Few exhibits have created such a buzz in the audio show circus like the most recent one with Well Pleased AV. The star components of the exhibit: Vinnie Rossi’s L2 ‘Signature Edition’ Integrated Amplifier ($18,995 USD) and QLN Prestige Three SE Loudspeakers ($12,000 pr USD), and Innuos Statement Music Server (1TB SSD – $13,750 USD). Not to be overshadowed or outdone, as everything matters in the system, SGR’s Model 5 Symphony Statement Equipment Rack ($3,200 per shelf), GigaWatt’s PC-4 EVO+ Power Conditioner with LC-3HC ($10K), and a full loom of Triode Wire Labs cables.
The buzz started with Vinnie Rossi’s debut of the L2i-SE Integrated at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest back in September of this year, which can be read in excruciating detail HERE. The L2i-SE was a hotly anticipated release with the success of the separates that preceded it almost a full year earlier.
This time around at Capital Audiofest, I brought more friends to bare witness to the awesomeness that is the small system. Mind you, exhibit systems that usually create this kind of buzz, often are much more to look at in terms of size and dollar signs. Take the sprawling VAC/Von Schweikert/TheAudioCompany exhibit that is still making the rounds — that’s an exhibit that could charge a separate admission fee, and still pack the rooms. It’s a $1.4M exhibit in gear cost alone. Yet here we are, fawning just as much for what is one of the most spartan rooms at the show. Not even a rubber ficus tree in sight.
What really struck everyone with surprise at RMAF and CAF was the overall authority of the small two-way, two-driver towers from QLN. The physical time alignment of the drivers is probably the most exotic sonic feature of the towers. Otherwise, it’s just one of the best executions of a simple straightforward design, with ultimately the highest quality of materials and components.
How’s it all sound? During our time visiting the Well Pleased AV room we put the system up to a real test with our more than qualified “golden-ears” Dave McNair, who will be joining the Part-Time Audiophile writers staff very shortly. He may even scribble out a piece or two for Audio-Head. Who knows? Dave is quick to know if he’s heard something good, and if there are flaws. In ultra-rare fashion, he turns to us after 45-seconds and utters one phrase: “It’s perfect.”
by Eric Franklin Shook