Command Performance, and Well Pleased AV: J.Sikora, Koetsu, Doshi, Innuos, Gryphon, QLN
When a show room plays great music, the job of listening is easy. That’s true for civilians and press alike.
Virginia based audio dealer Command Performance AV and distributor Well Pleased AV played songs from Kraftwerk’s Tour de France, New Orleans innovator and jazz trumpet king Louis Armstrong’s Satchmo Plays King Oliver, then back to France, this time on vinyl, for the jazz-meets-electronic-grooves of trumpeter Erik Truffaz’s ReVisité.
Equipment in the room included a J.Sikora Initial MAX turntable ($12,995) with J.Sikora KV-12 VTA tonearm ($8495) and a Koetsu Urushi Sky Blue cartridge ($6495). Phono preamplification duties were performed by a Doshi Audio V3.0 EVO phono stage ($21,995). Alternately, an Origin Live Illustrious MK4 12″ tonearm ($2983) and Benz Micro Ruby Z cartridge ($4000) were used.
On the digital side, an Innuos Statement 1TB music server ($15,100) and Innuos PhoenixNET network switch/router ($3499) controlled file-based playback.
Amplification? A Gryphon Audio Diablo 300 integrated amplifier ($16,900) drove a beautiful pair of Swedish-made QLN Prestige Five speakers in the upgraded Piano Burl Walnut finish ($20,000/pair, $17,000/pair in a standard finish). Power was improved by a GigaWatt PC-4 EVO+ power conditioner equipped with a w/LS-2 Evo power cord ($14,500). Signal transmission duties were handled by Swiss Cables Diamond speaker cables ($6800/3m), RCA interconnects ($3700/2m), and Power cords ($2750/1.5m). An SGR Symphony Model V Rack ($2600) and Gryphon StandArt amplifier stand ($4100) cradled the electronics.
This system sounded fantastic: clear and dynamic with exceptional scale, imaging, and a sleek musicality that left me satisfied. The rig reproduced Tour de France exceptionally well, revealing ambient and spatial cues that allowed the music to have space and breathe, while its low-end, particularly bass drum, had more tone and texture than I’ve heard from this well-loved (by me) album. The Truffaz disc came across in a wide, deep stage, with a trumpet that floated across the speakers. The QLN Prestige Five speakers made me hungry for more.
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