Loudspeakers by Danish manufacturer Dynaudio were featured in two rooms; both demonstrated exactly how clearly, and authoritatively precise, their speakers could sound when driven by amplifiers from the German manufacturer Octave. In Dynaudio’s big demonstration room I heard the $5000/pair Evoke 50 loudspeakers (the floorstanders in the photo above) being driven by an Octave V80SE integrated amplifier ($10,500), itself fed by a dCS Bartok DAC ($13,500), with all Nordost cables. Every musical selection made me think, very consciously, that this is the kind of sound 90% of the audiophiles on the planet would be proud to show off in their homes: well-voiced, properly punctuated, tight as a drum head, and clean as fresh snow.

I went next to the room sponsored by Dr. Andrew Collen’s Michigan-based dealership The Audio Surgeon and auditioned Dynaudio’s Confidence 20 loudspeakers ($12,900 with custom stands), driven by Octave Jubilee monoblocks ($85,000/pair) and preamplifier ($33,000), fed by an all-out VPI Avenger Reference Turntable with VPI Fatboy tonearm, VAS Reference cartridge, and Sutherland Loco phono preamp ($35,000 total for the analog front end). There was also a Torus power conditioner ($4500), a Roon Nucleus server ($1398), and a Bricasti M21 DAC ($16,000) . . . and Cardas Audio Clear cables all around. This system had championship elocution.