Switching to SACD I queued up Stevie Ray Vaughn’s In Step [Sony Music Entertainment 1989/Mobile Fidelity Labs 2011] in my Denon DVD-5900. ‘Riviera Paradise’ is a true classic in textured guitar work. The nuanced finger work creates tone of exceptional purity. Bass guitar is strong into the mid 30Hz range. The Treo CTs created a highly three-dimensional sense of space with plenty of depth to suggest the size of the recording venue. The musical maturity of this performance is brought to life in vivid detail by the Treo CT’s. As the final song on Stevie’s last studio album ‘Riviera Paradise’ provides a summation of his abilities in a poignant and engaging way. Bravo to the Treo CTs for conveying this performance so completely.
For a final listen it was time for some digital audio. My PS Audio DirectStream DSD DAC was streaming from my NAS via the Bridge II Roon ready Ethernet connection. The DAC was playing through the PS Audio BHK Pre with AudioQuest MacKenzie interconnects, with the stack sitting on Stillpoints Ultra SS isolation pods. Time for a personal all-time favourite. Sting’s Ten Summoner’s Tales [Lossless CD rip at 16/44 AIFF, 1993 A&M Records] has been played countless times in the Neff man cave. ‘Shape of My Heart’ has an intimacy and sense of space and resonance that almost begs you to turn the lights down and close your eyes. The pluck of the nylon strings on the acoustic guitar, the firm bass line, and Sting’s soulful voice propel the introspective thoughts of the man considering the parallels of life and the metaphorical cards he is dealt. The Treo CT’s provide the form and body for the sound staging of this exceedingly clear presentation. The firm pluck of the guitar strings has you sensing exactly when the fingers first touch and then move away from the strings. They convey this sensation in an almost holographic perspective. Depth and height become palpable to the listener. The clarity and musicality left me almost breathless. I could not wait to listen to another song.
Long time audiophiles generally agree that their speakers are the most personal component in their systems. Once you find the right pair it is usually the last thing that gets upgraded again if at all. The Model 2’s filled that role for me for many years. However, in my home there is a new speaker in town. The Treo CT’s ticked all the boxes and did so at an attainable price point. A sensible price and performance without compromise is the key, here, because once you have shown the new gear to your friends and they have gone home, we all want to be thrilled with what we are hearing when we listen by ourselves. The Treo CT’s will do that for you for many years to come.
Type: Four way floorstanding loudspeaker with bass reflex enclosure
Drive Units: 25.4mm Carbon tweeter, 115mm Midrange curvilinear woven composite cone, 165mm Woofer curvilinear woven composite cone, 200mm acoustic coupler long fibre cone. Drivers all custom developed and manufactured by Vandersteen Audio
Crossover Points: 5kHz to 30kHz, 600Hz to 5kHz, 35Hz to 600Hz, 35Hz to 55Hz
32Hz to 29kHz +/- 3db
35Hz to 21Hz +/1 1.5db
Sensitivity: 86db with 2.83 volts of pink noise input at 1 meter on axis
Nominal Impedance: 7 ohms nominal. 4 ohms minimum.
Suggested Amplifier Output: 40-200 watts per channel into 8 ohms
Finish: Several options of wood choices. Cost may be higher for certain woods
Dimensions (WxHxD): 25x107x38cm
Weight: 27.2kg each
Price per pair: £9,000 per pair, exotic wood options extra
Manufactured by: Vandersteen Audio, Inc.
Distributed by: Signature Systems
Tel: +44(0)7738 007776