AOM Logo January 2006   

by Anthony Kershaw

Best of Show: Hansen Audio/Redpoint Audio Design/VAC This was a very special room where all the equipment, including dCS digital gear and Transparent cables, blended to make a very satisfying whole. The new Hansen Audio The Prince loudspeaker was making its debut and being sung to the rafters by the fantastic Redpoint Audio Design Model A 'table with Tri-Planar MK VII arm and the relatively inexpensive Phase-Tech cartridge. It is enough to say for me that this combination played exquisitely satisfying music; light and dark, and all the multitude shades of grey in between. Power and energy were there when required -- even when played at tremendous volume in a small space, the soundstage and imaging never suffered. The vocal and instrumental timbre were absolutely top notch.

I got to sit in the sweet spot for extended periods. A real treat. Sometime on the last day, an older gentleman dropped in (the room was always full with eager listeners) -- I asked if he would care to sit in the center stage armchair. He said an appreciative 'yes thank you' and sat down with a plastic bag of old LSCs. He asked if he could listen to Poulenc's Organ Concerto, a fantastic recording in Boston's Symphony Hall -- the LP was original and mint! After the crushing chords of the Introduction, a more gentle and melodious section begins. It was during this time that a sound so beautiful caused the gentleman to quietly remove his glasses and wipe away a tear. The greatness of the performance and all its concomitant emotion was heard so clearly via the Hansen Audio speakers. A great room filled with great gear. Congratulations!