Stereophile – CH Precision, Ideon, Magico, and more from Audio-Ultra
As much as I attempted to skip equipment we’d recently explored in Chicago, Munich, and/or Costa Mesa, my uncertainty about the intrinsic sound of CH Precision Series 1 equipment impelled me to check out their exhibit from greater Seattle dealer Audio-Ultra. While not everything in the system was from CH Precision—Ideon supplied the Absolute Epsilon DAC ($47,000), Absolute Epsilon Stream ($19,900), and Absolute Epsilon Time Signature V clock ($22,000), all of which complemented Aurender’s N20 music server ($12,500)—there was sufficient CH Precision equipment in the chain to draw some conclusions.
Listening to Miles Davis’s beautiful “Autumn Leaves,” ripped from MQA CD and heard in DXD format, revealed sound far more illumined than I heard at T.H.E. Show. A Red Book stream of Dutch songstress Sevdaliza’s “Human,” sourced from Qobuz and streamed via an AT&T hotspot, sounded extremely clean and maximally alive. I’m not convinced by the percussion on Pierre Boulez’s recording of Mahler Symphony No.3, heard in 24/88.2—so many other Mahler recordings capture the timpani’s resonance, undertones, and decay far better—but the top sounded extremely alive and the midrange true. In addition, once the volume was turned up to levels sufficient to do a full symphony orchestra justice, depth, air, and soundstaging were excellent.
The BEST of the BEST. This slogan is more about our attitude looking at high-end audio as a whole. We realize there are a lot of great products out there, as well as the selection of brands we are trusted to represent, and herein lies the difference: A high-end audio system isn’t a system until it’s unboxed, properly mounted, properly connected, and meticulously positioned in your room. At Audio-Ultra, installation is not an afterthought, it’s our passion, and you will see this is a UNIQUE TRAIT in today’s audio environment.