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Set Up & Listening
The set up included my 26" Sound Anchors stands, Transparent speaker cable, with the Rogue Sphinx 100w and the McIntosh MA6600 200w integrated amps driving the speakers. Sources included an Oppo BDP-105 SACD player and DAC, and a Musical Fidelity A90 DAC (review forthcoming). The G7c’s immediately allowed me to hear any changes made to the system, no matter how seemingly insignificant. This included speaker cable, power cord swaps, and more. I ended up with a little less toe-in than I usually employ, roughly ten degrees. I also kept the tweeter at the neutral position, and kept the rear tweeter engaged. The speakers were supplied with magnetic grilles, which I left off during listening sessions.
Ok, so there is tons of technology in the G7c, it is beautifully made, and is customizable. So how does it sound? In a word: remarkable. The speakers came in with decent hours on them, having done show duty at the recent Rocky Mountain Audio Festival, but I gave them a few more days to open up. But even out of the box they sang beautifully.
I have had dozens of stand-mounted monitors come through my listening systems, but none have offered this much resolution, immaculate imaging, and precision as the G7c. Other speakers have been more forgiving, and matched the G7c for coherence, but none have allowed me to peer into to a recording as deeply.
Listening to the remaster of the classic debut, self-titled album by the British band Barclay James Harvest, was thrilling. This somewhat forgotten masterpiece from 1970 was beautifully remastered and reveals layers of orchestration, pastoral, psychedelic touches, and great songs. Another classic collection, the Simple Songs Of Freedom compilation of some rare Tim Hardin recordings, was spellbinding. This is yet another excellent remaster that presented Hardin’s masterful performances in a new light, and the G7c just stepped aside and presented the music with no editing, omissions, or additions to this listener’s ears.
Jake Bugg’s Rick Rubin produced sophomore album, Shangrli La, sounded punchy, direct, with tons of drive. Rubin has brought more of a modern edge, with his typical stripped down production, in comparison to Bugg’s self-titled debut album. Bugg’s voice is very nicely recorded, as is his road-tested backing band. The G7c brought the whole thing to life in the listening room, and very much reminded me of how Bugg sounded live when I saw him this past October.
The speakers were wonderful with romantic orchestral pieces from Villa Lobos, Ravel, and others. Listening to a stack of RCA Living Stereo SACDs was a thrill. The G7c was immaculate on the dynamic swings offered by Mussorgsky’s Pictures At An Exhibition and Dvorak’s New World Symphony. The speakers also nailed the string textures on my favorite classical piece, Rimsky Korsakov’s Scheherazade.