VAC (Valve Amplification Company) and Von Schweikert Audio combined for a vinyl-only system that came in at a cool $802,000 not counting the cables. So yes, it was way over $100,000. It consisted of Von Schweikert Ultra 11 Loudspeakers driven by a pair of VAC Statement 450 IQ Monoblocks. The Line Stage was the VAC Statement and likewise their Statement Phono Stage. The turntable was the Kronos Pro with their SCPS-1 Power Supply. The tonearm was the Andre Theriault Black Beauty with a ZYX Audio Ultimate 4D Cartridge. The racks and amp stands were from Artesania Audio. Add the J-Corder’s rebuilt Technics 1520 Reel-to-Reel, the Aurender N10 Music Server and the Lampizator Golden Gate DAC and the price for the system sans cables comes to $844,400.
As Becky and I were wandering around the second-floor on setup day, we heard Sinatra singing with a big band. It sounded so lifelike that we headed down the hall to hear the system. We passed four doors before we found it. It was the VAC/Von Schweikert Audio room and it was still breaking in, but it still sounded like music. There were things to nit pick in the system, but it just sounded so much like a real person and a real band was in playing that I was taken aback. I remember Becky asking me why our system didn’t sound like that.
I went back to this room every day, and it just sounded better and better. There are no nicer gentlemen in the audio business than Kevin Hayes of VAC and Albert Von Schweikert. At other, shows, I have had the privilege to sit and talk with both of them about music, and I was amazed at Kevin’s knowledge of recordings and Albert’s love for the Quad 57s that I owned for so many years.
There were many good sounding systems at the LA Audio Show over the $100,000 point. And, there were systems that did some things better than this system, but none of them sounded as much like the real thing as the VAC/Von Schweikert system. For that reason, I am happy to present the Beatnik Bongo Award for the Best Sounding Room over $100,000 at the LA Audio Show.
Additional Coverage of the LA Audio Show:
Getting Ready for the Los Angeles Audio Show
LA Audio Show Day 1, Part 1
LA Audio Show Day 1, Part 2
Pictures from the LA Audio Show, Day 1, Part 3
LA Audio Show Day Two, Part 1
LA Audio Show Day Two, Part 2
LA Audio Show Day Two, Part 3
LA Audio Show, Headphones and Other Stuff
LA Audio Show Report #1 – Both Ends of the Price Spectrum
Turntable Eye Candy from LA Audio Show, Part 1
LA Audio Show #2 – Jaw-Dropping Sound at the LA Audio Show
Turntable Eye Candy from LA Audio Show, Part 2
LA Audio Show Report #3 – Rooms That Impressed
LA Audio Show, #4, Best Speaker Under $20,000
LA Audio Show Report #5, The British Sound Still Sounds Like Music
LA Audio Show Report #6, Is $100,000 the New Normal? – System 1
LA Audio Show Report #7, High Water Sound wins Beatnik Bongo Award for Best Room Under $100K
LA Audio Show Report #8, Optimal Enchantment and MBL; Two $100K Plus Rooms that Impressed
LA Audio Show Report #9, Audio Vista Points You Have to See
LA Audio Show Report #10, Systems from $14,000 Down to $400
LA Audio Show Report #11, The Vinnie Rossi/Spatial Audio/Anticables Room Wins the Beatnik Bongo Award for Best Room Under $50,000