T.H.E. Show 2019: Audio Limits highlights Thrax and Weiss Engineering

Who doesn’t like big VU-type meters – regardless if they’re blue, green or white in this case.

And it was white meters in the case of Bulgarian high-fidelity manufacturer Thrax and the Spartacus 300B Power Amplifiers whose swinging, metronomic needles were beckoning me into the Audio Limits room set up at T.H.E. Show.

Audio Limits is a shop out of Laughlin, Nevada run by Darrin O'Neill and the system designed for the Los Angeles show featured Thrax predominantly. I focused my listening session on the digital sources, as the company’s muscular, industrial hi-fi designs draw the eye in first to make you sit a while and then keep you glued to your chair once you hear what they’re offering forth from a sonic palette rich in tonal and timbral color, but also speedy attack on notes with tight, well-plumbed bass and an effortless top end that felt like it had no limits on headroom.

Consisting of the Thrax Lyra/Basus loudspeaker system (two-way, high-frequency driver with horn-loaded magnesium-diaphragm mid/bass drivers and a 15-inch powered-bass unit $59,356 USD), the aforementioned Spartacus 300B amplifier (DHT, six 300B tubes, pure Class-A, 50 watt output $75,864 USD/pair), Thrax Dionysos preamplifier (single triode transformer-coupled line level $19,488 USD), Weiss Engineering Medus DAC (stereo 24-bit/192 kHz $23,780 USD), and the Antipodes CX + EX music server running Roon ($10, 798 USD), Hemingway Series cables and AC cords used throughout.

The combination of pure Class-A tube output and preamplification, 90dB loudspeakers equipped with a powered bass unit and smooth, but fat-free midrange that didn’t stray into butter allowed music to feel that it was breathing without strain or impediment, scaling up to life-size, room-filling proportions on not only classical works, and jazz trios, but rock and acoustic singer-songwriter pieces like Bob Dylan on the down-tempo, bohemian Freewheelin’.

Audio Limits