Bel Canto Defines the New Black

There's a big change in the Bel Canto line, folks. It even comes with a new logo and website, As for the sound, listening to an Elvis Presley outtake of "Peace in the Valley" on a 45rpm pressing from Acoustic Sounds called Stereo ’57, I loved the wonderfully clear and uncolored sound, as well as the natural "you are there" detail. To be honest, I drank it up.

Doing the honors for Bel Canto Black were the ASC1 asynchronous stream controller ($20,000) and MPS1 PowerStream monoblocks ($30,000/pair), which output 400Wpc into 8 ohms, and up to 1200Wpc into 4 ohms. Bel Canto owner/designer John Stronczer tells me the line, which was shown in prototype form at last October's Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, came about after he decided to take his designs to the extreme, control the entire signal path, and achieve a potential 128dB dynamic range at the amps' outputs. For this, he created a streamer with the lowest noise-emitting clocks he could find, custom DSP, and high-speed ST fiber. Units shape in late January.

I can't give Bel Canto Black total credit for the joy; I was listening via a Brinkman Oasis turntable and 10.5 tonearm outfitted with a fabulous Soundsmith SF230 Strain Gauge cartridge with full-function preamplifier ($12,900). The system also contained the excellent Joseph Audio Pearl 3 loudspeakers ($31,500/pair), Cardas Clear Beyond and Clear cabling ($18,000 total), Shunyata Power Conditioning, and superb HRS (Harmonic Resolution Systems) stands ($7780 total in maple finish) and RXR-1921-3V frame.