Brian Damkroger ponders the Classé Omega monoblock power amplifier. "The Classé Omega is expensive, costing $25,000/pair," notes BD. But he also finds the amp a "drop-dead-gorgeous, massive, industrial-art chunk of aluminum and steel set off with a subtle mix of curves, contours, finishes, and textures." And then there is that Classé sound.
John Atkinson finds that the Dynaudio Contour 1.3 Mk.II loudspeaker—a completely overhauled iteration of the original Contour 1.3 Mk.I, released several years back—reveals details in recordings that most speakers smooth right over. JA reveals other details about the Contour in his review, complete with comments on the Contour 1.3 Special Edition from Sam Tellig.
For Listening #5, Art Dudley tackles audio moderation, Lowther Land, and the audio puritans spying on the nudists next door. AD also explains the statement, "Just because I have a job in the lunch line doesn't mean I have to keep serving the kid who shows off for his friends by spitting out his food."
While doing background on the InnerSound Eros Mk.III electrostatic loudspeaker, Larry Greenhill discovers that "the presidents of all three American ESL companies share common names." But do they share a common sound? Greenhill investigates.
From the October 2004 issue, Michael Fremer reviews the mbl 101E Radialstrahler loudspeaker, enthusing, "In one night's listening orgy, I tore through albums by the Weavers, Harry Belafonte, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Tony Bennett, etc—all recorded live in Carnegie Hall. The results were nothing short of astonishing."
Writer Brian Damkroger had always wanted "a really good, big solid-state amp" to match his Magnepan loudspeakers. So when the Classé CAM 350 monoblock power amplifiers arrived, it seemed like at least one of his dreams had finally come true. But was it a match made in heaven? Damkroger lays out the details in his January, 2001 review.
Robert Deutsch tackles the Balanced Audio Technology VK-40 preamplifier, noting "Few topics will get audiophiles into an argument more readily than a discussion of the relative merits of tubed and solid-state equipment."
As Michael Fremer puts it, "In analog, it's the little things that count, and Rega's upgrade of the basic Planar 3 design to the Planar 25 can only be described as visibly 'small.' But the sonic improvements I heard during my first encounter with the $1275 arm/'table combo were audibly big." Fremer takes a close look at and listen to the Rega Planar 25 turntable for Stereophile readers and attempts to reveal all of its secrets. Sam Tellig adds his two cents' worth.
Jonathan Scull writes: "Cable dressing is actually a rather delicate issue that requires a certain leap of faith. The concept is so simple that even I can explain the science to you." And explain he does. Read "Fine Tunes #7" to learn the whole story.
Pay $350,000 for an amplifier?!?!! Michael Fremer takes a deep breath and plugs in the Wavac SH-833 monoblock power amplifier in order to hear for himself what he might get if he traded in his house. "When tmh's Jim Ricketts asked me if I wanted to review this eight-box assemblage," says MF, "the first thing I did was laugh at the ludicrousness of the situation. Then I said, 'Why the hell not?'"