I spent a couple of hours with Max Townshend earlier in the week and listened to his all Townshend Audio system fronted by the forthcoming Universal Disc player. This will play CD, SACD with native decoding and DVD-Audio up to 192kHz and makes a staggeringly good case for not abandoning the disc. He had burnt some hi-res material onto DVD-A of the Allegri Quartet that delivered mind blowing imaging, tonal naturalness and dynamics. This was not commercial material however so had the advantage of avoiding the production process. Just to make sure that this wasn’t skewing things we also played some regular red book material which proved that even with real world bit rates this system is capable of results that are rarely encountered. It’s a wild system in many respects but the most unusual aspects include bi-amping with tubes for the ribbons that deliver mid, treble and supertweetage and solid state class D (I think) for the bass drivers. The other secret weapon is an equaliser that’s used exclusively for the bass, the area where the room makes all the difference. This performs a critical job and when switched out the sound loses much of its definition.
Max is planning to launch the Universal player as soon as he has refined the appearance of the battery meter on the front panel. This is one wily dog that can still teach us an awful lot of new tricks.
Original Resource is The Ear http://the-ear-net.blogspot.com/2012/06/townshend-universal-disc-player.html