TAF2023: Gershman Acoustics, Eon Art, Oracle Audio, Phasemation, Cardas

TAF2023: Gershman Acoustics, Eon Art, Oracle Audio, Phasemation, Cardas


Prices listed in CA$ except where otherwise noted.

For the 30th anniversary of the company’s Black Swan loudspeaker, Gershman Acoustics unveiled their Black Swan 30th Anniversary Edition, in a striking white finish ($90,000). Changes over the regular Black Swan include refinements to the drivers. The bass driver also weighs more, which, at 66lbs (30kg), requires a pulley system to lower it into its slot during assembly. The bass driver operates in its own enclosure, to both prevent bass energy from seeping into higher frequencies and allow the enclosure to be moved to adjust bass response in the listening room.

Powering the Black Swans was an Eon Art 208Wpc Simple Quark tube integrated amplifier ($23,000). Employing a combination of class-A and class-D topologies, the Simple Quark has a modular circuit board that can be pulled out for easy replacement of parts. Along with another of the company’s amplifiers, the 250Wpc Boson integrated mono amplifiers ( $76,164 each), that was on display, but which I didn’t audition, the Simple Quark comes with a full-product 10-year warrantee.

Rounding out the system was an Eon Art Tachyon DAC prototype (expected price approx. $74,000), Cardas Audio cabling, and an Oracle CD2500 MklV CD player ($22,275), while also not auditioned by me but present in the room was an analogue front-end by Oracle comprised of an Oracle Reference Turbo Mk VII turntable with LED lighting ($19,500) fitted with an Oracle Reference 1 tonearm ($7500, and doing its North American launch) and a Phasemation PP1000 MC cartridge (US$ 5150). Standing by for phono stage duties was a Phasemation EA-550 (US$ 10,000).

Gershman Acoustics and Eon Art often exhibit together, and there’s a reason why. They’re a synergistic match, and it was no different here. The sound I heard was clear, expansive, weighty, with a good fundamental undertow — a rhythmic solidity, so to speak. Tones sounded authentic, rich, while sustains were long and reverberant. It sounded like beautiful music, made by beautiful components.

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