Audiophile Experts: Accuphase, DALI, Grandioso, Esoteric, Luna Cables

All prices are in Canadian dollars.

It’s always a pleasure to visit an exhibit room put together by Audiophile Experts because the retailer’s setups and recordings tend to sound top notch, and you won’t hear these recordings elsewhere at a show.

It was no different this time. The system that included a core of Accuphase products: the class-A, 65Wpc, A-80 integrated amplifier ($27,999), C-2900 preamplifier ($26,999), C-47 MM / MC phono stage, and AC-6 MC cartridge. Connected to these were a grand-looking Grandioso T1 turntable ($108,000), an Esoteric N-05XD streamer/DAC/preamplifier ($14,850) and G-05 master clock ($6750), a pair of column-sized DALI Epikore 11 speakers ($80,000/pair), and cables from Luna Cables’ Mauve and Rouge series (various prices).

Dynamic? That’s not the half of it. On a FLAC stream via the Esoteric combo, the explosions that bookend Strauss’s Explosions-Polka were jump-scare startling, making me jump and then giggle self-consciously. Timbres and tone? Spot on. Deep, walloping bass? Check. Small scale dynamics? Bushels, if that makes any sense. Huge, precisely delineated soundstage? No problem.

On a rare, direct-to-disc copy of For Duke by Bill Berry And His Ellington All-Stars, the music was dynamic, propulsive, and toe-tapping. Trumpet, trombone, and piano sounded stunningly real and right there. This system did everything right, with panache. Could I live with it forever? If I had the space and dough, you betcha.

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