Another outstanding room that earns my AXPONA Top 10 Award is award for Merrill Audio mated with the Reference 3A stand-mounted speakers. It is no secret that for nearly two decades(!) have loved the 3A monitors, and their new Reflector ($12,000) continues their excellence. In fact was at TAVES in Canada last year and another magazine reviewer was enjoying what he was hearing and so asked him if he ever reviewed any of Reference 3A speakers. Since he said no, i highly recommended he do so.
Then we have Merrill Audio, a company that has earned many awards for their high-end audio amplification. Their Cara preamplifier ($3500) is reasonably priced for the sound quality it delivers. Of course Merrill Audio amps, VERITAS monoblocks to be exact ($12,000), easily drove the Reflector monitors. Of course you need an outstanding source and so Emm Labs' DAC2X ($15,000) fit the bill nicely. Cabling was Merrill Audio ANAP ($1099) and Nordost USB ($600). Rackin' up the gear on Stillpoints' rack ($10,000) was a smart move.
As you'd expect, the sound was very dynamic, clean and fast! The Reflector monitors threw an enveloping soundscape. Bass down to sane levels was tight and tuneful, yet just 'relaxed' enough to sound natural. Ok, that might have read a bit weird, yet have you ever heard bass that seem too tight, and thus comes off as fake? Me too, and the Emm Labs, Merrill Audio and Reference 3A Reflector produced a sense of relaxed realism. it is one of those all-day listenable system that keeps you emotionally involved within the music. Bravo!