Clearaudio Ovation & Clarify turntable & tonearm Associated Equipment

Sidebar 2: Associated Equipment

Analog Sources: Clearaudio Concept turntable & tonearm with Concept moving-magnet cartridge.
Digital Sources: Benchmark DAC1 HDR, Bel Canto e.One DAC 3.5VB Mk.II D/A converters; Bel Canto e.One CD 2 CD player & VBS1 power supply; Sony Vaio laptop computer.
Preamplification: Clearaudio Nano & Basic+ phono stages.
Power Amplifiers: Rogue Audio M-180, Simaudio Moon Evolution 880M (both monoblocks).
Loudspeakers: Revel Performa F30, Marten Django.
Cables: Digital: Stereovox HDVX coaxial, Silver Sonic D-110 AES/EBU. USB: Cardas Clear. Interconnect: Sain Line Systems Pure, balanced & single-ended. Speaker: Kimber Kable BiFocal X. AC: Sain Line Systems Reference.
Accessories: Shunyata Research Hydra 8 power conditioner; Ready Acoustics room treatments, ASC Tube Traps; butcher block audio table.—Erick Lichte

Clearaudio Electronic GmbH
US distributor: Musical Surroundings
5662 Shattuck Avenue
Oakland, CA 94609
(510) 547-5006

Stephen Scharf's picture

I think transducing an LP with a superb cartridge like the Talismann V2 and table as beautiful as the Ovation and then digitizing it, only to turn it back into analog again is just about the silliest thing I've ever heard. You gotta be kidding me...

John should have sent that table to me for to review. 


IgAK's picture

Must be kidding. As interesting technically as this table is, the review cannot be. Extra conversions are never a plus at best even for those who only hear measurements. But, more to the point, doing this homogenizes the result with either signal being run through the same DAC section, so no wonder at all Erick is shocked at how similar these sounded. I, OTOH, am not without even having been there, this was predictable at a distance. I would have been far more shocked had they sounded very different. Denature (or should I say re-nature?) what makes analog attractive and then convert back after stamping a digital signature on it, however well done...what can you expect? One does not have to be audio-partisan, digiphobic or psychic to see that coming. This was a pointless exercise done this way, not a "leveler". But the turntable description is interesting and attractive.

You're a lucky man, Erick, to have a tolerant wife. Now borrow a pre that doesn't make "bits is bits" macerated and masticated digits out of the analog music first, and you probably won't have to tell your wife how serious this table is because she just may wind up telling you how good it sounds instead.

Sigh, indeed...

davip's picture

What must a reviewer do to be censured by JA? This is just about the dumbest thing that I have ever read in Stereophile, but for Lavorgna's arm-waving in the sister-rag Audiostream where he raved about the 'Tea for the Tillerman' SACD and its obvious superiority over PCM without realising that the SACD was PCM-derived. Would you buy a $10k DAC on the word of someone who has his audiophile head turned by a bit of ultrasonic noise while spending the rest of his time listening to imagined differences between ethernet cables and sd cards?

What a sad digitised legacy for JGH...