ProAc–Leben–Aaaah

For me, the last day of a show like FSI is for checking up on rooms that I somehow missed (and that I heard people talking about), and re-visiting rooms that were particular favorites.

Rooms that I had missed, but was able to catch up on, included the Tenor Audio/Avalon/Audio Aero room, the Fidelity Audio/Nagra/Verity room (with Rene Laflamme playing the superb high-resolution version of his official FSI show recording), and the Ayre/Verity room: all offering great sound—and all in a price range that's expensive by almost any standard.

At a price substantially lower than these stellar offerings—although not quite entry-level—was the room featuring ProAc D Two speakers driven by the Leben CS600 integrated amplifier. This just seemed to me like a well-balanced system in every way: sound quality, with equipment that's not over-the-top in price but offers solid value, and has an elegant appearance. I was quite taken with the retro look of the Leben CS600 ($5000, EL34 tube-based, hand-built in Japan, with point-to-point wiring) which just oozes quality in a way that recalls the classic Marantz components.

Share | |
COMMENTS
Robert C's picture

Classic Marantz? Looks like late 70's Pioneer stuff to me, that's what hit me when I first saw it. Perhaps Pioneer copied earlier Marantz?

Robert Deutsch's picture

By "classic Marantz," I meant something like the Marantz Model 1: see http://www.hifi-museum.com/js/marss/1_fs.htm

Stephen Mejias's picture

So pretty.

selfdivider's picture

Hooray, Leben! I'm glad that the Stereophile editors' impression of the CS600 was very favorable, esp. JA... (I don't work for Leben or anything, just own it.) Nice that they went w/ EL34 tubes; the standard configuration is 6L6, as the stock Sovteks which come w/ the amp are the 6L6GCs. Now I'm very curious about those ProAc D2s...

Jim Ross's picture

ProAcs new D2s are absolutely amazing; the best speaker any where near this price category that I've ever heard - and I've heard a lot! And they don't seem to be too fussy about amps either, just make sure you give them a bit of juice to work with.

michaelavorgna's picture

Mr. Taku Hyodo, the designer/owner of Leben Hi-Fi worked for Luxman pre-1979. He certainly kept that cool vintage vibe. See http://www.thevintageknob.org/LUXMAN/SQ38D/SQ38D.html

X
Enter your Stereophile.com username.
Enter the password that accompanies your username.
Loading