For those taking a cursory look at the Antigone and drawing comparisons against Shunyata, Mr. Robidoux is quick to differentiate. Although they follow a parallel path to some extent, they are dissimilar [there's also the Dutch Akiko Audio Corelli– Ed.]. The Shunyata isn't 4 gauge all around, doesn't go for point-to-point wiring, uses different filter materials, a circuit breaker as power switch and none of the top-line nano-crystalline Furutech receptacles. The basic idea of filtration with capacitive powders may be the shared but the implementation is quite different. The exterior Antigone is understated but heftily utilitarian and it weighs in at 11kg. Basic construction is brushed black-anodized aluminium and a 10mm faceplate sports the company logo and product name. Fixings are black recessed Phillips bolts. Dimensions are a stout 43.1 x 40.6 x 15.2cm WxDxH. The rear panel holds the ten outlets and single 20-amp input. On the bottom are four substantial anti-resonance footers. Internal construction seems impeccable with a logical layout. The Antigone ships without cord but the maker recommends their Red Fire Ultra as perfect companion and shipped one along.

Setup required some quick electrical work. The Antigone's 20-amp focus necessitated substituting my existing 15-amp wall outlet with a 20-amp version to accommodate the different prong configuration of the Furutech NCF FI-50 20A wall plug. The cabling change also created an automatic proviso. Although I have a good stable of power cords, all fall into the 15-amp category. That meant I had to approach the DR Acoustics Antigone and Red Fire Ultra power cable as a system without ability to reference either independently. The rest of the system comprised a Tortuga Passive preamp, Wyred4Sound Music Server and DAC2 and Bel Canto EVO 200.4 feeding the Apogee Duetta Signatures. Cabling was my Arkana Physical Research loom. The GutWire Ultimate grounding cable was removed for the primary sessions to ensure a more level playing field between the DR Acoustics and the Exact Power EP15A power conditioner it replaced. Later sessions reintroduced the Gutwire to explore whether or not a premiere AC power management product could still see further benefits from the external grounding approach. The Paradigm subwoofer was kept in for the duration.

Break-in was quick and painless but one detail had to be addressed before I was satisfied that the Antigone operated at full clip. Despite best efforts by the manufacturer, the conditioner proved quite susceptible to external vibrations and required careful attention to prevent substantial sonic compromise. A dedicated high-quality rack or alternative vibration management device will be mandatory for best results. Now that my stage was set, musical selections had yet to be made. I kept the repertoire as broad as possible to reflect different tastes, styles and caliber of recording.

"Dooji Wooji" from the HRx edition From the Age of Swing [Reference Recordings HR-59] with its extended resolution and dynamic range does wonders for this jazz recording mastered by Keith O. Johnson in 24/176.4. The entire album represents a system challenge to capture the wide difference between the fine low-level details and instrumental peaks without elevating natural acoustic playback level. Soundstage and hall detail are impeccably captured and the performance is exemplary. La Folia de La Spagna: Gregorio Paniagua & the Atrium Musicae de Madrid [Harmonia Mundi] is a 24/192 private transcription of the legendary 1980 analog recording. The engineering is first rate in every parameter and the performance quality and choices are inspired lunacy. It has all the hallmarks of superb early period instrumentation including sitar, power saw and garbage truck. Yet it's off-the-wall fun and well done to boot. It makes a perfect companion piece for your PDQ Bach collection.

"On Melancholy Hill" and "Doncamatic" from The Singles Collection 2001-2011: Gorillaz [Parlophone Virgin] is fun fare from virtual hip-hop/electronica/indie group Gorillaz, fronted by fictional cartoon characters from Tank Girl cartoonist Jamie Hewlett. Comprised of a core group of singers and musicians and augmented by a revolving roster of guest all-stars, the band has a wide and eclectic style that evokes memories of complex Beatlesque structure on one side and snappy infectious bounce on the other. "Azul IV.Yrushalem and "Tierkreis:Leo" from Azul:Golijov [Warner Classics] i well-executed modern classical ensemble material from The Knights conducted by Eric Jacobsen with Yo-Yo Ma doing stunning work on the cello. The album is a wealth of offerings from various newer classical composers that demonstrates technical skill and emotional insight. Recording quality is intimate and intense with emphasis on instrumental textures that parades a richness of complex detail, attack and decay.

"Don't Kill my Vibe" from Don't Kill my Vibe; Sigrid [Island/Universal] has Norwegian pop artist Sigrid Solbakk show off artistic prowess and legitimate singing credentials with two versions of her hit single. Real vocal nuance minus the crutch of auto tune distinguishes her as a true singer with singular style and a centered emotional core. One version will hit the popular air waves with The other hits the heart with beyond-years intellect and talented control. Both are well performed and honestly engineered. Choose a favorite version.