Axpona 2022: Musical Artisans | Stenheim & Engström (a Favorite)

Show buzz. No, I’m not talking about after hours at the hotel bar, but those rooms that have people saying, “Have you heard the ___ room?” Chicago-based dealer and distributor Musical Artisans put together one such room.

The beautifully minimal Engström ARNE Integrated Amplifier ($38,000) and MONICA Preamplifier ($60,000) was paired with the Stenheim Alumine Five SE Loudspeakers ($71,400/pair), a match seemingly made in hifi heaven.

The source in use was the beautifully minimal SAPHIR Turntable ($57,500 w/Reference Power Supply), Onyx Tonearm ($12,500), and Adjustable VTA Base ($7,000) all from Switzerland’s Da Baer. Yum. The X-quisite GT phono cartridge ($14,510) read the grooves, while a Zumwalt Audio C3G Phono Preamplifier ($20,000) amplified the signal. All cable was from Argento Audio. Total system price: $428,100.

This system sang out true, sounding rich and right with ease, fluidity, and dynamic force that tugged at my musical heart strings leaving me wanting more. Bravo!