Something really cool happened in the room shared by Grand Prix Audio of the US and Apertura Audio of France. For the first time, I witnessed a rack/support comparison that confirmed for me the importance of both for optimal system performance.
Using a basic Quadraspire rack and Grand Prix Audio’s prototype Monza rack ($18,500), along with Grand Prix’s new and larger Apex XL feet (included with the Monza rack, $1000/set of three for those under gear), Grand Prix’s Alvin Lloyd moved a CH Precision P1 phono stage from the Quadraspire to his forthcoming rack while playing Count Basie’s “Bluesville” on the Grand Prix Monaco v2.0 turntable ($37,500) with Kuzma arm (£8950 including VAT) and Fuuga cartridge (7200 plus VAT). Even with the Quadraspire, the timbres were lovely, the sound quite mellow. Following the switch, however, I immediately sensed more air and crispness to the sound. Layering and image size improved noticeably, the piano’s low notes grew more profound, there was spaciousness for days, and I was able to hear new detail in the horn. The difference was major.
I was also quite impressed with Apertura’s new flagship Enigma MKII speakers (23,000/pair in standard finish, seen here). A two-way design with ribbon tweeter, a frequency range of 30-30,000Hz, ±3dB, sensitivity of 94dB, and impedance of 4 ohms, the speaker made lovely music in a system that also included CH Precision’s L1, X1, and A1.5; prototype Grand Prix Monza amp stands ($6350 each), KimberKable interconnects, and Crystal Cables speaker and power cabling.
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