High End Munich 2019 with CH Precision

Just prior to leaving NYC for Munich, I submitted my Stereophile report on the extraordinary $5,400 USD Etsuro-Urushi Cobalt Blue moving coil cartridge. The Cobalt Blue is the entry-level cartridge in a three-cartridge Etsuro-Urishi lineup that includes the $8,400 Bordeaux and the $20,995 Gold; which might be the most expensive phono cartridge in the world. I mention this because, as I was auditioning the Cobalt Blue Etsuro, I naturally wondered what the Gold might sound like. Well...

To my surprise, in the CH Precision room, at High End 2019 I was delighted to experience the $21K Gold on a Wilson Benesch turntable and arm; and, it sounded so preternaturally clear, completely resolved, and open, I next had to wonder how it would compare to C-H’s all-out assault on the digital art: the $38,000 USD D1 SACD & CD Transport and the $73,000 six-chassis C1 Mono digital to analogue converter. Top-level analogue vs. top-most digital – who could ask for more fun?

CH Precision D1.

The Etsuro-Urishi Gold displayed its clarity and extreme openness in a way that seemed ostensibly natural and extremely refined. As did CH’s D1-C1 Mono combination. I was surprised by how similar these opposing technologies sounded.

The price for the Gold cartridge did not include the turntable, tonearm, step-up transformer, or phono stage; and the prices for the all-out CH Precision DAC-transport did not include options like digital output board for S/PDIF, Toslink & CH-Link HD outputs ($2,500 USD), or a pair of analogue input boards ($2,500) or a pair of analogue output boards ($5,000) but if it did, the analogue would ultimately cost less than the digital.

The chief differences between these two state-of-the-art music sources was: the analogue breathed in more musical air and exhaled said air more completely. It felt chesty and throaty. While the CH Precision D1-C1 Mono combo felt more controlled and precise; more Apollonian and Pythagorean. Both were 100 per cent commanding in their presentation, which made me think how some well-heeled and well-balanced audiophiles might require both.

CH Precision

Everclear's picture

Here is proof money can buy you everything :-) ..........