TAF2023: Lenbrook, DALI, NAD, Kimber Kable

TAF2023: Lenbrook, DALI, NAD, Kimber Kable


Prices are listed in CA$.

Since DALI released its $150,000/pair flagship Kore loudspeaker over a year ago, I’ve seen it consistently demoed with NAD electronics, to good effect. This match-up always delivered powerful sound, authentic tone, and a huge soundstage. At this show, the Kore was supplanted by the company’s latest model in the series, the one just under the Kore, called the Epikore ( $80,000/pair). As can be expected, it’s smaller and less imposing than the Kore, but it shares the Kore’s aesthetic genes and a good portion of its older sibling’s sense of musical power and dynamic ease.

In fact, the sound of the Epikore, being fed by NAD’s latest flagship streaming DAC/preamplifier, the M66 ($4900) and a pair of 200W M23 amplifiers, all tied together with cabling by Kimber Kable, was quite spectacular. On tracks with a lot of spatial effects, such as those on the audiophile show chestnut, “Make Us Stronger” by Ghost Rider, sound was coming at me from all sides. This is not hyperbole. The surround-sound effect was unsubtle – I didn’t have to imagine it. The soundstage was huge – way off to the sides, right in front of me, behind me, on top of me. I’m used to hearing a big, well-delineated soundstage but this was something else. It was trippy.

Unsurprisingly, one of this system’s strong suits was its imaging; instruments and sounds were carved out in space. Acoustic instruments, such as piano, guitar, and vocals, sounded lifelike, both in tone, timbre, and presence. Sustains bloomed forever.

Don’t tell DALI, but this may be my favourite speaker of theirs.

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