Offering both moving-coil and moving-magnet phono inputs, both of which can be adjusted to suit an extremely wide range of cartridge loading requirements for gain, impedance and capacitance, the E-Glo Petit’s circuitry is a hybrid design, using both 12AX7 valves and 2SK209 J-FETs, with not a single op-amp anywhere in sight. ‘With its fully discrete, op-amp-less design, we were able to achieve an outstanding sound in a small and compact form factor,’ says Jozefína Lichtenegger of E.A.T.… Read the full article
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Two years ago I reviewed the Grado Labs Statement v2 Cartridge ($3500), at that time the highest priced Grado cartridge—the top of their Statement Series. Reviewed using my VPI Industries Prime Turntable, I was so impressed, it has remained as my reference since—it further pulled me into vinyl. After that review, I concluded that besides speakers (which are in general large and heavy), phono cartridges (always tiny and light) are examples of a component that can significantly change the sound quality of an audio system in a way that is immediately noticeable.
The $6,000 Grado Labs Aeon Phono Cartridge debuted this year.… Read the full article
Parasound’s new $1,199 Zphono XRM phono preamplifier (pictured above and below, click on images for larger versions) bridges the price gap between its entry-level Zphono at $399 and its award-winning Halo JC 3 Jr, at $2,995. The new model includes balanced XLR outputs, a switchable rumble filter, a mono/stereo switch, plus a continuously variable load adjustment for moving-coil cartridges that allows adjustment between 50Ω and 1050Ω. Separate input jacks and independent circuits for MC and MM cartridges mean that you can use dual turntables, each fitted with a different cartridge.… Read the full article
Stenheim Alumine Three Loudspeakers, Einstein The Silver Bullet OTL Mono Amplifiers and The Pickup Phono Cartridge
There were two causes for excitement in Room 1534: the premiere of the Stenheim Alumine Three ($29,900/pair), the Swiss company’s newest three-way floorstander, and the return of Einstein Audio to the US. The latter comes courtesy of its new brand ambassador, Walter Swanbon of Fidelis AV. The sound wasn’t perfect—it was a little peaky on what may have been an unnaturally bright Deutsche Grammophon LP of Geza Anda playing Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.17, but it was still wonderful (and, sadly, the only Mozart I heard at the show).… Read the full article
Rowland Conductor Phono Preamp, Joseph Audio Perspective2 Graphene Speakers, Cardas Nautilus Power Strip, Audio-Technica ART 1000 Cartridge
Once again I experienced the mellow core of the Jeff Rowland sound. This time, it was in the room he shared with Joseph Audio and Cardas Audio, where the big news was the premiere of the Joseph Audio Perspective2 Graphene speaker ($14,999/pair). When I entered, a track from a recording I know very well, Rosa Passos and Ron Carter’s Entre Amigos, was sounding far more mellow and toned down than on my system. This setup also brought out the mellow core of a sweet violin in the Bruch Scottish Fantasy.… Read the full article
As soon as most vinylphiles see a trapezoidal nugget in wood, stone or metal with some delicate Japanese Kanji, our moving coil hearts skip a beat. I’m a Phasemation guy—Japanese made, but no Kanji. Just a beautiful hunk of Duralumin. How many of us have lusted after a Koetsu Jade Platinum or Blue Lace? Hand made gems of the very best audiophile jewelry. And the heart of a fine analog front end.
The Kiseki Purple Heart NS (New Style) is the modified version of the Japanese cartridge that made the turntable rounds thirty years ago.… Read the full article
Vandersteen System 9 Speakers and Amplification, Channel D Lino C Phono Stage, AudioQuest Niagara 7000 Power Conditioner, HRS SXR Silver Rack
Vandersteen lovers, of which there are many, may stare in disbelief at these words, but AXPONA 2019 marks the first time that I truly got why so many people rave about Vandersteen’s sound. At least I think I did. Even if I didn’t fully get what other people get, I got enough to say, “Oh yeah, uh huh, that Vandersteen midrange is surely something worth writing home about.” In fact, based on what I heard, I see why some people would prefer to cart up the whole thing and let it do the speaking.… Read the full article
AXPONA’s Master Class lectures offer a series of seminars on sometimes controversial subjects. To wrap up Friday afternoon’s talks, Channel D’s Rob Robinson explained why for phono preamplifiers, current-mode amplification, with its zero-ohm input impedance, gets the best signal/noise ratio from moving-coil cartridges, compared with conventional voltage-mode circuits, and even improves tracking performance. Michael Fremer reviews Rob’s new Lino C 2.0 current-mode phono preamplifier in the June 2019 issue of Stereophile.… Read the full article
CHICAGO (PTA) — After going all-in with its high-end Halo products at the recent Florida Audio Expo (Tampa) show in February 2019, Parasound now focuses it’s efforts on debuting more affordable audio components at Axpona 2019. This time, it’s Parasound’s NewClassic line that receives another great update with the NewClassic 200 INT Integrated Amplifier.
It’s true, Parasound has made recent updates to the NewClassic and Z-Custom lines. The new Zphono XRM has been exactly what audiences have been clamoring for in an affordable but high-quality phono-stage from Parasound.… Read the full article