HiFi Rose RS250A Network Attached DAC Review
April 28, 2023 §
The RS250A offers the usual HiFi Rose combination of civility and musical excitement and is as adept with a large-scale classical recording or a heavy rock track as with audiophile-approved small ensemble content. Thus the calypso take on Cole Porter’s ‘Night And Day’ on Everybody Digs Bill Evans, in its 2007 remastered release [Riverside Records RLP-1129], found the player probing deep into the track’s knockout bass and drums – there are times when the pianist seems almost like a passenger. Yet it did so without calling attention to itself, allowing the listener to enjoy the virtuoso playing.
Even with the slightly rough sound of ELP’s At The Surgery release of live broadcasts dating back almost 50 years [X-Ray XRYCD015], which is a counterpoint to the whistle-clean Brain Salad Surgery album of the same time, the RS250A is all about the main event here – the musicianship and tightly locked interplay of the trio. Emerson’s whizzing and whirring synths mesh with Lake’s taut, unflashy bass playing and Palmer’s ‘max attack with total control’ mastery of his massive kit. This is the band at the peak of its pomp, for better or worse, and the massive sound was conveyed convincingly by the RS250A, bringing waves of nostalgia to this ‘I was there’ – well, at some point of the massive tour – listener. There’s even an 18-minute gallop through ‘Pictures At An Exhibition’ here, and a Palmer drum solo running to almost 12 minutes until it segues into a breakneck ‘Rondo’
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