The next room used four CH Precision A1.5’s with Vivid Audio GIYA. This room was carefully tuned by specialist Stirling Trayle of Audio Systems Optimized. Now, this system was certainly portraying the CH-typical refinement and transparency fabulously. If ever a box speaker came close to the ideal of sounding close to an electrostatic speaker, then Vivid is it.
The always cheerful Lawrence Dickie with Loris Stehle of CH Precision
These speakers with their Glass reinforced balsa cored sandwich composite enclosure have been designed to have as little coloration as is humanly possible and there’s certainly no coloration that I can hear but still, with all Vivids, there’s a certain character that comes across to me as not quite natural. They can sound absolutely gorgeous, don’t get me wrong, but with some selections, I found them to have a certain lack of “realness”, for lack of a better word. It could be argued that it the absence of MDF-induced colorations that come along with normal enclosures and that one simply has to adjust to this but the same could be said about Magico or YG and their heavy aluminum enclosures. Like any aluminum speaker, these two brands also have a certain recognizable character but to me, they come across as closer to the real thing. Of course, this is also a matter of interpretation and personal preference. In any event, it seems that even when speaker enclosures are made to be incredibly stiff and seem to introduce very little measurable distortion, they may still have a certain influence on the sound. Ahh, you got to love the wonderful world of audio, in which everything is of influence on everything.
Marking the company’s 10-year anniversary, here’s a brand new CH Precision product: the M10 power amplifier using evolved topologies, new components, superior materials, and further refined circuitry… and a lot more of it! The enclosure has the same width as the 1 series but almost double the depth!
Alas, at this time it was not connected and only on display but it will soon be made available.
Double speaker connections.
“This amp will cost you TWO of your kidneys” is probably not what Loris of CH was saying to audio buddy Niels.
Audio buddy JW illustrates just how large the M10 amp is.
JW looking at Niels while he photographs the insides of the new L10 two-piece preamp, with Raphael Pasche on the right.
The L10 preamp offers a choice of adjustable local or global feedback and comes in a choice of three color finishes. Also, it employs the now famous “Red Caps”.
It’s great that Raphael took us on a mini-tour across all the systems that use CH Precision amplification because this allowed us to hear precisely just how chameleon-like these electronics are.
The third room that Raphael took us to was the Apertura room, showcasing the beautiful Apertura Enigma MKII speakers with Grand Prix racks, Grand Prix turntable, and CH Precision amplification.
This system sounded heavenly airy, delicate and extremely refined. No matter what they played the sound was relaxed and never harsh or in your face but always very finely detailed, and so, these beauties must go on the HFA list of show favorites.
CH Precision A1.5 power amp.
The fourth room that used CH Precision electronics for demoing their speakers was the Estelon room. These are the beautiful and brand new Estelon Forza speakers, connected with Kubala Sosna cables, their latest and the highest quality Realization series.
The Forza’s are incredibly articulate, coherent, precise and explicit speakers with superb neutrality. I was impressed even if they could sound a little cool and, with some recordings, slightly hard in the midrange. Maybe they needed more running in?
Here’s Raphael with Alissa and Alfred Vassilkova. Alfred is Estelon Founder and Chief Designer and Alissa is his daughter.
A nice stack of CH Precision equipment: M1.1 power amplifiers and L1 / P1 preamp and phono preamp with D1 transport, C1 DAC and T1 clock generator. The system was topped off with the incredible Kronos Pro turntable with the Black Beauty tonearm and ZYX cartridge. All of the equipment was on Ultimate Line racks from Bassocontinuo.
CH Precision M1.1 amp on Bassocontinuo platform.
The fifth and final room that Raphael took us to is one of my most-liked rooms: the Marten room. Not too long ago, I’ve reviewed the Marten Mingus Quintet and was highly impressed with them but these new Mingus Orchestra big boys truly are something else.
Effortlessly transparent, super-refined and airy, fully full range, highly nimble and superbly coherent, Marten’s new Mingus Orchestra’s cost a whopping 185K. Ouch. Obtainable or not, they rank all the way at the top of the HFA list of show favorites. The smaller models are the new entry level Oscar Trio and Duo.
This concluded our little tour of the CH Precision rooms. Here’s JW, myself, and Raphael Pasche contemplating getting a nice cup of coffee outside.
Moving on, here are the amazing Magico M6 speakers with all MSB electronics. This was a smooth, sonorous and relaxed, slightly dark sound but – make no mistake – with extreme resolution and ultra-transparency. Yup, they are on the HFA Show favorites list.
Beautiful inside view of a VAC preamp