THE Show Newport 2012 • Best of Show

Big-speaker tastes but small-room confines? No problem for the Joseph Audio Pulsars ($7000/pair), which sounded as though their cabinets extended to the floor, such was the bass drive and dynamic impact. Yet, with music that required delicacy, the speakers were direct and adept. Bel Canto's new C7R receiver ($2995) provided the power and was the DAC for a MacBook Pro. Analog was also part of this system via a VPI Classic 1 ($2750) with Soundsmith The Voice cartridge ($2800), a combination whose rhythm and pacing worked particularly well with the Joseph Audio speakers. Cables were Cardas Clear Light.

We're tempted to call this the connoisseur's dorm-room system, but no one sane would want his half-drunk roommate near this gear.

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