SOTA Cosmos turntable TJN's Associated Equipment (1990)
The associated equipment used in assessing these turntables included the Benz-Micro MC-3, Krell KC-100, and Clearaudio Gamma and Veritas-S cartridges, Klyne SK-5a preamp, and Mark Levinson No.23 power amplifier. Interconnects were AudioQuest Lapis (early versions). Speaker cables were AudioQuest Green (bass) and Green Hyperlitz (mid/highs) (bi-wire). Other equipment used with one or both turntables included the VTL 90/90 power amp and Vandersteen 2Ci, Acoustat Spectra 11, and SOTA Panorama loudspeakers.
The SME V arm was used for all of the auditions. The latter entailed a certain disadvantage: an arm and 'table together (along with the cartridge) are responsible for the overall sound of a turntable system. Strictly speaking, what we are analyzing here is the sound of two quite different turntables using the same arm. But that arm is a frequently chosen mate for each of them. And the use of the same arm throughout minimized the number of variables, prevented (at least to a degree) communicative chaos, and kept this Ph.D.-thesis-length review from turning into War and Peace. If either of these turntables had sounded mediocre or worse with the SME V, fairness would have demanded that it be auditioned with another arm. But such was not the case.—Thomas J. Norton