Things started heating up at the MoFi room on the 8th floor of the Summit tower about noon on Friday. Looking a bit like Johnny Cash, the room tempered unwanted reflections with head to toe black fabric. The sound was well placed and came courtesy of a very modern and inviting playlist.
Spinning vinyl via an AVID Sequel turntable ($10k) and digital via TAD D1000 SACD player/DAC ($16k), the company brought a pair of TAD Evolution One floor standers ($35k) in place of the Quad’s that were on display in Los Angeles. The TAD’s held their own in the smaller room and didn’t put up too much of a fuss with the space they were placed in.
The room offered up plenty of extension both directions with a hearty serving of low end control but most of the gear has already seen the light of day at some point. The “new stuff” was quietly resting on the entryway desk near the door.
The new Artera Play line stage with built-in DAC and CD transport ($2,199) and Artera Stereo power amplifier ($2,299) made their US debut with some pretty sleek styling coupled to a somewhat modest price point (for the high end). MoFi’s Jonathan Derda gave me the scoop on the Artera’s latest updates.
“Artera honors the Quad tradition but is also a giant leap into the future. It combines cutting edge digital decoding with support for formats like DSD256 and 32/384, while also giving customers who aren’t ready for computer audio a way to enjoy their vast CD collections with a built-in asynchronous CD transport. Unlike a lot of HiFi components it’s incredibly simple to use, it’s beautiful to look at and it just gets out of the way to let you enjoy the music.”
The new Stereo amplifier touts a feature referred to as current dumping. From the Quad site:
Artera Stereo incorporates QUAD’s patented current dumping technology developed by QUAD’s founder Peter Walker. One of the few truly innovative amplifier topologies, it is essentially a combination of two amplifiers that give the best of both Class A and Class B operation. The current dumping circuit consists of a very high quality class A low-power amp which provides the finesse of the music signal, while a high-power current dumping section provides the grip to keep the speakers under control. These two amplifier circuits are combined via a precision bridgenetwork to perfectly impose the clarity and musicality of the class A output onto the power of the current dumper.
The new pieces weren’t available for audition during my visit, but I was impressed by the straightforward styling and execution of the pair. The glass top is easily removed for stacking multiple competent together.
Overall a well put together room with good sound and a great setlist (no Diana Krall or acoustic Hotel California this time around).