Estelon Forza Speakers, MSB Electronics, and Synergistic Research

This superb high-end audio system, featured at the Southwest Audio Fest in Dallas, included Estelon Forza speakers ($170,000/pair) in dark silver liquid gloss powered by MSB M500 mono amplifiers ($75,000 each).

The digital source was an MSB Select DAC ($115,000), a Select Digital Director ($27,500), and a Taiko GSM Extreme server ($30,000). Cabling was by Synergistic Research: SRX Interconnects ($9,500), SRX Slimline speaker cables ($22,500), and SRX power cords ($10,000); power conditioning was also Synergistic, the Galileo SX with an SRX power cord ($27,995).

Sara Bareilles’s live cover of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” was released as part of her album Brave Enough: Live at the Variety Playhouse in May, 2013. It has taken on a second life as an immensely popular demo track at two-channel audio shows. I sensed I was listening to an endgame-quality system in this room. It teased the finest details from the mix, leaving nothing on the table.

The iconic “Fanfare for the Common Man” by Aaron Copland allowed the system to show off its big-scale chops. No worries. The acoustic space the system conjured seemed like a concert hall.

Marcus Miller’s jazz-funk track “Jean-Pierre” rounded out the demo. The system imbued his electric Fender Jazz bass with the force and gravitas of a live gig. Harmonica by Gregoire Maret further displayed the system’s deft touch at making instruments sound natural.

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