Scaena Soho Loudspeakers ($56,000) And PS
Staging aside, I also found that this system had great tonality and a very engaging sound. It walked the fine line between smooth and involving quite successfully. There was a certain delicacy to the sound and a bit of sweetness, but it also packed a very satisfying punch when the musical gods called for dynamic thunder. With such a massive sound, spacially and dynamically, this was easily one of the most interesting setups of the show.
Emotiva 7-Channel XPA Gen 3 Amplifier ($1999
for 7 channel setup)
The Emotiva team played bits from Iron Man and Pacific Rim that left many of us in the sizeable booth audience with our jaws on the floor. From the subtle details to the biggest, loudest explosions, it was all presented with grandiose cinematic bravado. The single, 7-Channel XPA Gen 3 really brought as much or more thunder than anyone would ever need, but adding the additional layer of power with multiple amplifiers made the setup even more effortless, unveiling the sound from the very last morsels of compression remaining in the system. Either way you can't lose with this beastly power behind your home theater system.
Volya NoLimits Loudspeakers ($33,000)
The NoLimits features an 11" bass woofer, 5" midrange woofer and 1" tweeter, with crossovers built from high-quality Mundorf components. The speakers were well-powered with Mark Levinson No. 380S and No. 431 pre and power amps, which no doubt helped bring out the firm bass punch and liquid midrange flow.
These speakers were very hard to fault sonically, and in spite of their novel look, the final sound was exceptionally sophisticated and refined. I heard a variety of music on the Volya system, and for hard rock, electronic and acoustic music alike, I felt it offered top-flight performance.
D Digital Sound and Vision Experts, Revel, And Mark Levinson
This system was a mountain of fun – energetic with a ton of weight behind the sound. Bass was powerful, to say the least, while staying clean and controlled. Soundscape extension into the room was also quite impressive giving a nice illusion of a 3d stage. I felt like this system leaned a bit more toward power over sweetness (at least with the tracks I heard), and therefore was especially well suited to funky tunes and hard-rocking music, given the exceptional energy, snappy pacing and epic bass impact. Given my own affinity for that type of music, I had a big, silly grin on my face the whole time I was in this room.
Wells Audio Innamorata ($6,000) And Salk Song3 (starting at $2,895)
The Salk speakers on display proved to be a perfect synergy, effortlessly bringing the dynamics to life with speed and precision. For under $3000, I'm not sure I have heard a better set of floorstanding speakers. Paired with the modestly priced Exogal Comet DAC ($2,500), this system absolutely sizzled with energy and impact. And for 1/7 of the price of the monster Mark Levinson and Revel Ultima system mentioned above, I think I would likely be just as happy with this budget-priced synergistic gem at the end of the day. Well done, indeed!