E.A.R. V12 integrated amplifier
New from E.A.R. USA is the V12 integrated amplifier ($9595), one of the prettier looking and sounding pieces I heard at CES. Many may remember E.A.R.’s V20 integrated, to which the V12 owes some inspiration. The V12’s visual design is also inspired by a Jaguar V12 engine, minus the motor oil stains. The V12 was designed by Tim de Paravicini and uses six EL84 tubes per channel. It puts our 50Wpc in triode mode. The sound, driving Marten speakers and using Jorma cables, was airy yet colorful.
Jason Victor Serinus elaborates on the Jorma cables: Jorma Koski, who owns Jorma Design of Sweden, designs all of his cables. When asked what makes them unique, he initially replied, “It’s the best cables in the world, except that everybody says that.”
Then he offered a more substantial explanation. As best as I could understand Koski’s heavily accented English, Jorma cables are made from hollow wires that are multi-stranded in a special way. Each hollow wire is stranded around ceramic fiber to make a tube-like formation. The thinner the sidewall, the better they sound. Very thin Teflon shielding is also used. All terminations are crimped; nothing is soldered. Jorma’s top-of-the-line cables also include Bybee filters to further reduce noise.
Jorma’s newest cable is Jorma Unity. It replaces and exceeds the performance of the first cable the company released in 2003, the Jorma No.1, yet costs the same. The line currently includes interconnects ($4000/1m pair) and speaker cable ($6000/2m pair).