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California Audio Show: Acoustic Zen and Questyle

One of the most interesting rooms at California Audio Show was more than ably hosted by Acoustic Zen’s Robert Lee. He was showing off AZ’s new towering (67 inches high, 225 lbs) Maestro speakers ($43,000) with the T2/R200 5G wireless transmitter/amplification system by Questyle ($2400). The latter’s tiny monoblock receiver/DAC/amp modules put forth 200 watts of class D B&O ICEpower. Source material was provided by a Raysonic CD player and hi-res content delivered wirelessly to the Questyle monoblocks via the T2 transmission unit, which looks a bit like a second-generation Apple TV.

6354398625888360779588739The sound was excellent, enough to turn the heads and maybe even change the minds of folks who sniff at class D amplification — your humble narrator included. The diminutive amps drove the Maestros with little effort, and the sound in the room was natural and compelling.

The Maestros are imposing beasts yet retain the design aesthetic everyone expects from Lee and Acoustic Zen. It was somewhat incongruous, at first, to see the little Questyle boxes hunkered down behind the Maestros, but after a couple songs, my disbelief was suspended.

Audiophiles may hesitate at wireless, but the convenience offered with speaker placement (and the savings on longer runs of expensive cabling) may be a temptation that’s hard to resist for more practically-minded audiophiles. If the Questyle system is as glitch-free at home as it was in this compact hotel conference room, I could be a convert. My only other reservation would be that the Maestros need a larger space to really sing. I look forward to hearing them again.