The three P20 Power Plants, two BHK monoblocks, 12 channels of 1,000 watt amplification, the Infinity IRSV and all the other peripherals to be found in Music Room Two form the basis of the PS Audio Reference System.
Is it the best system in the world? Of course not. There’s likely no single system that might qualify for that honor.
What we can say, however, is that it is a reference-quality system. And what does that actually mean?
In my view, a reference system has a number of requirements. It must be neutral, full range, highly resolving, unflappable, and most important, reliably utilize all its merits to test the identity, strength, quality, and purity of any connected gear. In other words, it cannot impart its identity on devices under test.
While constant improvements to the system are expected—even demanded—those improvements must always be made with the goal of neutrality without suffering sonic bias.
A true reference system is different than a maxed out home audio system. In the former, we want limitless unbiased resolving power where, in the latter, we accept bias in favor of knocking our socks off.
You probably don’t have a reference quality system at home, but in the long run, that’s likely a good thing.