by Eric Shook
Steven Norber is the founder, designer, and “Mr. Everything” of PranaFidelity. PranaFidelity manufacturers speakers, electronics, and excellent sound. This however isn’t Steven’s first rodeo in the electronics industry, he co-founded EDGE Electronics and lead it to great success.
Prana’s Bhava stand-mount have made quite a splash in the industry since my first hearing them at Axpona in the spring. The Bhava is a true competitor for full-range sound in a much smaller package. A true two-way MTM array, with dual six-inch woofers and a single 1¼-inch tweeter. Easily driven, these forty-pound monitors deliver the mass and force of much larger towers. Prana’ also makes the Purna/Ca and Purna/Ma, a combination of electronics with relentless grip on control and power. The Pruna/Ma is a true dual-mono stereo amplifier producing 400 watts at 8Ω (700w/4Ω, 1200w/2Ω), and the Pruna/Ca is a preamplifier with true dual-mono power supplies.
The first time I heard the PranaFidelity sound, I was knocked off my rocker. This was even before I heard the prices. It was my nomination for best-in-show sound at Axpona. However, now here at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest it is the first time I’m hearing the Prana sound with both vinyl and half-inch reel-to-reel tape.
Listening to YELLO! on the Pure Fidelity turntable, produced new insight as to what Steven’s electronic creations are capable of. Boris Blank’s love of extreme dynamics and mixture of natural and synthetic instruments was not lost on me. Playing at volumes elsewhere would incite flinching in the audience, loudspeakers, and electronics. The Bhava’s were driven hard, but always in control.
Moving to something more delicate, we load up the half-inch tape, provided by the industry famous Charles King and take a trip back to 1958, for what I remember being a classical Christmas tune, of which name I forgot to jot down, but the sweet and delicate nature of the recording was intact. Nothing about this experience lead me to believe that this was the same system that was rocking out just a few minutes ago. The Prana’ system had the ability to become a dynamic beast when called upon, and the gentle lamb all within the same hour.
It’s rooms like Steven’s which keep me excited about audio shows. Steven is not a newcomer to the game of high-end audio, and those in the know, know him and his work well. However, anytime I can discover something for myself, and give it due justice in the audiophile press — I am more than happy to do so.
PranaFidelity loudspeakers and electronics hold pedigree status as much as anything on display at the show, and should be in your strong consideration for any system that seeks durability, sonic texture, and lineage.
Pioneer: PranaFidelity modified Pioneer PD-65 CD player
Wyred 4 Sound: PranaFidelity modified Wyred 4 Sound DAC-2
Pure Fidelity: Eclipse turntable w/Maestro Speed Controller Outboard Linear Power Supply.
Retail price: $2,995
Acoustic Signature: TA-1000 tonearm.
Retail price: $1,795
Pure Fidelity + Acoustic Signature
Combination price: $4495
Benz-Micro: Ebony low output cartridge.
Retail price: $3,995
Shelter: model 5000 moving coil cartridge.
Retail price: $1,995
PranaFidelity model: purna/ca
Balanced w/ phono $9,950
Purna pre: single ended w/ phono $8,500
Purna pre: balanced line stage $5,950
Purna pre: single ended line stage $4,500
PranaFidelity model: purna/ma Switchable Balanced (XLR), Single Ended (RCA) inputs
Retail price: $8,950
PranaFidelity model: Bhava loudspeaker + oem stands (by Sound Anchor)
Retail price: $4,950 (Stands: $698)
Equipment Rack by PranaFidelity