TAF 2021 – Wynn Audio – Carlyle Room

Wynn Audio – a high end retailer/distributor, was showing a unique sampling of their lines in the Carlyle room at the Toronto Audio Fest 2021.
Featuring amplification – pre and power – from Karan Acoustics, a Metronome AQWO SACD player, Entreq grounding box, Thales Turntable – all resting on Critical Mass Systems Olympus V-12 stands. Using the Art series from Crystal Cables to connect all of the components, the output of which was sent to Vimberg Mino D speakers in a piano lime-green finish.
In reverse order, the Mino D speakers offer a 30 mm diamond tweeter (the D designation in the model name – the regular Mino offers a ceramic tweeter of the same size), matched with a 90 mm Accuton ceramic midrange and three 168 mm Accuton Aluminum sandwich woofers with 3D shaped honeycomb diaphragms mounted on a cabinet with a perfectly calculated air volume to reproduce extreme fast and deep bass (and it worked VERY well to my ears…). All components are installed into an aluminum front plate with internal aluminum mountings.
Although aluminum may be subject to resonance; in this case, it reinforces the construction of the speaker in combination with resonance absorbing waterproof HDF fibre laminate to give an extremely tight hole to the drivers for utmost precision. These speakers stand just a little over 4 ft tall (50.4 inches) and weigh in at 159 pounds each.
The Critical Mass Systems’ Olympus V-12 rack (top of their model line) is constructed with their unique Dual Zone System with an unparalleled 12 damping stages which the company states produces the lowest and most neutral noise floor they’ve ever accomplished. Custom-made to order, sizing is very flexible for single components (amplifiers), vertical rack configurations, and side-by-side configurations for multi-component systems with fully adjustable leveling and is available in 6 finishes.
The Thales TTT-Compact II turntable (with Gold Statement tonearm) offers an intriguing set of features like a combination of friction (direct) drive concept with a widespread belt drive concept where the short belt is driven by two pulleys to efficiently suppress the relative movement of the motor and the platter. Another interesting twist to the turntable’s motor assembly is the presence of a battery pack that offers more than 12 hours of playback without connection to the AC power supply (this should all but completely eliminate the effects of voltage variations on the drive motor thereby stabilizing rotational speeds). The Statement tonearm – based on tetragon geometry which is said to reduce the tracking error to 0.006° – combines perfect tracking geometry with optimized mechanical energy derivation using a high-strength aluminum alloy. The support of the tonearm lift, coupled directly with its lever, works by a high reduction ratio so that the needle may be lowered in a perfectly controlled manner. Options for tonearm wiring are either an integrated 5-pin-DIN-connector or direct wiring to the amplifier. Five different counterweights allow the use of cartridges weighing 7 to 20 grams.
The Entreq grounding box offers a clean and effective ground point ensuring the best possible sonic platform for your audio equipment. The Olympus Hero grounding box is constructed of a vibration-damped oak box that contain pure silver, tungsten and copper parts to help filter unwanted high-frequency noise that can introduce itself into your components from the plethora of other electrical devices in your home. Computers with their switched power units, cellphone chargers, all the halogen and LED lighting, dimmers etc. all cause a great deal of high-frequency noise and stray voltages. These weak, high-frequency currents are attracted by the galvanic mineral mix along with the Para, Dia and Ferro magnetic metals found in the Entreq grounding boxes to be eliminated.
The AQWO SACD player from Metronome (AQWO was created by Metronome from the ancient Greek verb akouo, which means to listen, or to hear well) features a large 21:9 ratio 6.5 inch screen that is easy to read from a comfortable distance. This unit can decode PCM and DSD signals up to 512 kHz / 8 channels. It offers 7 digital inputs, 4 digital outputs (HDMI, S/PDIF, XLR, and Optical Toslink), RCA and XLR Balanced analogue outputs. Understated look, maybe… performance? Nothing understated there. This component was breathtaking in sonic quality. Bette Midler’s The Rose was playing while I was there, and it was absolutely captivating. The piano, the vocals, the cello – all were rendered with great detail and realism – a pure joy for the ears.
Lastly, the Karan Acoustics preamplifier (LINEa), power supply (PSUa) and power amplifier form the 30th Anniversary Master Collection. The LINEa offers 4 pairs of XLR Balanced along with 2 pairs of RCA (unbalanced) inputs that are then channelled to 2 pairs of XLR analogue outputs (note there are NO digital inputs on this preamplifier) and is compatible with 240 V/AC or 110 – 120 V/AC power. Its concept is a dual-mono mirrored design with identical (symmetrical) signal paths for all inputs and outputs. A multi-pin DIN connection brings the power from the PSUa power supply to the LINEa – and it even has a remote control! All internal electronic circuits are designed in active class A with NO global feedback. It operates in pure DC with no capacitors anywhere along the audio signal route.
The power supply (PSUa) is designed with the fastest rectifiers, huge capacitance reserves and up to 9 stages of current-voltage filtration and regulation per channel, along with separate supplies for each audio channel.
These were connected to a pair of KA M 2000 monoblock power amplifiers rated at 2,000 Watts each (8 ohms). They use extremely short signal paths with 24k gold plated circuit boards, 40 ultra fast SANKEN RET power devices per channel, 8 stages of voltage regulation, use 1,500-Watt toroidal power transformers coupled with 132,000 uF of total capacitance. Damping factor is rated at 10,000 (8 Ohms) 20 Hz to 20 kHz and weigh in at 76 kg each (approx. 170 lbs).
All wiring was supplied by Crystal Connect ART series cables (from the looks, I’d bet on the Da Vinci line).