subwoofer at $11,500 was used for active room correction. All of the cables were by MasterBuilt Audio.
Best Room Under $200K – VAC / Valve Amplification Company
The VAC system consisted of the Tannoy Kingdom Royal Mk II speakers are $96,000, the VAC Renaissance phono stage at $9,900, VAC Renaissance Mk V line stage at $9,990 with optional internal phono stage at $3,000 and Signature 200 iQ power amplifiers at $14,000/each; Transrotor Rondino Nero turntable at $14,000 with 5012 tonearm at $5,500; AirTight PC-1 Supreme at $11,000; TAOC ASR-4 Silver rack at $4,000; and Shunyata power distribution and their Anaconda cabling.
Stay tuned, we will be presenting more awards later today…