Avalon Eclipse loudspeaker 1991 Review Context

Sidebar 1: 1991 Review Context

Source components used in the preparation of this review consisted of a Linn Sondek/Lingo/Ekos/Troika setup sitting on an ArchiDee table to play LPs, a Revox PR99 to play 15ips master tapes, and the Meridian 208 (Bitstream) CD player, this also used to drive the Stax DAC-X1t processor.

Charles Hansen is a big fan of Convergent Audio Technologies' SL-1 and recommended I use this tube preamplifier to get the best sound from the Eclipses. This didn't prove possible, however, so my preamplification consisted of initially a Mark Levinson No.26/No.25 combination, then either a Mod Squad Phono Drive EPS or my 1984-vintage Audio Research SP10 hooked into one of the line-level inputs of the Meridian 208 CD player. (The latter was also used to feed the power amps direct.)

Power amps used with the Avalons included a Mark Levinson No.23.5 and a pair of No.20.5s, an Audio Research Classic 60, a pair of VTL Compact 160 tube monoblocks, and a pair of Rowland Model 1s, all connected to the preamplifier via 15' lengths of AudioQuest Lapis unbalanced interconnect. Speaker cable was 5' bi-wired lengths of Cardas Hexlink, this recommended by Avalon's Charles Hansen, but I also used 5' bi-wired lengths of AudioQuest Clear and double 5' runs of AudioQuest F14.—John Atkinson