STEREOPHILE - John Atkinson
My final room Sunday afternoon was the Ayon and USA Tube Audio Labs. Not only did the last company's Tineo J horn speakers, with their powered stereo subwoofers operating below 70Hz($35,000/system) catch my eye, their sound, driven by Ayon's Titan mono amplifiers ($68,000/pair) and Spheris III preamp ($48,000), caught my ear. Yes, the "jump factor" offered by a horn system was in full evidence. But the frequency balance was also smooth and uncolored. John Mayer's "Gravity" sounded about as good as I have heard this track. The Titan uses a 62B triode for its output. Described as a "300B on steroids," this tube runs with 1kV on its plate in the Titan!
Enjoy the Music - Rick Becker
Around the corner in the Brighton Beach room I chanced upon Vincent Belanger once again, playing his cello live to a recording of him playing. Once again, his live music was seamless with the recorded music coming from Tineo Mk-II wood horn loaded speakers fromUSA Tube Audio Labsdriven byAyon's top of the line Titan tube monoblocks putting out 75 watts. The preamp was either the new Polaris III or Spheris III model, each with a separate power regenerator and an Ayon CD player was stacked atop it. The Ayon gear from Austria is very highly regarded and it acquitted itself here very well. The elegant black and chrome theme carries through their entire line. I also noted the matched veneer on the complex architecture of the USA Tube Audio Labs speakers-very fine workmanship all the way around each speaker.
The Absolute Sound - Alan Taffel
And while I don't generally lean to horn speakers, I did cotton up to theUSA Tube Audio Tineo J Horn($35k). These are 3-ways with outboard stereo subs. The combo sounded as warm and ravishing as its burnished wood finish. The blend between main speakers and subs was absolutely seamless. The horns were sourced by anAyon Audio CD3XDAC/streamer/player/preamp ($13,500) and driven with great rhythm and transparency by a pair of AyonTitan SETmonoblocks ($68k/pair).