Magnepan and Rogue Audio

Rogue Audio’s Nick Fitzsimmons and Bill Magerman ran a room that operated smoothly and sounded smooth. It featured a Technics SL-1210G turntable ($4299) with an Ortofon 2M Black LVB 250 cartridge ($1099), as well as a Hifi Rose RS150B Streamer ($4995), both front ends feeding a Rogue Audio RP-5 v2 preamplifier ($3995) and class-D–hybrid Rogue Audio DragoN monoblock amplifiers ($5995/each), which are capable of putting out 325/525Wpc into 8/4 ohms. Speakers were the Magnepan 2.7i panels ($5995/pair). Cables were by Cardas.

The upgraded Rogue Audio RP-5 v2 preamplifier features a new volume control circuit plus a new phono stage taken from the Rogue Triton II phono preamp. Four user-adjustable levels of gain ranging from 43dB to 65dB are available, making the RP-5 suitable for a wide range of cartridges. The RP-5 v2 also features a home theater bypass, a processor loop, and a mono function. The RP-5 v2’s display has also been upgraded to an easy-to-read OLED display with improved contrast; it can be turned off when not in use. The soft blue display provides “volume, balance and source information in large easy to read characters,” Rogue’s press release said.

Relative to the room size, this system put out a massive soundstage: the widest, deepest, and tallest I heard at AXPONA.

Steely Dan’s “Babylon Sisters” streamed with massive scale and presence. Via vinyl, East LA’s War performed their standout 1970s hits, “Summer” and “Slippin’ into Darkness,” sounding super engaging and lifelike with choogling good drive, sharp transients with snappy cowbells and congas, and punch and grandeur appropriate to these musical masters of the universe.

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