Sensational speakers, powerful processing and amplification, and world-class recordings had audiophiles in delight.
Induction Dynamics
Phase Technology
KEF
Nordost, Nola and Rowland
Veloce
Lawrence Audio
Chapman
Zesto and TAD
Ayon Audio
Sony
Magico and Synergistic Research
Adam Audio and Cary Audio
GoldenEar and Clearaudio
Audio Element 1
Audio Element 2
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Slide 15 of 18
Audio Element 2

In Audio Element’s adjacent room, another set of Sonus faber, the Elipsa SE ($22,900/pair) were delivering the sweet-sounding audio magic, this time fed by a stack of Ayre components that included the company’s new and not-yet-shipping KX-5 preamplifier (TBD), VX-5 amplifier ($7,950), QB-9 DAC ($3,250) and QA-9 analog-to-digital converter. The QB-9 has been updated with cleaner internal power and higher-end ESS Sabre chipset. A 24-bit/192 kHz rendition of Peter Gabriel’s “Mercy Street” as ripped from vinyl via the QA-9 sounded gorgeous, with the nuanced bass and gentle percussion silhouetting Gabriel’s haunting vocals. Another vinyl rip, of Dave Brubeck’s iconic “Take 5” sounded vibrant and rich in tone, with Paul Desmond’s saxophone as silky smooth as ever.

Read more: Amazing Audio Rooms from T.H.E. Show 2013