TAF2023: Le Studio du Son, XTZ, Tough Nut Audio, Zidoo, Sona

TAF2023: Le Studio du Son, XTZ, Tough Nut Audio, Zidoo, Sona


Le Studio du Son’s Olivier Fragman (l.) with Tough Nut Audio’s Derrick Francis (r.)

Prices listed are in CA$.

You want a simple-to-use system that sounds great, doesn’t clutter your room, and won’t break the bank? If you’re nodding yes, then the system being demoed in Le Studio du Son’s room just might be up your alley, especially if you don’t like big, heavy, inefficient amplification but do want an amp that can power most speakers with aplomb.

The elaborate interior of one of Tough Nut Audio’s component platforms.

If I may direct your attention to the above photo. See that black box on the top modular shelf on Tough Nut Audio’s gorgeous, solid maple Piers isolation equipment rack ($5000)? That’s Swedish company XTZ’s ICEpower ICEedge class-D A2-400 stereo amplifier ($1300). At barely 8” wide and a foot deep it may look unassuming but looks can be deceiving. It’s got grunt, delivering 220Wpc into 8ohms, 420 into 4ohms. Connected via Sona cables to the company’s 91db-sensitive M8 tower speakers ($4800/pair) with its 8 drivers, the music I heard via FLAC files streamed from a Zidoo Neo Alpha network media player ($4000) seemed to deliver a sense of effortlessness, musical expression, and dynamic energy provided by Red Bull. It had wings!

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