Well, the dust is starting to settle from our trip to the West Coast. So I thought I'd share a few thoughts...
The Newport show equipment started with our StreamPlayer feeding a Lampizator 7-Lite DAC ($6000) using 300B tubes. The Lampizator featured a passive volume control and also served as a preamp. This fed a Wells Audio Innamorata Signature amp ($15000). Dana Cables provided their $9000 per pair Ultra Summa 2AWG speaker cables and we rounded out the system with a pair of Exotica 3's.
Since this was the first time we showed with most of this upstream equipment, it is difficult to say what each of the various components contributed to the overall sound. But if I had to guess, I would say that the 300B tubes had the most impact on the sound quality.
Many audiophiles feel the 300B represents the ultimate in terms of tube technology. We rolled quite a few tubes (300B's, 2A3's, 101D's, 6A3's etc. from a number of manufacturers - some NOS, some new) and each imparted its own character to the sound. Yet all of them imparted that classic 300B type character to one extent or another. If that is the type of sound you prefer, I think we had it in spades.
This was a very large show and reviewers had a lot to digest. Many of them tend to concentrate on more main-stream brands. So I wouldn't expect a whole lot in terms of reports on our room. But here are a few comments:
Stereophile - Sasha Matson:
"The Salk loudspeaker is a very impressive multiple-driver piece of kit, throwing out a huge amount of full-range sound. Perhaps a bit too much for the room here, but given a proper space to work in, it delivers the goods, and then some—and all the upstream elements are playing their part as well."
"Salk/Lampi: Jim Salk has gone in a different direction with this higher efficiency speaker and was rewarded. Very open, musical sound for 12k. As far as how much the Lampi influence was? I wouldn’t pretend to know."
Bruce B (StereoMojo reviewer):
"The Salk/Lampi room that I heard was just the best digital possible. I wasn't too familiar with the electronics/speakers, so trying to gauge what the Lampi was doing is just a crap shot. But you can certainly tell when a digital system does something bad. The Salk/Lampi room was another Oasis that I could sit and listen to for a long time!"
Vihn from Ginko Audio (distributor of Dana Cables) is nice enough to send links to comments and reviews as they come it. There will probably be more and I will update this thread when they are available.