Our meeting was propitious and totally unexpected. The locus was Los Angeles' Sheraton Gateway Hotel last May, on which we had all descended for Home Entertainment 2006. As a contributor to Stereophile's Show blog, my assignment was as liberal as they come: Go where you are drawn, listen as you will, and record your impressions.
Soon after the doors opened, I headed to the room of longtime Southern California dealer Brooks Berdan Ltd. Seated in the sweet spot, I was delighted to hear irresistibly delicious, remarkably controlled full-range sound. Such an experience is unusual on the first day of an audio show, when most exhibitors are still trying to figure out what sounds best where and how to tame impossible bass humps. But in Berdan's room, music didn't simply sound attractive and right, it sounded positively seductive.
The system consisted of a Jadis CD player used as a transport driving a Jadis D/A converter via Pierre Gabriel cable; a VPI Aries 3 turntable with a Benz LP cartridge; VTL's TL-7.5 Series 2 line-stage preamplifier, TP-6.5 phono preamplifier, and prototype MB-450 Signature autobias monoblocks; Wilson Audio Specialties Sophia Series 2 speakers; Cardas Golden Reference cables; and RPG room treatments. CDs and LPs both sounded wonderful.
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Neil McCauley / editor in chief