State Of Play – Part Two

The Sasha DAW presents a familiar yet subtly distinctive profile

That ability to trace tiny shifts in level, the nuances and musical accents with which a player shapes their performance, gives the sonic fabric an incredibly fine weave. It’s able to project Suzanne Vega as a solid, communicative and convincing presence. It separates the bass drum and timps on the Dorati Pictures, each distinct in placement, pitch and texture. It scales the mounting crescendos of the Barbirolli Sibelius 2 with enthusiasm and a rewarding lack of constraint. It breathes life into performers and their performances, letting them stand apart from the system and the speakers. In many ways it is the very model of a high-end system – both in the sense that not one of these products is at (or in most cases, close to) the top of its manufacturer’s range, but that they all embody more (much, much more) than a taste of the best available. And – in case you hadn’t noticed – they do it in a system that might actually fit in the average house…

Any products that have been around as long as these (in all their evolutionary guises) have to be getting the fundamentals right. When the companies that build them have worked to develop and evolve, polish and refine their original design, that product has the potential to become something really special. When that potential is fully realised, you end up with a system like this. In a world that is seemingly obsessed with the newest and latest, don’t overlook the value in the established. In a world where ‘best’ is a relative term, some Best Buys are a lot more convincing than others!

VPI Avenger/JMW 3D12 – $15,495

Lyra Etna Lambda – $8,995

VTL TL-5.5 Series II Signature Line Stage – $8,000

Internal MC/MM phono option for TL5.5 – $2,500

VTL S-200 Signature Power Amp – $12,500

Wilson Audio Sasha DAW loudspeakers – $37,900