Laufer Teknik

The Laufer Teknik room featured the scape-age looking German Physiks Unlimited MKII omnidirectional loudspeakers ($14,950/pair) and I'm not knocking their looks whatsoever just saying that almost every omni speaker I've seen looks sci-fi which makes me wonder if omnidirectional sound is sci-fi simply in and of itself. The Unlimited MKII's were driven by the equally distinct looking and named Abis Shungetsu Model P-1120 Mono Block Power Amplifiers (about $30,000/pair). Providing front-end duties was the The Memory Player 64 Full Version with the Teflon Bypass Option ($9,890 + $1,250 for Teflon Bypass Option).

The Memory Player has obviously received its fair share of flac(k) seeing as I was handed a Memory Player FAQ that included answers to questions such as "Isn't The Memory Player just a computer?", "I've read on the forums that The Memory Player is a computer using the EAC CD ripper. Is this true?", and "Why is your website so ugly". The answers are No, No and Yes (so we re-designed it). The Memory Player does employ some quirky acronyms to describe its basic functionality such as IDEAS (Impulse Discharge of Events in Atemporal Space) and RUR (Read Until Right) and even the $1,250 Teflon Bypass description from the Memory Player website offers up an interesting description, "For many, a pure Teflon capacitor option is prohibitively expensive. We offer a more affordable option of non-inductive Teflon bypass capacitors, wired to the finest polypropylene capacitors and the DAC power supply."

Ultimately we have to ask a much more basic question—how does it sound? Let me refer to my notes, "Decays into more space than you're in." Yup, that's it along with a note that we were listening to Stevie Ray Vaughan's earthy "Tin Pan Alley". You could ascribe the ability to convey a wide, deep and focused soundstage to the sci-fi looking German Physiks Unlimited MKII omnidirectional loudspeakers or perhaps to a lack of harmonic distortion or even the absence of jitter. Or all of the above. Or to the HighEnd Novum PMR ($2190) prayer bowl tipped vertical and radiating good vibrations throughout the room and into our inner lobe tickling reptilian parts of our old brain triggering defense mechanisms and their spacial imaging abilities that are older than the strip mined hills.

Or we could just accept the fact that our hi-fi hobby is rich, rewarding and vast in terms of the means to get from point A to point B. I'm of the opinion that if you can get along doing what you want according to terms you dictate you are way ahead of the reptiles. And if you can deliver musical satisfaction I really don't care what you call it. I call it good.

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