Stereophile's Products of 2006 Analog Source Component
Continuum Audio Labs Caliburn turntable with Cobra tonearm and Castellon stand ($99,500; reviewed by Michael Fremer, Vol.29 No.1, January 2006 review)
Runners-up (in alphabetical order)
Brinkmann EMT Titanium phono cartridge ($2850; reviewed by Art Dudley, Vol.29 No.8, August 2006 review)
Graham Engineering Phantom B-44 tonearm ($4300; reviewed by Michael Fremer, Vol.29 No.1, January 2006 review)
Music Hall RDR-1 table radio ($200; reviewed by Sam Tellig, Vol.29 No.8, August 2006)
Pro-Ject Debut III turntable ($299–$329; reviewed by Michael Fremer, Vol.29 No.7, July 2006)
VPI TNT HR-X turntable ($10,500 with tonearm; reviewed by Brian Damkroger, Vol.29 No.5, May 2006 review)
Ladies and gentlemen, it's a landslide. With seven first-place votes, and more total votes than any other component in any other category, the Continuum Caliburn outscored our runner-up, VPI's TNT HR-X turntable, by a remarkable 13 votes.
For what it's worth, I got to hear this wonderful machine in June, at the Home Entertainment 2006 Show in Los Angeles, and was completely sold. That short time spent with the Caliburn stands out as one of my special moments in hi-fi, and is something I'm sure I'll never forget. The way the turntable brought Ibrahim Ferrer into the listening room was truly fascinating. Even now, I can imagine him clearly, clutching the mike and chanting warmly, "Dos gardenias para tí. " I, like many others, envy Michael Fremer for being able to live with the Caliburn every day.
While the Caliburn's only serious competition is the Rockport System III Sirius, Mikey decided that "The Caliburn beat the Rockport's overall performance by a considerable margin," adding an "emotional majesty" that made the Rockport seem analytical. We all know just how much that emotional majesty is worth.
The $200 Music Hall RDR-1 table radio also received one first-place vote. I wonder who was responsible for that. Heh-heh-heh. (I laugh Sam Tellig's evil laugh.)