A Fantastic Review & A Fantastic Award from Audio Resurgence!https://audioresurgence.com/2019/11/qln-innuos-vinnie-rossi-and-triode-wire-labs-show-report-from-capital-audiofest-2019.htmlQLN, Innuos, Vinnie Rossi and Triode Wire LabsI was pretty excited when I saw that QLN were going to be at the show this year and even more so when I saw that they were partnered up with Innuos and Vinnie Rossi.
It’s pretty rare to see anything from QLN this side of the pond, they’re a manufacturer of fine loudspeakers based in Sweden, and I think it’s fair to say that they’ve never really gained any traction here in the USA.I’m interested in QLN because I actually own a pair –
purchased new from a dealer in Manchester U.K and transported to the US when I relocated here over 20 years ago.My pair are the QLN Signature Splitfield II, an elegant stand-mount with top quality drivers and an outboard crossover filled with high quality parts.
Anyway, to see these paired at the show with Innuos and Vinni Rossi was a real treat, as all three of these brands interest me for different reasons. Also, I’ve been reading quite a bit about Triode Wire Labs recently, they have a USB cable that I’d like to get my hands on for review – the cable is a split power and data design, which while not unique, appears to have been well executed.So, I was full of anticipation on entering this room, and boy was I amazed at the sound these guys were getting!
The setup included the QLN Prestige Three SE ($12K), Vinni Rossi L2 Signature Edition Integrated Amp (L2i-SE $19K), Innuos Statement Music Server ($13.75K), a GigaWatt PC-4 EVO+ power conditioner ($10K) with Triode Wire Labs’ “Obsession NCF” power cords ($1.4K), “American Speaker Cables” ($700) and “Discrete” USB cable (not the split power/data model).With the QLN’s pulled well out into the room and toed-in towards the center listening seat, the sound was utterly transparent, natural and cohesive and with a midrange purity of tone that few systems at the show could match.
The soundstage was incredibly deep, wide and layered, dissolving the room boundaries in all directions. The ability of this system to render 3-dimensional images was outstanding, with the reproduction of human voice utterly lifelike and palpable.
The speakers are designed for a medium sized room, as was this room, and in this space the bass was accurate, tight, agile and satisfyingly extended.
In fact there wasn’t really anything I could pick out as an obvious weakness.
So kudos to QLN, Innuous and Vinni Rossi for a fantastic sounding system!!
And if you’re wondering how such an enthusiastic endorsement can be made about any system set up in a hotel bedroom – all I can say is that had any component within this system imparted any of its own negative sonic flavoring, it would have been ruthlessly exposed by the revealing nature of the excellent QLN Prestige Three SE.
Which brings me to a point that occurred to me as I was getting ready to wrap up for the day on Friday. It’s really tough to make a judgement on cable performance at an audio show, when pretty much everything you hear emanates from a combination of equipment that you’ve probably never heard before, and it’s all happening in a room that you know is far from ideal.
But I know from my many years’ experience with QLN speakers that they thrive and come alive only when fed by high quality components working synergistically with top quality cables. Yet I’ve had a lot of different high-end gear hooked-up to my QLN’s over the years and they’ve never delivered quite the same degree of sonic transparency that I heard at the show. That tells me everything I need to know about the electronics, and just as importantly, the wire. As far as my ears are concerned, the Triode Wire Labs’ cables imparted no sonic signature of their own on the sound of this system, and took nothing at all away. This impression was supported later in the show when I encountered other top performing systems with…. low and behold…. Triode Wire Labs’ cables.
So I’m dishing out my first award for a manufacturer at Capital Audiofest – and it was the easiest award decision I’ve had to make.
Thanks so much!!!
PS - Triode Wire Labs was in a crazy FIVE
rooms at Capital AudioFest, Rooms 309 & 316 with my normal "partners in audio crime", Volti Audio, featuring their flagship "Vittora" (Room 316) & baby brother "Rival" (Room 309) loudspeakers and BorderPatrol Audio, featuring their acclaimed sublime Control Unit, 300B amplifiers and analogue sounding DACs! We will also featured Innuos music servers.
For a second time, we partnered with fellow AC Sponsor Daedalus Audio in Room 516. Lou featured his Muse/Studio speaker. BorderPatrol Audio provided their 300B amplifier and analogue sounding DAC! We also featured my personal Innuos music server (ZENith Mk. 3).
I teamed up again with another "partner on audio crime" and fellow AC Sponsor, Vinnie Rossi, in Room 528, along with Mark Sossa of Well Pleased AV. Vinnie had his new, beautiful L2i-SE integrated amp coupled with QLN Prestige Three SE loudspeakers and an Innuos Statement Music Server.
Finally, I'm also teamed up once again with Greg Takesh from GT Audio Works and Sound Insight's Steve Rabitz. We were in the huge Frederick Room again. Greg had his full range planar ribbon speakers with Pass Labs electronics, Esoteric K-01X SACD player and Basis Turntable.