From Julie Mullins at The Absolute Sound on the most significant debuts:First seen on passive display at CES, and heard at AXPONA for the first time in an active demo, the 250Wpc Constellation Taurus stereo power amp ($19.5k), Pictor preamplifier ($18k), and Andromeda phonostage ($18k) with DC Filter ($5k) reproduced an assortment of vinyl cuts beautifully with all the accuracy, clarity, and control the celebrated ultra-high-end marque brings. These new Revelation Series electronics drove MartinLogan ESL 15a Renaissance loudspeakers ($25k) seamlessly and effortlessly; the speakers also sounded more coherent than in some past demos. The source was the Continuum Audio Labs Obsidian turntable ($35k; reviewed in this issue) fitted with Viper tonearm ($10k) and Ortofon A95 cartridge ($6500); cabling was by MIT (its sign read “audio interfacing by MIT”). The crisp tambourine on Fine Young Cannibals’ “She Drives Me Crazy” sounded quite lively and lifelike-plenty of snap here. El Vy’s “Paul Is Alive” featured compelling dimensionality and imaging on guitar and piano flourishes. Bass on “I’m the Man to Be” may not have dived the deepest but maintained respectable definition and deft nimbleness. Alas, I’d longed to return to give a listen to a bit of the MoFi LP reissue of Pixies’ Doolittle, but ran out of time.
The new Constellation Revelation Series electronics: Taurus stereo amplifier, Pictor preamplifier, and Andromeda phonostage.
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