Francois LeMay gave us the tour of the very impressive looking system that he had set up in his room. The analog source comprised of the Kronos Pro turntable ($49,000), Kronos SCPS-1 PSU power supply ($13,500), the Black Beauty tone arm ($12,500), and the ZYX Omega phono cartridge ($9700). The digital source was made up of the Baetis Audio Reference X server and the Merging Technologies Nadac ST2 DAC ($13,000). Amplification was provided by the Tenor Audio Phono 1 phono preamp ($65,000), Tenor Audio Line 1 line preamp ($126,500), and Tenor Audio 350M mono blocks ($165,000/pair). The speakers were the KEF Blades ($40,000). Cabling was all provided by Inakustik and totaled to $36,660. Inakustik also supplied the three power conditioners which cost $4500 each. The equipment sat on Modulum Audio platforms that together, retailed for $31,700. The retail price of this whole system totaled to a sobering $589,960.
So what does half a million plus Dollars in equipment sound like? Quite impressive! The female vocals were rendered with great presence and a lot of emotion whereas the choral tracks sounded amazingly close to the real thing.
Lemay Audio occupied the Sutton C ballroom with 'if you have to ask' Tenor electronics, Baetis source and Kronos table fronting huge KEF Blades. This was a total dream system brought for our collective listening enjoyment. It filled the hall with ease and absolute authority. Those with small rooms need not apply. This was geared to palatial abodes.
This Montreal dealer occupied one of the biggest rooms at the show. Their system featured full Tenor Audio tube gear driving KEF Blade 2 speakers with Kronos Audio Pro turntable complete with SCPS power supply as the analog source. Digital front consisted of Merging+Nadac Network Attached DAC. Cabling was provided by Inakustik cables from Germany.
I have had the Tenor Audio Amplifier and Pre-amp before in my own system. Jim Fairhead and David Johann had brought them over to my house after the TAVES 2016 show. To this day, they have been the finest sounding amp and preamp to have powered by the system.
Yet, the sound of the Tenor system power the KEFs did not impress me as much as Tenor did in my own system. Here is a case where the finest sounding equipment can underperform at shows, probably taxed by the ginormous room which proved to be a little difficult for the KEF Blades.
Kronos Pro Turntable: $ 49,500
Kronos SCPS-1 PSU Power Supply $ 13,500
Black Beauty Tonearm: $ 12,500
ZYX Omega Premium Cartridge: $ 9,700
Baetis Audio Reference X Server: $ 12,900
Merging - Nadac ST2 Stereo DAC: $ 12,900
Tenor Audio Phono 1 Preamp: $ 65,000
Tenor Audio Line 1 Preamp: $ 126,500
Tenor Audio 350M HP Amp Pair: $ 165,500
Kef Blade Loudspeaker: $ 40,000
Total: $ 508,100
If you add on the cables and racks, you will need to add another $ 80,000 to the price.