Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Sources: 27" iMac with 5K Retina display, 4GHz quad-core engine with 4.4GHz turbo boost, 3TB Fusion Drive, 16GB SDRAM, OSX Yosemite, PureMusic 3.01, Tidal & Qobuz lossless streaming, COS Engineering D1 & H1, AURALiC Vega, Aqua Hifi Formula, Fore Audio DAISy 1, Apple iPod Classic 160GB (AIFF), Astell& Kern AK100 modified by Red Wine Audio, Cambridge Audio iD100, Pro-Ject Dock Box S Digital, Pure i20, Questyle QP1R; Bakoon DAC-21 [on review]
Preamplifier: Nagra Jazz, Wyred4Sound STP-SE MkII, Vinnie Rossi LIO (AVC module), COS Engineering D1
Power & integrated amplifiers: Pass Labs XA30.8; FirstWatt SIT1, F5, F6, F7; Bakoon AMP-12R; Crayon Audio CFA-1.2; Goldmund Job 225; Aura Note Premier; Wyred4Sound mINT; Nord Acoustics One SE Up NC500MB; Linnenberg Audio Allegro
Loudspeakers: Audio Physic Codex; Albedo Audio Aptica; EnigmAcoustics Mythology 1; Boenicke Audio W5se; Zu Audio Druid V & Submission; German Physiks HRS-120; Eversound Essence
Cables: Complete loom of Zu Event; KingRex uArt, Zu and LightHarmonic LightSpeed double-header USB cables; Tombo Trøn S/PDIF; van den Hul AES/EBU; AudioQuest Diamond glass-fibre Toslink; Arkana Research XLR/RCA and speaker cables [on loan]; Sablon Audio Petit Corona power cords [on loan], Black Cat Cable redlevel Lupo
Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all components, 5m cords to amp/s + sub
Equipment rack: Artesania Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc Krion and glass amp stands [on loan]
Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators
Room: Rectangular 5.5 x 15m open floor plan with two-storey gabled ceiling, wood-sleeved steel trusses and stone-over-concrete flooring
Review component retail: TBA

SAG. At April Music, Simon Kwangli Lee had already left a powerful mark for high-performance value-rich product. When his and management's dreams began to polarize and diverge too much, he resigned. But to continue what he started 45 years earlier, he set out to build himself a new home with SAG.


Spottable at Munich HighEnd 2017 if one knew where to look was an early 50wpc 3-input integrated without remote. "It's very basic but clearly reminds us of what the old sound was and why those days were good". A new circuit concept over his prior April Music Stello S100MkII, this would still be a simple but fully discrete 2-stage circuit with a pair of bipolar single-ended Darlington output transistors per channel. "We lost the genuine soft power of music. I want to get it back."


At home, Simon is very non-ostentatious by running his SAG integrated off an Astell&Kern media player or smartphone with a simple Y-cable. Not in Munich but already in South Korea were samples of two Accuton speaker models with custom horn-loaded soft-dome tweeter. Both were crafted by Simon's good friend in Southern France. One was a 6.5" 2-way monitor, the other an 8" 2-way transmission-line floorstander. That one Simon called "a personal dream come true". Depending on market response, he was already planning a CD transport/DAC all under his 'purity of music' concept. That was the state of affairs in Munich.


By late August, Simon thought he'd be just two months out from shipping first production samples, "starting with a small CD/DAC and integrated, then a full-sized preamp and power amp." To tease the concepts, he showed these renders.


That's all we know at present but with review samples promised, this tale has barely begun.
... to be continued...