The StereoTimes Most Wanted Components
Martin Appel
1 July 2001

The InnerSound ESL has got to be one of the all-time bargains in high-end audio: a 300-watt-per-channel amp with macro and micro dynamics, delicacy to spare, with total neutrality unlike any solid-state amp I know of, even at five times the price. Weíre talkiní about $3,000! If fidelity to the recorded event is what you want, then this is the amp for you. If youíre used to a romanticized sound, it isnít.

The Sunfire Theater Grand II Processor went into my system as a DAC and has never left. The amazing thing is that it costs as much as some top stand-alone DACs but itís so much more: full function preamp, including phono, AM-FM tuner, and surround-sound processor, plus scads of options, including one of my favorites, sub woofer management via remote control. Iím currently using the Sunfire True Woofer Signature model. Review upcoming. Did you say a musical sound with full detail, accurate spatial presentation, and dynamics that make you smile? Then check out this unit. I just received from Sunfireís Randy Bingham a flash memory chip with a CD ROM as an upgrade. Any future upgrades will be achieved with additional CD ROMs. Look for a follow-up.

What ties these pieces together, you ask. The work of the Zen Master, Robert Lee of Acoustic Zen. Others on staff have written rave reviews about his cables. If ever there were components belonging on a most wanted list, these are it. AZís Krakatoa power cords will astound you. They free the system of grunge. Satori speaker cables bring the music to life like none I've experienced. The MC2=Zen digital cable astounds with its detail retrieval across the spectrum. And last, those amazing interconnects, the Silver Reference. Before you change another component, if you really want to know what your system can do, get these cables. The smile will not come off your face.