MAF 2024: Brooklyn Audio / Soltanus Acoustics, Hegel, Zesto Audio, Auralic, AudioQuest

MAF 2024: Brooklyn Audio / Soltanus Acoustics, Hegel, Zesto Audio, Auralic, AudioQuest


Prices listed in CA$.

As soon as I walked into the Brooklyn Audio room, I started to worry. ‘Oh no,’ I thought. “They have electrostatic speakers!’ Don’t get me wrong, I love flat panel speakers, like the planar-magnetic Magnepans I have at home, but both planars and electrostats are dipole designs, meaning they project sound to the front and back of their frames, and so tend to need quite a bit of room around them to perform their best.

I needn’t have worried. The electrostats in question, the Soltanus Acoustics Virtuoso MkII electrostatic speakers ($24,999), sounded breathtaking—detailed, fast, pure, transparent, and effortlessly natural.

Zoltan Mikovity, designer and owner of Serbia-based Soltanus Acoustics, believes one of the most critical parts in the signal path is the crossover, and even the best crossovers distort the sound (and I agree). His solution was to lose it. The speakers employ a single electrostatic driver that can reproduce the entire frequency range, so no crossover needed.

Assisting in the great sound I heard sound were a 350Wpc Hegel H30A mono/stereo amplifier in stereo mode ($23,995), a Zesto Audio Leto Ultra MkII tube preamplifier ($15,580), an Auralic Vega G2.2 DAC ($10,699), an Auralic Aries G2.2 streamer ($8199), and Audioquest cabling.

I couldn’t leave. Across many tracks, including “The Beat Goes On” by Emily-Claire Barlow, “Walk On By” by Aretha Franklin, and “No Sanctuary Here” by Chris Jones, I sat transfixed by the music. It was one of the best rooms among the 50 or so I visited. Asked to pick a Best of Show, this one would be a strong contender. 

2024 PMA Magazine. All rights reserved.

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