LA Audio Show Report #6, Is $100,000 the New Normal? – System 1

When starting The Audio Beatnik site, I ran some informal surveys on several audio forums about what people thought were the price ranges for audio systems. A large number of people thought dream systems were anything over $20,000. Well, if you were to judge from the LA Audio Show and most other audio shows, you would think the dream is now at least $100,000. It seemed to me that most of the rooms in LA were at the $100,000 point or higher, and some were well over $500,000. Like all of the rooms, some sounded great and some sounded bad regardless of the price point. I should be honest and admit that for a couple of days at a show in rooms that are seldom ideal, it is far more difficult to get these really big systems to sound good than it is for a simple system. Anyway, some of these systems sounded so good that I’ve got to share them with you. Here’s the first one that I’m sharing.

Einstein Audio

If you are not familiar with Einstein Audio, they are a German company that has had an off and on relationship with the US market. They have been manufacturing world-class equipment since 1988.

First, I want to apologize for the pictures in this room. I didn’t get by early enough, and every time I went in, it was crowded and dark. I got a good seat to listen in, but I never got a chance to take good pictures. This system amazed me though. I hate to admit ignorance, but I didn’t know Einstein made speakers. I have been familiar with and impressed by their electronics for several years, but this was the best system of theirs I have heard.

For this show, they joined with TechDas, a turntable company also from Germany. Together they created near musical magic in their room. On one of my trips to their room, Chad Kassem of Acoustic Sounds was spinning tunes and telling us about each LP. The room was packed, and I don’t think any true music lover wanted to leave.

The sound was simply gorgeous, you could hear deep into the layers of sound, and the tones of the music were rich and pure. I could never afford this system, but with a little work it would fit into my room even if it doesn’t fit into my budget. The speakers have an active 700 watt powered bass amp with an adjustable level control and adjustable active high pass crossover. The midrange is directly connected to the output tubes of the OTL amps without the use of a crossover. The horn tweeter has a 6dB/octave crossover. They say the speaker is perfectly time aligned.

The system had the TechDas Airforce One Premium Turntable, which included an Einstein The Tonearm and an Einstein The Pick Up for the system’s source (price for source somewhere over $80,000). The electronics were Einstein’s The Preamp balanced tube preamp ($23,000) and The Silver Bullet Mk.II OTL Monoblocks ($58,000/pair). The speakers were the Einstein The Pure speakers ($56,000/pair). The whole system used Einstein cabling.

I don’t know if any system is worth this kind of money, but this one may well be, if you have the dough!






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 #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
LA Audio Show Report #12, VAC/Von Schweikert Audio Wins the Beatnik Bongo Award for Best Room Over $100,000