33 Two-Channel Audio Discoveries from RMAF 2015

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Peachtree Audio

Peachtree introduced its upcoming new class of high-end ‘super lifestyle’ products in the form of the sleek and compact new Sona DAC ($1,299), which offers both single-ended and balanced outputs, and the companion 150 Wpc Sona Amp ($999).

PS Audio

At RMAF PS Audio introduced the audiophile community to its impressive new Bascom H. King designed BHK Signature 300 Monoblock amplifiers ($14,998/pair), while previewing a prototype version of the BHK Signature hybrid valve/solid-state preamplifier (price TBD). Feeding these amplification components was a PS Audio PerfectWave Memory Player disc transport ($3,999) running through the firm’s critically acclaimed DirectStream DSD DAC ($5,999). Power for the system was supplied through a set of three PS Audio P10 Power Plant Regenerators ($4,999/each). The entire PS ensemble was in turn used to drive a set of YG Acoustics’ flagship Sonja 1.3 loudspeakers ($106,800/pair), with cabling supplied by MG Audio.

The system was more than capable of indicating the terrific performance potential of the BHK Signature 300 amps and of YG’s Sonja 1.3, while the Perfect Wave transport and DirectStream DAC served as terrific sources. On the basis of what I heard, I believe the BHK Signature 300s will definitely invite comparison to far more costly top-tier amplifiers.

My only reservation about the demonstration system involved speaker placement, which I suspect limited the YG Sonja 1.3s (and thus the associated BHK Signature 300 amps) to 'very good', when I suspect that both the Sonja 1.3s and PS Audio’s new monoblock amps are capable of even more performance. Further listening is indicated.

Quad

New for RMAF were Quad’s beautiful new Artera Play preamp/DAC ($2,199) and associated Artera Play Stereo power amplifier ($2,299), which look exceptionally handsome when grouped together. According to the US distributor, MoFi, the Artera combination punches far above its price class in terms sheer sonic performance, and manages to look good while doing so.

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