Which is not to say there isn’t shock and awe to be had. There’s the eye-catching Göbel Divin Noblesse loudspeakers, for starters, flanking a pair of stacked M10 power amplifiers. Oh, and a pair of (currently unemployed) M1.1 power amps resting alongside, just in case you want to compare them to the flagship models, or use a (slightly) less extravagant set-up. Besides which, having struggled with their A1.5 baby brother, I suspect that they’re just too heavy to move. The amps sit on precisely levelled platforms, Italian Solidsteel legs mated to locally produced plywood shelves, routed out to better accommodate the amplifiers’ feet. So there’s plenty to catch your eye, neither the Göbel nor the stack of six CH amplifier boxes being what you might call discreet or unassuming.
The Nordost Odin 2 cabling hooking all these together also trails off to more Solidsteel/plywood racking standing on the left side wall, stacked with source components and pre-amplification. Recently having been used for extended testing of and listening to the P10 phono-stage (launched earlier this year in Munich and just starting to be delivered) a P10/L10 combination is being fed by a TechDas Air Force 3PS with Thales Statement tonearm and an X-quisite ST cartridge, with its one-piece ceramic cantilever and coil armature arrangement. Look behind the rack and it’s Odin 2 as far as the eye can see. In fact, every single cable in this system is drawn from Nordost’s flagship line – with a single exception: the network cables that attach the SOtM switch to the C1.2 DAC are Valhalla 2, because there are no network cables in the Odin family!
So, pretty unimpeachable ancillaries and supporting componentry, which all goes to reinforce my growing awareness of CH Precision’s clarity of purpose. The total consistency of supports and cabling is unusual to say the least. The care that’s been lavished on dressing the cables and levelling both the racks and then the individual components, the use of Silent Mount SM3 titanium couplers between the 10 Series titanium spikes and the supporting surfaces all suggest that no stone has been left unturned when it comes to eliminating unexpected variables intruding on the listening experience. Somehow, this no longer surprises me. So naturally, they’re not going to rely on a single system either, in case equipment interactions distort the developmental results. Nor does the Company want to become too closely associated with any particular partner, keen as it is to stress the universal nature of its products – perhaps the true sense of the over-used audio phrase, “Swiss neutrality”. The Göbel Divin Noblesse can be replaced with the rather more ‘real world’ Magico S1 Mk.2s or, for a complete change of emphasis, Wilson Alexx Vs, with or without Watchdog subs. Stenheim speakers are regular visitors, while there are complete sets of Chord Co. Sarum T and Argento cables available too. There’s also a second turntable on the rack, a ‘standard’ AirForce 3 with Thales Simplicity arm and EMT cartridge. Digital files are held on a NAS drive located elsewhere in the office, routed to the C1.2 via the previously mentioned SOtM sNH-10G network switch with its matching linear power supply.