The WADAX website has this to
say about their newest loudspeaker in their La Pasion active
loudspeaker system "Only a source is required to complete
the system. Each driver is independently powered. DACs
inside each La Pasión loudspeaker have a specifically
designed current output stage to directly drive the tweeter
with no degradation of the DAC performance. Individual
400-watt Wadax digital amps drive the midrange and woofer
modules. Additionally, binding posts are provided to
externally amplify the midrange drivers if desired. All of
the electronics including amplification and digital to
analogue processing are contained in the mechanically
isolated aluminum module at the bottom of the loudspeaker.
The La Pasión also incorporates an analog input for use with
I originally heard the
WADAX 1.5 speakers ($70k) at the Munich Show back in 2010
and awarded them among the Best Sounds at the show
(see my report
here). Though on the expensive side, the overall
sound was stellar with a remarkable sense of resolution. I
had issues with regard to the bass if I recall. On certain
tracks, I felt as if the bass or balance was just a tad too
light in the pants. I hoped they'd improve on that with the
La Pasion system. Uh oh. On the first track of my sampler
disc featuring Pyon Threadgil's enchantingly sweet sounding
Wishing Well, was where I noticed the right speaker making a
mechanical noise that was easily discernable from my
listening seat (10 to 12 feet away). In fact, it wouldn't go
away until Rick Brown of HiFi One, who serves as WADAX's US
importer, cued up his tape or vinyl rig. This could have
easily been the CD player's output voltage causing an issue
or the DSP settings. Nevertheless, it was evident no matter
how much I tried to like the sound.
Fortunately, the La Pasion
was quite impressive when switched out from the CD source.
The La Pasion retails for $107k, which really isn't a lot
when you consider you're purchasing a system minus a source.
That's loudspeakers, amplifiers, preamp (with a phono card)
and cables included. The one downside, and it's a big one
too, is you lose the ability to mix and match your
components. Taking away an audiophile's ability to "play
around" is impossible if not downright unlawful. On the
other hand, demanding music connoisseurs would probably love
the La Pasion. As much as I would qualify myself a music
lover first, there's still a lot of audiophile left in me
too. I love having options too I guess.
Scaena loudspeakers ($100k) sounded really good through an
all-tube Conrad Johnson setup. Unfortunately, too much talk
was going on for me to elaborate on the sound to a degree I
would feel comfortable. But from the brief moment I did have
to listen, the sound was as good as I remembered: which
means excellent. Their setup usually means you get a sense
of space that is really impressive. I've always been a fan
of the Scaena sound.
really have to admire the type of finish they chose for this
$115k is yet another crazy price tag high-end audio Swedish
loudspeaker manufacturer Perfect8 has stuck on a pair of
their all glass loudspeakers called the Point Mk IIs. Driven
to near perfection by Bridge Audio Laboratory (BA Labo)
electronics from Japan, including a Zanden model 2000P
transport, I was impressed by the sound of this room and
would also qualify it as among the Best Sounds this year.
However, I awarded their reference $325k Force loudspeaker
my choice for Best Sound four years in a row! As good as the
Point Mk II's performed, I felt ultimately, they could not
live up to my high expectations of its larger sibling in the
areas of ultra ease, dynamic scale and volume. Duly noted,
the one thing these speakers obviously do have in common -
perhaps because their both made of tempered glass? - is an
ultra-low noise floor and the ability to get out of the way
and allow the music through in a way that is most uncommon.
Impressive to no end but AGAIN... too damn expensive.
CES 2012 Sponsor
Kondo room did sound "spectacular" as Key Kim stated in his
earlier report (here).
I also agree that this room sounded better than last year as
I recall. I do know the Kondo sound is one of purity and
delicacy first and foremost. In this room existed a purity
and musical ease that was absent or hardly noticeable in the
other setups. I can see why it's so easy to fall in love
with these components. The Kondo sound is most certainly an
addictive one. Maybe the purist sound I heard at the
show and anywhere else for that matter. Certainly among the
Best Sounds this year!
you enjoyed the show report. I most certainly did. Until