Classé Omega line-level preamplifier SIDEBAR 2: Associated Equipment

SIDEBAR 2: Associated Equipment

I compared the Omega preamplifier mostly to the similarly priced Nagra PL-P, with short bursts on the hugely more expensive Burmester 808 Mk.V and YBA Signature 6 Chassis. Power amplifiers tethered to our JMlab Utopia loudspeakers included the big stereo Omega, a pair of AudioPrism Mana Reference 6L6-powered tube monoblocks, and a pair of cute but entirely brawny Accuphase M-2000 solid-state monoblocks. I ran both sides of the dual-mono Omega and the monoblocks using the balanced-power-from-two-phases-of-positive trick I noted (and highly recommend) in June's edition of "Fine Tunes."

Power cords included AudioPrism's own ACFX and Synergistic's scary-expensive and scary-good Designer's Reference Squared (footnote 1). Flowing electrons were kept happy and in order with an API Power Wedge Ultra 116 on the front-end and a pair of API Enhancers on the amps. Balanced runs of Designer's Reference interconnect fitted with the Discrete Shielding option filled out the rest of the system and remained a reference throughout the auditioning period, along with Designer's Reference speaker cables.

LPs were played with the Spotheim La Luce turntable, its elegant form cradling an SpJ tonearm fitted with a Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum cartridge. The digital front-end was the dCS 972 Sample Rate Converter into the dCS Elgar D/A converter at 24/192, fed by the Burmester 989 CD transport. All digital cables were the amazing XLO The Limited.

Argent RoomLenses and ASC Studio Traps, as per usual, evened out the frequency response, tamped down standing waves, and tightened up the bass most effectively. Speaker cables and long runs of interconnect were held aloft by a combination of Right-Way Audio Suspendors and PolyCrystal Cable Towers. The La Luce was held steady by a Bright Star Air Mass 2 and a Big Rock sandbox.—Jonathan Scull

Footnote 1: The power cord used throughout Bill Gates' system, it's said. Do you think he's out there somewhere on The Road Ahead, reading Stereophile? Wonder if he has a turntable...
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