TAF2023: Jean Nantais, Miyajima Labs, Linnenberg, Bastanis, Ikeda, HRS, Hearken Audio, Yeti, IK Audio

TAF2023: Jean Nantais, Miyajima Labs, Linnenberg, Bastanis, Ikeda, HRS, Hearken Audio, Yeti, IK Audio


Prices listed in CA$.

Throughout the years at audio shows, the Hearken Audio room has consistently offered me a peaceful interlude to everyday noise, but not just noise of the external kind, but the internal one that happens inside my head. Invariably, the Hearken room will be a wellspring of mellifluously-flowing, earthy, rich-toned sound that calms my mind and speaks directly to my soul.

It was the same this year, in a system fronted by a Jean Nantais Ultimate Lenco turntable ($34,300) outfitted with two tonearm-cartridge combinations: 1) Bird of Prey tonearm (15,000), Miyajima Saboten L stereo cartridge ($6900); and, 2) Ikeda tonearm ($14,000), Miyajima Infinity mono cartridge ($4775).

Completing the system were a Miyajima 7Wpc (into 8ohms) Model 2020 OTL amplifier ($23,300), a single-ended Miyajima EC-5 preamp ($9300), a Linnenberg Bach phono stage ($22,750), and a pair of Bastanis Dipole Matterhorn ll speakers. The Matterhorn is a horn design employing a 15″ crossoverless wideband driver and a dipole tweeter affixed atop the main enclosure.

Also in use were a Hearken Audio turntable speed controller ($2000), an IK Audio NKG record weight ($1325), a Yeti power conditioner / transformer (7300$), HRS platforms ($various), and Bastanis cables ($various).

What can I say? The system doesn’t come cheap, but it didn’t sound cheap. It sounded rich. And tactile, and colorful, and immersive to the point that I forgot all about the noise.

2024 PMA Magazine. All rights reserved.

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