Room: Parklane – Zu Audio, Ocellia, Kubala Sosna, Rossner & Sohn
First, Samuel Furon of Ocellia now living in Quebec and Robert Neil of Worldwide Wholesales paired up to present Zu Audio's latest with Ocellia electronics. The result was truly excellent but this Zu Essence owner may have been biased. The demonstration was purely vinyl relying on a new-to-me Rossner & Sohn KLM 15 turntable and an Ocellia Quaero phono preamplifier with Ocellia phono cable. The real surprise was the use of the champion of cheap MC pickups, a Denon DLl03 the motor of which had simply been transferred to a wooden body. The combination was superb, dynamic, rich and detailed. I suspect the Quaero all-silver phono preamp had a lot to do with it.
The Quaero phono was connected directly to a pair of Ocellia Quaero 300B SET amplifiers. Those monos come with a volume pot to allow for source-direct connection in a single-source system. Samuel Furon can tailor his monoblocks not only to budget by varying the parts quality and amount of silver wiring but more importantly, he winds his own output transformers to adapt them to the impedance curve of your speakers for the most perfect possible match. It makes his Quaero amplifiers a very unique proposition. With them you probably won’t want to change speakers on a regular basis but based on the result these valve amps seem well worth the price once your speaker choice has settled down. If you know the typical 300B sound, you don’t know the Quaero 300B SETs. They are fast, tight and not overtly euphonic yet have the tremendous tonal beauty of triodes with their famed spaciousness and 3D presentation. Samuel Furon puts it all down to his work on controlling MDI (Micro Discharge Interface distortion) in both electronics and cables.
My only regret here—and that of many people I talked to—was that Ocellia did not bring their much praised speakers this time around. Not surprisingly all those people were 6moons readers who had been impressed by Srajan’s coverage of Samuel’s work when he still lived in the south west of France.