Reeled in: Auditorium’s new T2 SUT

Matt Rotunda at Pitch Perfect Audio in San Francisco recently sent me the new Auditorium T2 SUT to try for a demo.  The T2 is the “hommage” (a/k/a “homage”) SUT by Keith Aschenbrenner of Auditorium 23 that Matt explains is specifically designed for the higher impedance carts like the  EMT (or a Denon DL103) cartridge.  I have a Koetsu Urushi Vermillion, which has a similar impedance to these, so this should work!

The T2 arrived Thursday, and while I’ve only had it in my system since for 3 days, I’m beginning to think Matt set me up!  So here’s a brief snapshot of my opinion.

The T2 puts you more “there” than anything I’ve heard.  It’s probably the first product I could honestly and convincingly say I felt my place in the room listening.  I’ve run it through several musical genres, but right now Madeline Peyroux is playing, and I feel like I’m right there, sitting in the lounge about 2 tables back from where she and her band are playing.

Interestingly, when I put the standard issue A23 back in I feel detached and more in MY room.  The other thing I notice is that each element, vocal, piano, bass, etc is more defined with the T2 than anything I’ve heard with any system I’ve had in the past 3 years! Where you notice this the most clearly is when you go from the T2 to the A23 and listen to the same material.  The differences jump out at you.

Candidly, I was a little surprised by this.  I’ve had some exposure to other SUT’s, and the SUT built into my Shindo Vosne Romane is supposedly a fine product.  But no other SUT that I’ve heard really jumps out at you like this.

But don’t take my word for it.  Earlier today my dad (76 years old) was over so he could listen to the new reissue of The Dave Brubeck Quartet’s Time Out by QRP, and specifically Take Five.  I did a test with him and did not share my thoughts.  When we switched from the T2 to the A23 he immediately observed the differences.  He described the sound as now being muted.  He opined there was less energy.  He then described how he felt with the T2 he WAS “there”, but now, he felt he was no longer “there”, but rather “here” listening.  Curiously to me, he observed that the instruments were also less defined.  Not bad for a non-audiophile!

More to come, including photos and my decision on whether I will part with this little gem!

PS – August 1, 2012 – I decided to keep this bad little box…