Ryan Speakers, PASS Labs and PS Audio – The Show 2018

There are many pairs of things that provide a greater value together than apart. Peanut butter and jelly, Jack and Coke, Jamo and Ginger…well a lot cheap drinks really. The one thing I like the most at audio shows is detail + tone, and Ryan speakers in room 315 at THE SHOW in Irvine nailed it with their new pair of S Series S610 bookshelves ($4k).

Recently unveiled at Munich, the new S Series standmount is not even up on the company site yet – but bigger brother S840 floor stander is. Showing with a PASS labs integrated, PS Audio Directstream DAC and AQ Niagara 5000 power conditioner the full rig was impressive to say the least. Now it should be noted that the PASS Labs INT-250 ($12k) is a bit spicier than the $4k pair of speakers, but that was not what was originally intended for the room. Due to a mixup, the more reference amplifier made its way to the show, but it clearly helped push the two-way speaker to a fuller potential.

The sound was absolutely delightful with equal parts delight partitioned to both transparency and a sonic texture. Its a balance that brings out the best in music and every tune played through the space greeted the ears with sharp imaging left to right. The beryllium tweeter did its part to convey as much information as possible without over stepping its bounds into a harsh or shill cadence. A female cover of Georgia On My Mind featured crisp, tight vocal recreation though the audiophile system with reach southward that was above par for a bookshelf-style loudspeaker. While not as deep as a dedicated subwoofer, the expanse was very pleasant and musical Рbut most appropriately Рbalanced along with the rest of the frequency range presented. A show highlight for me.