Audio Research Classic 60 power amplifier Reference System
The Classic 60 was used over a period of four months with a variety of ancillary components. Preamplifier was mainly a Mark Levinson No.26, first used with its outboard No.25 phono preamplifier, then with the latter replaced by the excellent External Power Supply version of the Mod Squad's Phono Drive. I also used both the sample of the Audio Research SP14 reviewed by Guy Lemcoe in June, as well as an SP14 loaned by California dealer Howard Rodgers (RogerSound Labs, Upscale Audio). My reference Mod Squad Line Drive Deluxe (soon to be updated to the latest 1990 specs) also saw service for CD replay. Loudspeakers used were the pair of Celestion 3000s reviewed last May, Celestion SL700s, Dick Olsher's Black Dahlias (constructional article forthcoming), and the superb Avalon Eclipses (review forthcoming).
Following some experimentation, all loudspeakers were driven from the Classic 60's 4 ohm outputs. The Celestions were used on their dedicated spiked and lead-shot-filled stands, the Dahlias on spiked and lead-shot-filled 16" Celestion SL stands, and the Avalons each sitting on three German Acoustics "Audio Selection" brass cones. All the speakers except the Dahlias were used in bi-wired mode. Cables were in the main AudioQuest—Lapis interconnects and Clear Hyperlitz speaker cables—though Audio Research interconnects were also used between pre- and power amps, Audio Research speaker cable used between amp and SL700s, and Cardas Hexlink "Golden 5" between the amp and the Avalon speakers. The power amplifier was first used on an MDF board sitting on Mod Squad Tiptoes; then on a Sound Organisation spiked table.
Source components included a Linn LP12/Ekos/Troika LP player sitting on ArchiDee and Sound Organisation tables, Meridian 206 and Kinergetics KCD-40 CD players, and my 1974-vintage Revox A77 to play back master and copy-master tapes. Apart from the turntable, all other components sat on Target equipment racks fitted with carpet-piercing spikes.—John Atkinson