GT Audioworks Loudspeakers, Pass Labs Electronics, Basis Audio Turntable and Tonearm, Mosart Cabinet

The other big room with spectacular sound on the Rockville Hilton’s atrium level featured products from Pass Labs, GT Audioworks, and Basis Audio.

Every year, Steve Rabitz, vice president of sales at Sound Insight in Massapequa and Huntington, NY, puts on a grand show in a giant blue-lit space dominated some really tall GT Audioworks planar quasi-ribbon speakers.

Greg Takash, GT Audioworks’ personable engineer/designer, explained what distinguishes his planar ribbon speakers from other brands’ long-established quasi-ribbons: “My speaker”—GT Audioworks only makes one model—”has no crossovers, transformers, or anything else between the superlight drivers and the ($65,000) Pass Labs XS 150 mono amplifiers they are connected to. I voice my speakers with these Pass Lab amps, but they are very sensitive and do not require high power: just enough current to drive their 4 ohm impedance.” I have heard Greg’s GTA3.1R speakers many times and can attest to their directness, clarity, and super-descriptive spatiality. They can go one-on-one with the best speakers at any price, and they cost only $23,500/pair. The GT Audio Works open-baffle active modular subwoofer system starts at $7000.

I also met Basis Audio’s Alex Bourque, who said that the late A. J. Conti’s turntable designs are performing better than ever. The $115,000 Basis Transcendence turntable with the Basis Superarm ($15,750) and the My Sonic Lab Ultra Eminent Ex Cartridge ($7000) drove a Pass Labs XS phono stage ($45,000) and XS line-level preamp (also $45,000)—sitting on a beautiful Mosart “Quieten” wood cabinet by Bruce Schuettinger—to make big, elegant, relaxed sound.

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