Analog (and Plinius) Matters!

The Analog Matters room, presented by Big Ear Consulting LLC and original AXPONA cofounder Steve Davis, debuted a variety of components, including the return of (wait for it) Plinius!

Ralph Abram of Plinius Audio Sales and Repair, and Plinius’s own Johnny Harrison, were spinning The Beatles’ Abbey Road on an Acoustic Signature Typhoon turntable ($17,995, below) with an Acoustic Signature TA 500 tonearm ($7895), running a Grado Aeon 3 phono cartridge ($6000). The sound was generally sweet and detailed, but muffled, and frankly, not loud enough for this New Yawker (see below).

The return of New Zealand’s Plinius included new updates of classic designs including a pair of Plinius RA 150 class-A monoblocks, 150Wpc into 8 ohms ($29,990/pair), Plinius RM 10 preamplifier ($19,250), and Plinius Koru phono stage ($4620). An Esoteric Audio K-01XD CD player ($24,000), and Puritan Audio PSM 156 ($2300) and PSM 136 ($1800) mains purifiers rounded out the hardware. IKIGAI Audio Cables, a new-to-the-US brand from the Netherlands, connected the whole shebang with their Kangai and Kinzin models ($3300–$8800). Solid Tech ROS racks ($5609 with shelves) and Solid Tech ROS amp stands ($2429 each) did the heavy lifting.

The room’s Alta Audio Adam loudspeakers ($18,000/pair) were yet to broken in and the grilles remained in place. I asked Ralph Abram to remove the grilles and pump up the volume. Instantly, the sound, the room, and the records perked up.

Now, Kendrick Scott’s Blue Note Corridors LP was mined for all its endless cymbal decay and transparent drums; Samara Joy’s Verve debut, Linger Awhile, sounded better than on my home system for its focus on her wide-ranging vocal sheen and dark tonality; Abbey Road‘s “Sun King” shone for all its autumnal beauty and ambient somnambulance.

Expect good things!


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