'Bosangwha, Paeonia and Silk Roads'
I felt that Musical Laboratory* tried to incorporate all things mentioned above and a few more besides. Their products mesmerize you not only with sound but with the sense of greatness even on the first rendezvous. Carefully selected materials, colors and design patterns evoke some sort of lush feeling of harmony with existence and surroundings. Those little boxes radiate a special aura with their appearance. Like Vanilla, that carry a special flavor, Paeonia and Bosangwha have a distinct leit motif.
If you are familiar with zen, that you're quickly grasp what is all about with Musical Laboratory*. A pure minimalism on the border of allowance. Where is the edge, when simple is over simplified. Well, it depends on the out coming. You might be wondering why did i write this review in such a philosophical mood. I like special things in life. Not for the sake of difference, but quality. We all know proverb university in diversity. This is where I'm heading here.
Would you pay few thousand dollars for few watts in the era of digital amplifiers where you can practically get few hundred's watts for few bucks? Would you pay for Balabushka, Kashmir, silk etc.? This is the the question that real connoisseur doesn't ask himself. But wait. Don't stop here if you're not a believer, you might become one.
There is almost a cult following round the full range speakers and gainclone or SET amplifiers. I remember the days when my room was filled up with nice glowing heat of 300B single ended tubes and sweet sounds of voices and instruments in a mid range. There is something special about quality of music driven by the pure first watts. It retains the pure emotions of the music in a unique way. Musical Labs audio combo that was sent for a review brought up that specific deja vu.
Paeonia, Bosangwha and Silk Road musical system represents Malcolm and Mattias' quest for "the" music. They don't hide their roots and inspirations. I respect the boldness of truth and open written design inspirations and topology heritage. It seems that more and more companies try to offer new ways of reproducing (amplifying) music just for the sake of it. This leads only to a marketing ego trips and hurts the final customers.
Paenoa and Bosangwa will perform best on the high efficient speakers with no doubt. Please don't consider Bosangwa with the "Mono" power supply module if your speakers are not at least 93 or rather 97db/1w/1m. There will be some music with lesser efficiency but you'll get 10% of what Musial Laboratory* means to deliver. Paenoa is a jewel of it's own. With it's passive topology it offers "direct wire" approach. I saw that many following the trend of adaptive gain or passive preamp. Ayre followed the route that PS audio took few years back with it's gain modules. Passive amplifiers offer another step closer to simplicity. I would say that this approach requires special attention and also very thougthfull combined system. Components should be ... in harmony.
What about the music that is flowing through the veins of Bosangwa and Paeonia? It depends on what are your preferences. Perfect musical system for perfect listener? That simply doesn't exist. Each of us hold a special view about how system should be fine-tuned and what it should represent. I heard a few dozen times the familiar argument about how this or that should sound. At the end of the day guitar should sound like guitar that's for fact, but little do we know what recording master and producer or performer wanted to achieve. It might be pure musicality, special tuning, unique moment of collaboration etc. All I can say fairly is that the real connoisseur will find Musical Laboratory* hand crafted musical boxes a true eargasmic pleasure when carefully combined.
Malcolm and Mattias might argue my conclusions, but I feel that Bosangwa, Paenoa and Silk Roads will lead you to very intimate and harmonic universe of natural music. How would this translate into worldly language. Simple. All the time I spend with Musical Laboratory* components i found them petite especially when replaying live recorded and performed music let it be stricken by the Mojo of Muddy Watters, caressed by the woman voice of Norah, mesmerized by the sweet voice of Srila Prabhupada harmonium playing, magically provoking finger mastery of Monk and revolutionary crescendo of Wagner. Let it be!
I urge you to take "a look" and listen to Musical Laboratory* audio products. Some consider all concerning Gaincard following a fake. I dare you to take time, effort and an honest set of well trained ears to correct me. If you don't know what Ultra-Fi is, feel welcomed by simplicity itself.
Mono & Stereo