RMAF 2017 Page 4
I've become increasingly more impressed with AVM electronics the more I hear them. At this year's audio fest, the company introduced their new and affordable 30-series line up that included the AVM30 A30 Integrated amplifier, 2 x 125 watt digital inputs and Bluetooth ($2.995,00) and AVM30 PA30 Preamplifier, with phono input, digital inputs and Bluetooth ($1,995.00).
Richard Schram of Parasound and Eric Alexander of Tekton Design joined forces in two different rooms with pretty predictable results. The Tekton Double Impact loudspeakers ($3k), driven by Parasound mono amps produced a sound that was quite remarkable from the midrange up. The bass was somewhat too weighty for this typical shoe-box shaped hotel room. Despite the woofers exaggerating from time to time (depending on the music), the midrange and top-end was simply superb. Upon my arrival, I was greeted by Alexander and his wife. I immediately showed my USB flashdrive, and with Alexander's permission started entertaining the half-dozen or so folks that were there. Unfortunately, listening to really good music, whether classical, jazz or otherwise, seems like a forgotten art. It amazes me that the Burmester sampler CD is still being played at these events. I don't think I left the Tekton Double Impact room until maybe two-hours passed and many songs had been played and talked over. When the music is shared with so many and the vibes are this good, time slips away and the system becomes merely the vehicle. Only the music matters.
The smaller Tekton Design Impact monitors ($2k on Sanus SF26 speaker stands), sounded absolutely remarkable in the same sized room and driven by the Parasound Halo 2.1 Integrated and the new JC 3 Jr. phono stage acting as a source input ($1495 and expected to ship the end of this month). Vinyl was fed from a Marantz TTS1-15 turntable with a ClearAudio Virtouso Wood MM Cartridge - $1495 for all), while an Oppo 105 ($1200) and about $700 of StraightWire audio interconnect and speaker cabling rounded out the rest of this setup. Well short of $10K MSRP.
This was my first-time encounter with this smaller model as I do have the Double Impacts in-house for review (stay tuned), but I must admit, that as much as LOVE the Double Impacts, I can see where a lot of small apartment dwellers will go bananas over this more petite Impact Monitor version. The Impact's speed, dynamic dexterity, transparency and overall musicality coupled to its amazingly low asking price, makes it among the best deals in audio period. REGARDLESS OF PRICE. I have the Double Impacts in my home and they've created an unprecendented buzz and activity in my downstairs rig. I am not going to give away all I want to say except, I've been around this hobby for a pretty decent amount of time and cannot recall when I've seen so many music lovers this much in love with a single product. Forget the $3k asking price, these loudspeakers don't know what they cost and are willing to go toe to toe against virtually anything I've had in-house or have heard in the same size category, never mind the price. Astonishing!
As much as I love VAC gear, it always seems to catch me off guard how incredible then perform alongside the Tannoy Kingdom Royal horn loudspeakers ($96k). It's been a while, but this is not the first time I've heard this remarkable synergy. Some years ago, I heard the Tannoys create that midrange magic that have made certain tube/horns combinations legendary. While they're nothing remotely affordable about these British beauts, they always seem to surprise me with their absolute effervescence and upper frequency delicacies. Driven by the very same VAC Renaissance iQ200 Signature mono amps and preamp that our own Mike Wright delighted over (reviewed here), the rest of the wares included a Transrotor 'table and a 5012 tonearm. Shunyata Research provided all AC conditioning via their Typhon AC conditioner while all cabling was Shunyata Anaconda.