Crown Mountain Imports/Audio by Mark Jones/ProAc/Luxman/Trilogy/Portento
It’s the first music I heard in the morning and the last I heard come evening, after doing my last round of the day of room-to-room visits: Pink Floyd, courtesy my neighbor, two doors down from me in the Crown Mountain Imports/Audio by Mark Jones room. I like Pink Floyd, so it was all good. And it’s not like my neighbor only played Pink Floyd. Pink Floyd just seemed to bookend the listening days there, probably to provide both a boost of encouragement and a respite for the host. I was also intrigued by the sound in that room, because even though I’d only heard the music it played through my wall or from the hallway as I scurried by but slowed down just enough to steal a peak inside my neighbor’s room, it always somehow sounded better than I thought it should.
It was the last room I visited yesterday, where I met retailer Crown Mountain Imports’s proprietor, Mike Willhelm, who was the man responsible for the constant stream of Pink Floyd music. And by stream I don’t mean in the modern sense. Forget Tidal or FLAC files from a USB thumb drive. Mike was playing Pink Floyd CDs from the 1980s. And yet, the sound still shined like a diamond, albeit perhaps a slightly unpolished one due to the less than stellar-sounding source material, with a deep soundstage, clear separation of instruments and good imaging, and a musicality that I was able to sink into and just enjoy.
Every component in the system was also gorgeous to behold. I didn’t think I’d ever seen a prettier pair of ProAc speakers as the one here, the standmount PK1 ($12,475/pair) in the premium Tamo Ash finish. At the other end of the chain was Luxman’s flagship D-10X SACD/CD player/DAC ($23,095), which can also support actual streams of hi-rez PCM and DSD via its USB port.
The 135Wpc Trilogy Audio Systems 925 hybrid integrated amp ($22,990) and Isol-8 SubStation Integra power conditioner ($5400) complete the picture. Both companies, Trilogy Audio Systems and Isol-8, were founded by Nic Poulson, co-founder of power conditioner manufacturer Isotek before he split ways with his partner to strike out on his own. All cabling was by Portento Audio from Italy.
(All prices in Canadian dollars unless otherwise noted.)
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