Now Listen Here

January 14, 2024 0 By JohnValbyNation

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Falls Church, Virginia, dealer Now Listen Here enjoys an unusual pedigree. By day, part-owner Shayne Tenace (who also runs Tenacious Sound) builds nuclear power plants; a Canadian project currently occupies his time. But by night—watch out—Shayne spins vinyl on the brand new Rega NAIA turntable and Vandersteen Quatro speakers. (Despite his nocturnal preoccupations, his stores maintain regular daylight business hours.) The NAIA had its US debut at the Now Listen Here suite at CAF.

In addition to the Rega NAIA ($12,995), with Rega Aphelion 2 cartridge ($4000), Now Listen Here’s room presented a Backert Labs Rhythm 1.4 preamplifier ($12,990), a Backert Labs Rhumba Xphono phono preamp ($7800), a Meitner MA3 DAC ($10,500), an Innous ZENith server ($6299), Vandersteen M5-HPA amplifiers ($19990/pair), and the Vandersteen Quatro CT speakers ($19,200/pair). Transparent provided cables and conditioning via their PowerWave X conditioner ($3995), Premium power cords ($650/each), and Ultra interconnects—XLR ($3200/1M pair), RCA ($1800/1M pair).

Tenace had boxes of vinyl to choose from, so I requested Cécile McLorin Salvant’s For One to Love, Yuko Mabuchi Trio’s excellent self-titled album (which appeared in many rooms), and Keith Jarrett’s 1970s ECM treatise Belonging. The system played these records with lovely richness in a lush, wide-span stereo spread.

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