THE Show Newport 2013 • Best of Show

The "Ultra-Short Path system" comprising products from Teresonic, Baetis Audio and Metrum Acoustics lived up to its advance billing in both theory and execution. It was dominated by what was missing, rather than what was there. The Teresonic Ingenium XR speakers ($14,985/pair) have no crossovers and the company's Reference 2A3 integrated amp ($15,000) uses no capacitors in the signal path. The Baetis Audio XR server ($5995) is built from the ground up for audiophile music playback, using no DSP in the process, and the Metrum Acoustics HEX DAC ($3300 to $3500 depending on configuration) eschews current fashion and has neither digital filtering nor oversampling.

Thus, what you put in, digitally speaking, is what you get out, the system sounding utterly unforced and immediate, even when the smaller Teresonic Magnus XR speakers ($5985) were playing. Without knowing the products in use, you wouldn't guess that this was a low-power tube-based system. Dynamics were freewheeling and midrange tonality was as pure as it gets. Teresonic also supplied the cables, including its new Clarison digital cable ($395). Audience power conditioning rounded out the system.

Again eschewing current fashion, this system was fully digital -- no analog source to be found.

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