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Not Too Many Notes In This Case

The DCS Scarlatti CD player and Brinkman Balance turntable, arm and cartridge were a formidable front end in one of the Singer rooms. VTL's TL-6.5 tube preamp and TP-6.5 phonostage gently handed off the signal to a VTL Reference S-400 stereo tube amp. The big surprise for me was the speaker system at the end of this audio reproduction chain. Escalante Design's Fremont speaker had an unusual two toned finish that made me think palomino pony. The speaker was very boxy, very unconventional by modern aesthetics, but boy, this speaker was blessed with a beautiful tonal range with powerful but controlled bass. Big well designed tubes amps like the VTLs will do that.

A cover of "Bright Shiny Day" performed by Holly Cole on CD and a Mark Knopfler song (didn't catch the name) on vinyl sounded especially good (though there some noticeable hiss from the phonostage). No idea on the prices, but I heard the DCS Scarlatti alone is over $60,000. I guess, I you have to ask . . .

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