VPI Industries, EMM Labs, Merrill Audio,
Great sound just keeps rolling at T.H.E. Show Newport 2016 as VPI's Avenger Signature turntable with VAS NY Nova Signature cartridge ($21,000 and $3000 respectively) fed an abundance of Merrill Audio electronics (more on them shortly) and the innovative German Physiks HRS-130 loudspeakers ($22,750). So what happens when you get a precision turntable company mated to a mathematics guy (Merrill) and ultra-tweaky German-made speakers? Well, let me tell you, but first here's the gear breakdown:
Merrill Audio Christine Reference preamplifier ($12,400) made its world premiere here in Newport, which was joined by their Jens Reference phonostage ($15,449), and ANAP low inductance interconnects and speaker Cables ($1149 each). For digital duties EMM Labs' mesmerizing DAC2X ($15,500) worked its digital magic. There was also Equi-Core's balanced power cord conditioner ($799), Stillpoints ESS acrylic rack 34-26-4 ($10,350) and room acoustics were conquered by GIK Acoustics Tri-Corner bass traps ($150). And with that said...
We all know that treating room acoustics is key and GIK does an outstanding job. Then we have the VPI Avenger Signature turntable, which we all know is truly remarkable. You add in Merrill Audio amplification and the always-impressive German Physiks speakers and the results are extemporary! A completely holographic soundscape. i'm not taking just your normal nice imaging, we're getting into the aural equivalent of virtual reality here folks!
Enjoy the Music.com has reviewed many Merrill Audio products, so simply visit our main homepage and type in 'Merrill Audio' within the search engine. VPI Industries is another contender as one of the best, and longstanding, USA turntable brands (same search engine comments apply). This brings us to Germany Physics HRS-130 loudspeakers.
And oh what impressive speakers they are as the HRS-130 uses a single carbon fiber German Physiks DDD driver mounted on top of a slim, floor standing cabinet. There is a downward-firing 10" woofer within the base of the cabinet. Together, they deliver a dazzling three-dimensional stereo image that is easily akin to virtual reality and not your typical front-of-room soundstage. Their DDD driver is cone-shaped and has a special voice coil/magnet assembly that serves as the actuator. While typical mainstream piston drivers have the entire cone move to produce sound, the DDD driver has the open end of the cone terminated by a rubber suspension and is semi-rigidly attached to the driver chassis. Motion of the voice coil causes soundwaves to travel from the top of the cone down to the open end. This occurs because unlike the piston driver, the DDD driver cone is made from a very light and flexible foil that is made of 0.15 mm thick carbon fiber. Very tweak stuff here!
Here we see Merrill Audio receiving the prestigious Richard Beers Innovation Award 2016 for the Christine Reference Wide Band Preamplifier. Congrats guys!
Of course no speaker, even those by German Physiks, lives 'alone' and so here we have an entire system that is far above your typical high-end variety. As best i can tell, every company has earned many awards, so put them all together and, you guessed it, another award (this time from Enjoy the Music.com). The sound was captivating, smooth, and immersive. If you plan to get into VR and want a system to match the visual cues, VPI Industries, EMM Labs, Merrill Audio, German Physiks, Stillpoints, and GIK Acoustics is a leading combination!