Posted on 23rd May, 2018


Penfolds unarguably makes some of the world’s best wines. Now, equally unarguably, its VIP Still House also plays host to one of the best audio systems featuring Australian made brands.

Anyone fortunate enough to get an invite to the VIP tasting room known as the Still House at Penfolds' leafy Magill vineyard in Adelaide, can have a tipple or two as fine music plays via Australian made Krix loudspeakers and Elektra Audio pre and power amplifiers.

This globally famous VIP room hosts luminaries from the music industry along with discerning wine investors and wine media from all over the world.

Penfolds, now part of Treasury Wine Estates, has this kind of pulling power thanks to its range of fine wines.

Some are so sought after, one Aussie buyer happily paid more than $51,000  for a bottle of 1951 Penfolds Grange from an online auction.

Not bad for a winery that was started in 1844 by an English doctor called Christopher Rawson Penfold.

To cater for the different tastes of its sophisticated clientele, Penfolds went searching for an audio system that would be commensurate with its international reputation.

Scott Krix, Chairman and Founder of Krix Loudspeakers who are also based in Adelaide, answered the call with style and flair.

The system chosen by Scott included his newly released Esoterix Altum loudspeakers as reviewed by StereoNET recently.

To drive the ultra-high-end Altums, Scott turned to the Elektra Audio PYNX valve preamplifier and the matching Elektra Reference High Definition amplifier.

The system is a heavenly match, and we can attest this combination sounds sublime because we used the same pre and power amplifier to review the Esoterix Altum.

Before the system could be installed, there were a few hurdles to straddle. Scott Krix said:

It was decided to have a high-quality source loaded with a huge range of titles and music genres. This would have to be easy to use and access via say, a wireless platform like a high-end tablet.

But before installing the system, we had to consider the limitations an historic building such as Still House poses. The building was erected in the 1900s, and it understandably has a heritage listing. So no alterations of any kind were possible or permissible.

As for the existing sound system we replaced, it has to be said that a powered subwoofer and four tiny satellite speakers mounted in the building’s upper walkway, would not suffice.

Using Tidal and Spotify for the music, Scott Krix describes the sound heard via the Esoterix Altums and Elektra Audio electronics, as “stunning” given the considerable size of the VIP tasting room.

Scott Krix isn’t someone to blow his own horn, so when he says the low frequencies were “surprisingly good” we can interpret this as bass frequencies that were taut, powerful, informative and fast.

The Elektra HD amplifier rated conservatively at 250 watts per channel into an 8-ohm speaker load, is a synergistic match with the utterly transparent Esoterix Altums. We can attest it's much more than the proverbial steel fist in a velvet glove. This amp is entirely musical, transparent, has a 3D soundstage and has plenty of poise and refinement.

Scott Krix, Krix Chairman and Founder (left), Peter Gago AC, Penfolds Chief Winemaker (right)

Put this combination together, and the sound is so good, and the wine so enthralling you’ll understand why those VIPs visiting the Penfolds Still House, keep delaying their departure. Cheers!

More information: Krix | Penfolds | Elektra Audio


Peter Familari's avatar

Peter Familari

One of the veterans of the Australian HiFi industry, Peter was formerly the Audio-Video Editor of the Herald Sun for over two decades. One of the most-respected audio journalists in Australia, Peter brings his unparalleled experience and a unique story-telling ability to StereoNET.

Posted in: Hi-Fi Lifestyle
Tags: krix  penfolds 

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