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Stereophile liked us too 2016

If you click on this text you will be directed to what Art Dudley had to say about the GT Audio Works and Paradox.

He liked us too

An Old Friend: GT Audio Works

Last year I stumbled upon New Jersey’s GT Audio Works and its fabulous large panel GTA 2.5 speaker. It was one of my “Best of Show” picks, noting that the speaker’s sound was “…delicious to the ears.” The speaker was such a delight that I pegged GT Audio Works as my first official room-stop of CAF 2016. There I found the company’s enthusiastic owner (and speaker builder) Greg Takesh and his new GTA3R full-range planar magnetic / ribbon tweeter speakers. Normally priced at $9,000 per pair ($7,200 show special), this new iteration of the GTA speaker has a new straight panel design without the GTA 2.5’s built-in 10-inch woofer drivers. Instead, GT Audio Works is pairing the GTA3R with Sound Insight’s dual 12-inch driver SI-200 open-baffle poweredsubwoofers (which retail in the realm of $6,000 per pair). 

From the front, the GTA3R looks very similar to the GTA 2.5, sporting a handsome wood framed finish and sleek black grill cloth. But the addition of separate subs (not to mention the SI-200’s room friendly table look) arguably adds a new dimension of tweak-ability for even better bass performance.

The room’s equipment included Paradox Pulse class A/B solid state monoblocks paired with a Paradox modified CD player, a Hollis Audio Labs MS-3 Music Server, and a Hollis Audo Labs dspMusik DAC. The GTA3R sounded simply fantastic to my ears. Greg and his crew played several tracks including Yello’sElectric Frame and Bernadette Peters’ Blackbird to showoff the speaker’s versatility and range. Imaging and depth of soundstage was infinitely superb. And, once again, I was completely floored by the soundstage’s height and breadth. Highs were super crisp and bass was tight and solidly deep; off-axis listening was excellent to boot. 

This is a speaker that, for the price, is a total steal. I can’t say enough about the sound (after all, that’s what this is really about, correct?). If you’re not shy about purchasing gear from a small independent builder, then GT Audio Works should be on your demo shortlist. I can guarantee with absolute certainty that you’ll love what you hear.

Click on this text or the picture and you will go to linked article.
Stereo Times Newport 2016
I had an enjoyable afterhours listening session with Shane and Stacy Duffy from Perla Audio. Perla Audio is a family operated company located in Sparks, Nevada. They make a full range of electronics and some speakers with the focus on performance at a reasonable cost and above all, ease of use. Everything is designed to be plug and play. They do all their own design and manufacturing and are some of the most passionate people about their products of anyone I have met.
They shanghaied me in front of the elevators while I was waiting to go up to the NFS (Not For Sale) hospitality suite and asked me if I wanted to come to their room to listen. I was not wearing my name tag so they thought I was a civilian instead of VIP (Very Important Press). They wanted to share their accomplishments with anyone they thought might enjoy them.
With a full chain of Perla Audio electronics in front of them the PRS-2 ($7,800) speakers rivaled much larger ones for imaging and clarity. Bass quality was especially impressive and vocals were spot on. The planar magnetic columns in the picture are part of a speaker in development. As planned it will have three columns per side (bass, midrange, and tweeter). Shane hopes to have it at the show next year. The speaker will be scalable with the number of sections adjusted. Layer by layer, Shane set the pieces for just one section in my lap and my feet sunk into the carpet. Did I mention that everything they build has massive aluminum employed as part of the case work, not just the faceplates? Inside no effort is spared either. Every component is hand soldered on custom made 24k gold-plated PCB boards using Cardas ultra-pure quad eutectic solder.
The new speaker by Perla Audio is the antithesis to their stated core philosophy and mine as well but it was fun seeing the creative process happening and Shane’s enthusiasm is infectious. And therein lays the best part of any show, the people and their passion. The brave hearts who turn their dreams into reality and those who step beyond safe and sane to build the best product they can because they can. It is not the destination that impresses me as much as spirit of the journey.

Those planer speakers are just the midrange to their new all out speaker. Not noted is that the front end, Turntable, tone arm, cartridge and all cables are Paradox Pulse! 
Part Time Audiophile 2016
Sparks, Nevada-based Perla Audio has come a long way in a short time. Founded only in 2012, the family-owned company has increasingly been generating attention at the major shows. Newport 2016 was a continuation of that trend, with Perla presenting its best-sounding system yet.
Perla was showing its PRS-2 speaker, a sharp-looking minimonitor that features a 7-inch spliced-paper cone driver and a 1-inch beryllium tweeter. Frequency response is listed at 70 to 20,000 Hz, with a sensitivity of 90 db.
A demo of Roxy Music’s “Avalon” showed the PRS-2s ($7,800 a pair) offer the detail, pinpoint imaging and deep soundstage of the best stand-mounted speakers. The high frequencies, especially, were clean and smooth. There was a slight leanness to the presentation, which I prefer to an artificial upper-bass bump on small models that try to do everything. This, for bass fans, could easily be solved by a well-chosen subwoofer, such as a REL, dialed subtly to fill the bottom out.
The speakers were driven by a rack of mostly Perla gear, which, by the way, is built here in the good old USA. The rig included the company’s monoblock amplifiers ($12,500), integrated amp ($9,500), preamp ($4,000), phono stage ($5,500) and USB DAC ($3,900). Also on hand was a Paradox Custom Pulse turntable.
So far, Perla has aimed at the mid-priced level of the high-end, but it is preparing to crawl out of that shell and test the currents in the cost-no-object waters. It is developing a statement speaker that promises to break some new design ground. The company offered a teaser look at that model in Newport — an 81-inch-tall, 230-pound planar magnetic that representatives said blends a point source design with a line source.
The speakers each will have eight full-range drivers a side and will be outfitted with three voice coils that contain solid silver windings. If all that wasn’t enough, there will be external subs as well. Price will be somewhere around $130,000 when introduced next year.
Shooting for the moon like this could be a Las Vegas-style gamble for the young company, but if it indeed can take the performance improvements of its present models to another level, Perla could end up with a hand strong enough to challenge the industry’s big-time players. We’ll keep you updated.
Enjoy the Music 2015 CAF
GT Audio Works, Paradox, And Hollis Audio Labs
Greg Takesh of GT Audio Works took a year off from CAF in 2014 and put that time into R&D, time well spent as the debut of his GTA 2.5 Hybrid Planar Speakers $8995/pr, was sensational. The full range planar magnetic driver uses neodymium magnets and is driven directly without any crossover between it and your amp. A single cap protects a ribbon tweeter, 48" long, same as the mid. Two 10" drivers in a sealed box form the bottom of the sleek cabinet and are driven by a Hypex plate amp, crossing over near 100 Hz, but the Hypex gives plenty of flexibility to match a room or personal tastes. The woodwork is handcrafted and furniture quality, and as these are built to order you get to choose your favorite wood and maybe a contrasting color as well. Right down to the Propeller binding posts and the fit of the grille, the GTA 2.5s got all the details sorted out.Paradox Pulse mono amps $12,000/pr, provided 100 watts, a PrimaLuna Dialog Premium preamp $3199 connected a Paradox modified JVC 1050 CD player and Rich Hollis' HAL MS-3 server, $799, and Danville Signal dspMusik DAC $1500. Paradox Red wiring connected everything, and a power conditioner was tried and rejected as it solved some noise issues but robbed the system of dynamics and clarity. Thinking like a veteran, Greg had ATS Acoustics supply some room treatments, very helpful.
What a great sounding room, the system checked off all I want a speaker to do, huge soundstage, wide/tall/deep, the best depth from any of the small rooms. The GTA 2.5s are spaciously open, very detailed/transparent without tiring your ears , react instantaneously to transients, are dynamically exciting, exhibit good tone and body, play very loud without strain or glare, integrate the woofers seamlessly, go very low with authority, and can make a singer appear in the room. Until Rich Hollis pulled up some Reference Recordings, including their HRX series, I'm not sure Greg knew all his speakers were capable of doing. Triode Pete was sitting in the room and Rich played a RR track from Pomp and Pipes, "The Vikings", at one point the orchestra and organ are playing full tilt (and very loud), when a drum is pounded louder than everything else and the impact was so stunning that Pete actually jumped out of his chair! The Kodo drums were scary, "Jazz Variants" by O-Zone was spellbinding, and Bela Fleck's "Flight of the Cosmic Hippo" showcased Victor Wooten's virtuoso bass abilities. On the quieter side, Jennifer Warnes version of "Famous Blue Raincoat" was deliciously delicate and emotional, and I felt like I was in the Church with Margo Timmons as she sang "Mining for Gold". I now lust for a pair of GTA 2.5s, and Rich has shown me that a server can be affordable, thanks guys.
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