Fosgate Signature Debut
Is that Billie Holiday singing, I asked? No, it turned out to be Madeleine Peyroux, to these ears a Billie copycat who learned her lessons well. Singing "Don't cry baby" on the vinyl Original Masters release of Careless Love, the performance was as clear and colorful as could be. I just loved the sound of the Aesthetix Audio Atlas mono power amps ($16,000/pair), Reah Signature phono preamp ($7000) and Calisto Signature line stage ($7000), paired with Benz's new flagship LP S phono cartridge ($5000), Clearaudio Innovation Compact Wood turntable ($7000), Helius Design's new Scorpio IV tonearm ($950$1100 depending upon length), and the solid-looking Hansen Prince speaker ($48,000/pair).
Then we switched to the Fosgate Signature tube phono preamp ($2500), whose first production run is about to get underway. Its seven tubes delivered a very different presentation from the Aesthetix, surrounding Peyroux with her combo rather than spotlighting her up front and center. Each preamp will have its partisans; it's all a matter of taste and perspective. With either one, the music was delicious.