This sense of natural visceral energy contributed to highlight the dynamic transitions from small scale signals to powerful crescendos without adding delayed scaling in-between. Of course the fact that none of the three players dominated the scene contributed to such natural dynamic contrast. On Chen Sa's Memories Lost [BIS], the quantity of air and reverberation from my loaners was not entirely on par with what my Japanese reference amplifiers achieved. Admittedly though, the Luxman M800 sounded a bit laid-back in comparison, perhaps in a slightly romantic way so typical of pure class A transistor amps. So the Tarim Audio amplifiers sounded a bit faster, with perhaps less extension in the treble to give more emphasis to the midrange. This sounded more straightforward whereas the Luxmans had their own articulation. Both readings seemed completely valid and a choice between them would be matter of taste not superiority.



Both were able to accurately track the left hand articulation and weight on piano solo tracks like "Etude, opus 55 Farewell" or "Impromptu, opus 9". That's normally a determining criterion to assess the accuracy and precision for any amplifier. Here the Flood House devices really did a good job of delivering precise rhythm and impact of the left hand. In relation to the right hand, I observed  greater harmonic profusion with my personal setup but really thought this difference mostly down to my DHT preamplifier which represents a kind of state of the art in ultra-short circuitry. Still, the results I achieved with the Tarim Audio gear was very convincing compared to many other contenders I previously hosted.


Listening to Carlos Heredia's Gypsy Flamenco gave me an even better assessment of my loaner's tonal accuracy especially in the midrange. The bass register was undoubtedly a forté but the midrange too was outstandingly linear and dense without being oversaturated. This unusual linearity didn't highlight more detail but definitely improved the realism of tone. This core strength was particularly obvious on the rapid but punchy guitar arpeggios and palmas. Usually these ambient components of Flamenco music blur with the room acoustics to sound dark. With the Tarim Audio gear, the texture of the acoustic guitar's strings was completely recognizable, with very limited decay which I suppose was inherent to the recording itself. The same clarity applied to hand claps which were easily identifiable. That highlighted the intrinsic quality of Tarim's preamplifier which had to be transparent enough to make all that possible.



On the Jurek Lamorski Quartet's Lucky album [Membran Records], the Tarim quartet delivered rich sound, precise imaging and a good quantity of air and detail. The Polish accordionist sounded at turns smooth or rather aggressive. This important contrast between soft and hard passages made me think that the Flood House system was rather neutral, limiting its own contributions to instead focus on what these four musicians had recorded. The accordion's midband was close to my live experiences with a natural organic texture as well. The level of details was excellent, allowing me to hear the sound of buttons pressed and bellows opening and closing. 


Conclusion:  The Tarim Audio Flood House set is something very special. This 4-box Latvian gem offers a very unique design, is built to high standards, has a strong character and stands completely apart from the broad collection of standardized me-too amplifiers. Tarim Audio gives you obviously more, undoubtedly also for an elevated price but in line with build quality and sonic performance. Thus I think this gear will meet the expectations of audiophiles who look for something different that is versatile with huge dynamic range and which doesn't belong to any particular category of sound. Indeed, the Tarim Audio doesn't sound British, American, French or even 'hifi'. Perhaps this absence of standardization makes it so appealing since when you are listening to live music, you never wonder whether it sounds British, Swiss or American. No, it sounds as it does. Ditto the Flood House electronics. For that alone, they are a must audition.


Tarim Audio website