THE Show Newport 2012 • Hot Product

The sheer size and weight of the Tri TRX-M845SE monoblocks -- each amp is almost two feet wide and weighs over 120 pounds -- belie their $22,500-per-pair price, which is still expensive, but far below super-amp levels. These SET amps use 845 tubes (a single 211 is also an option) to deliver 50 class-A watts, and as the picture shows, each sports an attractive power meter front and center.

A full system of Tri electronics drove Acoustic Zen Crescendo speakers ($16,000/pair), offering more than a small taste of ne plus ultra performance: finely drawn treble, meaty midrange, taut, deep bass, and surprising large-scale dynamics. SET amps driving 86dB-sensitive speakers is usually a recipe for blah sound, but not here. Robert Lee of Acoustic Zen enthusiastically admitted to a full room of listeners, "I've been seeking this kind of sound my whole life."

The Audio Beat • Nothing on this site may be reprinted or reused without permission.