MAF 2024: Altitudo Audio, Electrocompaniet, Harmonic Resolution Systems, Tri-Art Audio, Nordost, Audio Note

MAF 2024: Altitudo Audio, Electrocompaniet, Harmonic Resolution Systems, Tri-Art Audio, Nordost, Audio Note


Prices listed in CA$ unless otherwise note.

When I first heard Audio Physic speakers (the Classic 15) at Audio Element in Pasadena, California, I was immediately impressed. They were featured in PMA Magazine’s “Best Audio Systems For $10,000” series. I couldn’t believe that speakers costing less than US$ 5000/pair could sound so accomplished or have so many virtues. 

The Audio Physic Spark speakers ($11,000/pr) in retailer Altitudo Audio’s room delivered the same virtues, but with more impact and delicacy. I listened to a FLAC file of “Liberty” by Anette Askvik, a show favourite at the Montreal Audiofest, and all the myriad sounds in this incredible recording were clearly and colourfully reproduced, with sweet, rich tone. Liberty is an extremely well recorded track and I was wondering if I was mostly hearing the strengths of the recording itself rather than the system’s. But when I listened some more, to other material, my impressions of this system’s sound quality remained the same.

How was it possible to hear so much good sound? After all, I was listening to relatively small speakers. In fact, many Audio Physic speakers tend to be small. Even their floorstanders are slim and don’t take much room. Their secret may lie in their unique cabinet design called “Sandwich Cabinet Construction”. Or maybe it was in the 300Wpc Electrocompaniet AW800M amplifier‘s high damping factor (>1000 at 8Ω). Or maybe in Electrocompaniet’s ECM 1 MKll DAC/streamer ($8000)? I’m inclined to believe the secret was in all these factors, as well as in the other parts that made up this system, including an Electrocompaniet EC 4.8 MK2 Reference preamp ($7,000), Harmonic Resolution Systems damping plates and isolation bases ($various), a Tri-Art Audio B-Series equipment stand ($908), and various cables by Nordost and Audio Note ($various).

I loved what I heard in the Altitudo Audio room.

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