TAF2023: Acora Acoustics, SAT, Lyra, MSB, D’Agostino, Innuos, Cardas

TAF2023: Acora Acoustics, SAT, Lyra, MSB, D’Agostino, Innuos, Cardas


Prices listed in $CA.

I won’t say that listening to music in an Acora Acoustics exhibit room is akin to having a religious experience inside a church, but it’s close. There’s often a sense of profundity that I feel when I listen to an Acora demo.

D’Agostino Momentum M400 MxV monobloc

I felt that sense of profundity again in Toronto, in a system fronted by a SAT XD-1 turntable fitted with a CF1-09T1 tonearm ($415,000 total) and Lyra Atlas Lambda Reference cartridge ($16,500). There was also a secondary tonearm (not auditioned): an SAT LM-12 ($57,000) coupled to a Lyra Etna Reference cartridge ($12,250).

The rest of the system included a D’Agostino Momentum HD preamplifier ($58,650), a pair of D’Agostino Momentum M400 MxV monoblocs ($115,850 for both), a D’Agostino Momentum phono stage ($44,850), and Cardas cabling. Gear on display that I didn’t audition comprised a MSB Reference DAC ($75,200), an Innuos Phoenix Net network switch ($5,700), and a Innuos Statement music server with Next-Gen PSU ($32,800).

The speakers were Acora’s menhir-like flagship VRC loudspeakers ($295,000).

Zowie. The sound was huge, far flung, incandescent, and enveloping, with an intimate focus on the music that was almost SET-like in its explicitness. Songs I’ve heard a million times by the likes of Leonard Cohen and the Beatles sounded revitalized and vibrant. I couldn’t recall the last time I heard those tracks sound so expressive, emotionally affecting, and timeless.

 Sure, the gear in this setup was bloody expensive, but I would argue that it was sound fit for the ancient gods.

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