Roald Mikkelsen at Renaissance Audio is a master of making great event for customers and HiFi enthusiasts. This time he had invited Peter Djordjevic in Audio Freaks, which is an importer of several HiFI brands, including Avalon and Jeff Rowland. Peter is a significant player in Norwegian HiFi industry, a person with fearless points of view, including authoreing an article as guest writer here in Audiophile.no .
Avalon is a speaker we have become acquainted with many times before, both at Støletorget and in the Horten HiFi fair. It has previous been larger models in Avalon`s range, like the four times as expensive Avalon Compas that we listened to about a year ago .
This time it was the smallest model in Avalon`s range of floor-standing speakers, Avalon Idea at NOK 89.000, -. Not a small speaker, although it does not reach up to the close to extreme's brothers in the family. It is a 4 Ohms speaker with sensitivity at 88 dB, and is armed with a 25mm dome tweeter and two seven-inches for midrange / bass.
For drive\ing these Peter had chosen another product in his range, the amplifier Jeff Rowland Continuum S2 . This is a really powerful integrated amplifier that provides 2x400 Watt into 8 ohms with class D operation, an effect that doubles in 4 ohms.
The preamp in Continuum S2 based on the topology of the preamplifier Capri 2. It is possible to supplement with a RIAA- or DAC module, and the sample in this demonstration had a DAC module on board. Continuum S2 costs NOK 109.000, - without this module, whereas you have to add another five thousand (NOK) extra to get the DAC module.
Above all this was the CD player Metronome Technologie CD8T Signature. A topploadet player with tubes and USB input for use as a USB DAC. In the part of Saturday's demo that I was involved in, the CD8T Signature was used as a pure transport, with the signal sent digitally to the DAC in Jeff Rowland.
When I arrived Solveig Slettahjell was singing via the CD Silver. An incredibly great recording that has been used several times before on demos at Renaissance Audio.
In this setup there was served a very large soundstage, with a width which stretched far beyond the speakers.
Erich Kunzel was next out with a hybrid SACD (CD layer was played) there including Fanfare for a Common Man was played, a work which, incidentally, has been interpreted by Emerson Lake & Palmer in the 70s. Also here there was a huge sound, and with good depth.
Miles Davis's recording Seven Steps to Heaven is interesting, the first one after one of Miles's many periods below par, and successor of Quiet Nights - perhaps MD`s worst album ever which was released against his will. Seven Steps to Heaven has not previously been among my favorite albums from MD, but this is the second time I hear it played with brilliant sound at Støletorget. Especially the rendition of Miles's trumpet was great.
A locally produced version of Prokofiev's Romeo & Juliet surprised, as it was a Brass arrangement performed by our local Eikanger Bjørsvik Brass Band, released at Naxos.
Very great music indeed, but the sound was not quite among the very best.
Bruce Springsteen closed the part of the show I was attending, and was performed with very great punch.
Thanks to Roald and Peter for giving an audio and music experience.