Wilson Audio Sasha DAW Speakers; VTL TL-7.5 Series III Linestage Preamplifier, MB-185 Series III Signature Monoblock Amplifiers, and TP-2.5i Performance Phonostage; Aurender A10 Music Server/Streamer/DAC; Pro-Ject Xtension 12 Turntable

June 30, 2023 0 By JohnValbyNation

Salon 1 Audio made its first-ever appearance at a high-end audio show with a demo room featuring upper-tier amplification from VTL’s Series III: the TL-7.5 Reference linestage preamplifier ($30,000) and MB-185 Signature monoblock amps ($22,500/pair), and the TP-2.5i Performance phonostage ($5000) paired with a Sumiko Palo Santos MC cartridge ($4500) and a Pro-Ject Xtension 12 turntable ($4500) with a lovely high-gloss mahogany wood plinth.

Driven by that VTL tube power (with some EL34 sweetness from the MB-185 monoblocks), the Wilson Audio Sasha DAW speakers ($37,900)—here in the Desert Silver finish—rendered “Celestial Echo,” from a collaboration from Malia and Boris Blank, with electronic beats that pulsed more intensely than expected with intense punch and attack—traits more often associated with solid-state than tubes, but no problem here.

The primary digital source was an Aurender A10 music server/DAC/streamer through which I heard the last part of Cécile McLorin Salvant’s version of “Wild Women Don’t Have the Blues;” her rich vocals were rendered full of body and quite natural-sounding. There was even a CD player in the setup, a Sony SCD-XA777ES ($3000). Cabling was from Transparent Audio’s Reference Series. The system was elegantly supported by Stewart Lang Furniture’s Ascensio Series racks in solid maple, an eye-pleasing departure from the usual metal stands.

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