CD Recommendation: Sokolov Salzburg Recital
Last Saturday, after yumcha, I met up with friends WSS and icefox, users of Quad ESL-2812 and ESL-2905 (my visits here). WSS had told me how much he liked the Quad ESL-2912 of 盧華煇, aka ML, whom we re-visited (for me, after more than 3 years; link to last visit.)
As usual for our host, his mega-system has changed much. Since my last visit, top-end Raidho, JBL 66000 and Magico M7 had come and go, among others. One of the reasons for my visit is because he is soon to renovate his audio room, a gargantuan effort to gain some height. Update on his gears (I cannot guarantee accuracy):
Vinyl 1 - Clearaudio Statement-Goldfinger Statement
Vinyl 2 - Continuum Caliburn-Cobra arm-VdH ?Colibri
Vinyl 3 - Linn LP-12 Lingo, with Akiva cartridge and built-in Urika phonostage.
Phonopreamp - Clearaudio Statement Phono
Digital System 1 - dCS 4-piece Vivaldi
Digital System 2 - Audio Note UK CDT-6/ Sixth Element
Preamp/amps - Soulution 725/701 monoblocks
Speakers - Quad ESL-2912
Brief Impressions and Comments
- It was easily the best sound I have heard at ML's. The sound had a coherence that escaped many of the larger speakers he had before (see my previous visits).
- Sound was smooth and refined (but not overly so.) imho, although I am not an ss user, Soulution is a brand that I have usually liked. The ambience and beautifully recorded piano sound of the Sokolov recital was faithfully rendered (this disc is a must-buy, also available in vinyl).
- I only heard the Audio Note Digital System 1, priced at double that of the dCS Vivaldi! Surely an overkill? The 3-box Sixth Element cannot even be found on the net, but if you are curious, you can read Martin Collom's Review of CDT6/Fifth Element.
- For me, the 2912 is by far the best ESL I have heard. It has addressed most of the problems that bothered me about earlier ESL's. Its tall and fleshy image and good dynamics earn my praise, and would be the ESL I would own should I go that way.