RMAF 2017 Page 5
Art Manzano, US importer of Axiss Audio created great synergy when he paired the new Air Tight ATM-3211 mono amplifiers ($72k - 120 watts per channel) with these eye-catching Piega Master Line Source 2's. The Swiss-made Piega Master Line Source 2 ($88k), is a smaller version of the Master Line Source (dipole), that can also be integrated in standard living rooms. It is the result of a close cooperative alliance between the PIEGA head developer Kurt Scheuch and the designer Stephan Hürlemann. Like its epic prototype, the MLS 2 also operates on the symmetrical line source principle. This 3-way design (92dB efficient), employs four mid-range speakers and tweeters, mounted one above the other, to emit sound in a vertical, cylindrical configuration, resulting in an exceedingly clear and detailed sound pattern.
Synergistic Research's Ted Denney decided to wow show goers when he showed his Galileo UEF cables with Magico and Soulution. As soon as I walked into this room I knew something was definitely different from the rest. There was a silence that only made itself that much more noticeable when the music was turned up. Our own Mike Girardi just wrote on his experience with the Galileo UEF cables here.
There's the Resonator gent J. Trillo on the left, Troy Audio's Francisco Jileta (center)) and Mr. Synergistic Research, Ted Denney enjoying a fine drink among music lovers!
I once heard someone say, "the road to true audio happiness is seldom traveled by the multitudes." Avid music lover and founder of Troy Audio, Francisco Jileta credits legendary audio gurus Jean Hiraga and Gérard Chrétien from the French high-end magazine L’Áudiophile in 1976, with the same conviction. There's is centered around the idea of low-power tube or solid state amplifiers driving large ultra-sensitive loudspeakers. It is from this storied belief system that the Troy Audio Hellena loudspeaker ($100k) was created. Bulky but nicely contoured, the Hellena uses a 16" woofer, a 16" horn and a high-frequency compression tweeter is located on each side of its shiny piano exterior.
I've had the luxury to hear Jean Hiraga's electronics in Munich back in 2009 and wrote of my experience hearing it with Audio Consulting of Switzerland products. Whenever I hear the name Jean Hiraga, my ears begin to sweat. I can anticipate something very special is about to happen. Although Jean Hiraga was not here and did not build these loudspeakers, the Hellenas have a sound that is very similar in that it simply sounds alive.
The Hellenas were setup in a room way too small for these oversized but very attractive 3-way loudspeakers. When I asked Jileta about the sensitivity he replied they were "over 100 dB" which told me enough, particularly when I saw them driven by the new 20-watt Triode Corp TRX-P3M pair of mono amps. Without even realizing the volume, the music just gushed forth with a quality that I can only describe as special. What was most surprising of all was the spectral balance despite the size of the Hellenas. The balance of the Hellenas was remarkable as well considering how slow and heavy the bass was in other rooms using speakers only a fraction of the size. I thought a 20-watt amp wasn't going to reproduce too much low end or create problems but at the same time, the low-end never felt shy or bashful either. Not only was the bass accurate and tuneful, it was powerful and pitch perfect, creating a seamless connection to the music over and over again. The source was entirely vinyl throughout my 90 minute stay...Yes, I got stuck trying to figure out what was going on in this room. The overall sound was pretty incredible not just from a sonic aspect but from a component aspect as well. I would consider myself somewhat knowedgeable with regard to the names of manufacturers, yet there were names here that I never heard of. Wouldn't have mattered if the sound was forgettable. But because it was so utterly delightful, I needed to know who these folks were.
The rest of the system was composed of open-reel tape decks by Sonorus, a tape head amp by Cello/King by Charles King and STS open-reel tapes. A Triode Corp TRX-3 pre was also being used alongside Garrard turntable rebuilt on a Steve Dobbins plinth and equipped with a Frank Schroder arm. I don't recall hearing digital but just in case someone did, it would have been through a Metronome CD8s player and DiDiT High End DAC. Finally, cables were by a company called Zonotone while the room was tweaked out using Resonators by J. Trillo. Yes, these are very similar the ones that Franck Tchang first brought to CES many years ago. Of course, there's going to be another opportunity for me to hear the Troy Audio Hellena loudspeakers. Hopefully, the venue won't be under show conditions either. I can only imagine what this would be like since even here, under these harsh conditions, the sound was absolutely stellar.
Until we meet again!