RadioShack Optimus Pro LX5 loudspeaker System

Sidebar 2: System

I auditioned the speakers in both my dedicated listening room and Stereophile's listening room. Power amplifiers used to drive these speakers were a pair of Mark Levinson No.20.6 monoblocks and a Krell KSA-250, and an Advent 300 receiver (footnote 1). The preamplifier in my room was the remote-controlled Mark Levinson No.38S, with a Mod Squad Phono Drive EPS used to amplify LP signals from a Linn Sondek/Cirkus/Trampolin/Lingo/Ekos/Arkiv setup sitting on an ArchiDee table. A McCormack TLC was used in the Stereophile room.

Digital sources were a Mark Levinson No.30.5 HDCD D/A processor driven by a Mark Levinson No.31 transport via Madrigal AES/EBU cable and an Audio Alchemy DTI•Pro or a Sonic Frontiers UltraJitterbug (my room), and a Krell KPS-20i (Stereophile). It may be crazy to use over $30,000 worth of ancillary gear to drive cheap speakers, but, hey—being a reviewer entitles you to some perks. (Besides, I'm seriously familiar with the sonic signatures of my high-ticket gear.)

Interconnects used were AudioQuest's AudioTruth Lapis x3, speaker cable was a bi-wired set of AudioTruth Sterling. All source components and preamps used in my listening room were plugged into a Power Wedge 116, itself plugged into a dedicated AC circuit and fitted with the Power Enhancer option. The speakers sat on 24" lead-shot–filled Celestion SL stands, interfaced to the stand top-plates with small pads of Blu-Tack. The stands were spiked to the tile-on-concrete floor beneath the carpet and pad.—John Atkinson



Footnote 1: Resenting the available plethora of nasty little active multimedia speakers, I went the audiophile route when I set up my computer sound system. I bought the Advent—a highly regarded component in its heyday, the late 1970s—for $75 secondhand in almost perfect condition.—John Atkinson
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