Twin Showcases from Spatial Audio Lab with Don Sachs and Lynn Olson Design

January 13, 2024 0 By JohnValbyNation

It took two visits until this room got silent enough for me to get a handle on what was going on sound-wise. There was a lot going on, and it was not always easy to parse.

The big items of note were prototype Spatial Audio Lab open-baffle loudspeakers (price and release date TBD) that descend to 30Hz and two components from Don Sachs and Lynn Olson Design, the Statement 300B monoblock amplifiers ($18,500–$19,900/pair) and Raven preamplifier ($4600). Both products will be manufactured by Spatial Audio Lab later this year.

The monoblocks, based on Lynn Olson’s circuit, employ two dual-regulated power supplies; one is for the 300B circuit, and the other for the input and drivers. They also contain an interstage transformer from Cinemag. The preamp is a fully balanced design that features transformer coupling of inputs and outputs, a fully regulated power supply driven by tube-damper diodes, XLR and RCA inputs and outputs, and a 64-step remote controlled Khozmo attenuator utilizing naked foil resistors. My thanks to Don Sachs for the fact check. There are times I wish I’d gone to secretarial school. . .

This was quite a musical system. On a Red Book file of Myriam Alter’s “It’s All There,” performed by Dino Saluzzi on bandoneon, John Ruocco on clarinet, Kenny Werner on piano, Greg Cohen on bass; and Joey Baron on drums, highs were lovely, alive, and quite illumined. (Some might opine that the system was a bit tipped up, but bright treble was encountered so frequently in these small rooms that it seems most likely a product of room interactions rather than an indicator of equipment tuning.) There was also a fair amount of air around instruments. Air also made its mark in orchestra Les Siècles’ recent period-instrument recording of Mahler Symphony No.4, but the lowest double bass line was indicated faintly rather than fleshed out. The system also seemed a mite bass-shy on the Hadouk Trio’s “Lomsha.”

Also heard: Lampizator Pacific DAC ($35,700), Innuos ZENith Mk3 music server ($5399 base price), Puritan Audio Labs PSM-156 ($2300), Anticables cabling, and ASC Tube traps. A Sessions Amplified Valhalla Integrated Amplifier ($4995) was switched in and out during the show, but was not in use either time I visited.

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