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XACT S1 Music Server

It strikes me that what I've written isn't the same old copy you read in reviews all the time. That's because the XACT S1 music server tends to break the rules. As Marcin Ostapowicz, the designer and proprietor of XACT, explains:

XACT S1 delivers on my vision of audiophile sound: natural, organic, with analog sophistication and lifelike imaging. It's hard to believe it's digital. He succeeds more than you'd expect.

XACT is a new marque focusing on music servers from a talented designer with a unique vision. In the near term, be on the lookout for a range of products and accessories, including reference level wires, a master clock, and an ethernet switch. This designer has something different to say and it is worth paying attention.

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Positive Feedback 3/30/2024
Stage III Concepts Ckahron

The next-level in high-performance cable system may yet to be created, but until that day comes, the Stage III Concepts A.S.P. Ckahron Ultimate Statement XLR is the highest performing XLR I’ve experienced.

Many super high-end audiophiles splurge on megabuck systems while the cable system is almost consistently the malnourished. With powerful designs from companies like Stage III Concepts, cable systems are now redefining the status of the mighty.

- Constantine Soo

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Dagogo 2/16/2023
Stage III Ckahron Interconnect

The Ckahron Interconnect is transformative with nothing subtle about it. A single length will create the perception of an enlarged, room-filling soundstage. The sound is hefty and athletic. Images have so much body mass and solidity I was left musing, "What incredible grip!" The Ckahron makes other interconnects in my inventory sound weak.

It's fair to say nothing I heard, no area of performance, is less than world-class. The beastly grip is delivered in a wrapper of lush, saturated tone and variegated timbral colors that satisfies the competing demands of resolution and musicality in spectacular fashion.

The Ckahron Interconnect pulls up right alongside the Poseidon Power Cord. You are not likely to hear a take on sound like this elsewhere. I know I have not—and these wires won't be going back to the distributor.

- Marshall Nack

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Positive Feedback 9/24/2022
Poseidon Power Cord from Stage III Concepts

What a difference the Poseidon makes! It has wondrous timbral beauty; at the same time, it delivers thunderous low-end. To put a number on it, I'd say the Poseidon singlehandedly garnered an 8-10% improvement in my system.

In a rig conservatively valued at more than a half million USD, an 8% upgrade would translate to at least $40,000.

What a monster this guy is! But he's the best yet from Stage III or any brand I've heard, bar none.

- Marshall Nack

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Positive Feedback 7/20/2021
Stage III Concepts Poseidon

Within the last year, I have auditioned three of the top Stage III power cords: the Kraken, the Proteus and the Poseidon.

All I can really say about the Poseidon is that I’ve never heard as much of this record as I’ve heard tonight. Full bodied mids, deep bass, complete treble, with an extraordinary soundstage. I was in the music.

after being exposed to the effects of the Poseidon, it will be difficult to go back to the Kraken. In fact, after agonizing about spending the money, I decided to purchase the review sample and will leave it on the HB Marble Power Slave powering the front-end of my system.

- Fred Crowder

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Dagogo 6/1/2021
Stage III Proteus Power Cable

The inspiration for the PROTEUS design came from our very popular KRAKEN power cable.

One of the things that I find to be so special with the Proteus is how each note seems to have energy, as if each has its own dedicated energy source giving it life. The Proteus also delves deeply into the source material, whether analog or digital, unearthing a treasure trove of musically-relevant information while at the same time retaining the proper pitch and tone.

 The Proteus does a superb job of producing not only a stable, right-sized, three dimensional image, but also the space in which the image was recorded and the location of each instrument in that space.

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Dagogo 12/4/2020
Stage III Kraken Power Cords

The Stage III Kraken is the one that brings me closest to meeting the heady challenge for both beauty and realism. The Kraken pushes hardest those buttons the classical music lover cares about most. They are the ones that will take up long-term service on my amps.

- Marshall Nack

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Positive Feedback 11/14/2020
Stacore CLD Footers

When the Stacore CLD Footers were offered for review, my expectations were tempered because none have come up to the performance of CH Precision's built-in isolation solution. Now, two months into the project, I remain amazed by the improvements they bring. To put it in perspective, the impact is like what you might get with a cable upgrade.

- Marshall Nack

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Positive Feedback 10/17/2019
Wilson Benesch Eminence Loudspeakers

The Wilson Benesch Eminence is a different kind of speaker. Its engineering is unique; its appearance is idiosyncratic; and it sounds unlike other world-class loudspeakers. In the ability to convey music’s dynamic expression, rhythmic flow, and timing, the Eminence is simply unequaled.

Moreover, the way the Eminence resolves pitch, texture, and transient information in the bottom end is nothing short of revelatory.

If you are looking for a reference-class loudspeaker that is based on original and innovative thinking, one that goes beyond the status quo, and one that brings a sensational verve and life to music, the Wilson Benesch Eminence should be on your short list.

- Robert Harley

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The Absolute Sound 6/25/2019
Wilson Benesch Resolution Loudspeakers

The Wilson Benesch Resolution is a speaker that’s full of surprises. The use of carbon fiber is surprising. The melding of this new-world technology with old-world isobaric loading is surprising. The speaker’s slender appearance is surprising, as are the unique views it affords of carbon fiber and woofer butts. Most surprising of all is the Resolution’s chameleon-like ability to change its colors to reflect the music and the recording it’s playing. This is a speaker that never gets old, familiar, or boring. It’s a speaker you really can live with over the long run.

- Alan Taffel

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The Absolute Sound 2/28/2019
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