JWM Acoustics & Aries Cerat – RMAF 2018

by Eric Shook

It’s been a full year since I first laid ears on the JWM Acoustics ALYSON AML II large monitors and Aries Cerat electronics. This years updated ALYSON AML Signature model features newly designed inner-baffles, updated crossovers that are more in line with their most refined experiments and studio implementations. What this all amounts to is that I still have a sense memory of my first listen, and from there, what I thought couldn’t really get any better — has just done that.

JWM loudspeakers are as much art as they are electronics. Featuring exotics wood species and design options, ordering a custom designed pair from owner and founder Joshua Miles can be a unique experience that further yields unique results.

Joshua Miles has been in the wood game for some time now, moving his operations into what I call “hi-fi art” just seemed a natural fit for someone like Joshua’s talents to bloom. His larger towers like the JANE JKM are gorgeous to look at, along with his smaller monitors the NET-1 being equally as adorable and sexy.

Furthermore JWM Acoustics is also known for making custom turntables like the KAREN and KAREN 12, that look and sound much better than their often plus-$3k priced competition dictates.

What makes his current showstopper — just that — a showstopper, is that the ALYSON AML Signature delivers so much of what others would deem floor-stander performance, but in a balanced and room friendly footprint. Not to mention the gallery level finishes and materials used in its construction.

For the second time I’ve had the privilege to catch JWM ALYSON AML’s powered by Aries Cerat electronics, which take the terms esoteric and meticulous to a whole new level. Aries Cerat featured their Impera II Signature Preamplifier ($82,500 USD) which fed into the understated power of the Aries Cerat Genus, which was used strictly as a power amplifier for the JWM monitors. The Aries Cerat Genus is a class-A SET integrated amplifier that takes topology design cues from Aries Cerat’s much heralded Concero 25 mono-block amplifier, and delivers 25 watts in mode class-A1 and up to 40 watts peak in class-A2. This is a DHT tube integrated amplifier, so tube options are wide open. As for digital, the Kassandra II Reference DAC ($35,000 USD) handled what the Believe High Fidelity Music Server (starting at $4,000 USD) sent it’s way.

Handling analog duties was the exquisite Primary Control Kinea Turntable ($15,500 USD) with Primary Control Reference Tonearm ($9,500 as configured) with Etsuro Urushi Bordeaux MC Cartridge ($8,400 USD).

Once again, everything I expected to hear from the JWM and Aries Cerat combination was there, and yes it could have been one of my best in show rooms once again, but I feel I’d rather leave more opinions than my own repeating to make that statement for me. Few systems in my mind come as close to projecting a solid checklist of everything the audiophile looks for, then with a quick swipe of the pen — check it off.