Gradient SW-57 subwoofer System

Sidebar 2: System

I used the following equipment for this review: Analog source was a Thorens/Chadwick TD-125 Mk.II turntable mounted with a Graham 1.5 tonearm, with armtubes fitted with Denon DL-103 C/van den Hul, EMT/van den Hul, Fidelity Research FR-1 Mk.3/van den Hul, van den Hul MC-1, and AudioQuest BH-200 cartridges.

Digital Sources were a SOTA Vanguard CD player and a Magnavox CDB-582 with Boulder SoundWorks analog section. Preamplifiers were the Dennesen JC-80 Mk.II gold in balanced and single-ended configurations, the Atma-Sphere MP-1 music preamp (balanced only), and the Vendetta SCP-2A phono preamp. Power amplifiers for the subwoofers included the Electrocompaniet AWD-100 and AWD-250 and the Parasound HCA Mk.II. Power amplifiers were the Atma-Sphere MA-1s, a Harman/Kardon Citation II with Kennedy Audio triode modification, and a Conrad-Johnson MV-75.

Other speakers used for this review were the Paradigm Studio Monitors, Vision Acoustics Soloists, and Green Mountain Audio Diamantes. Interconnects included Straight Wire Virtuoso and AudioQuest Diamond (both single-ended only), AudioQuest Lapis (balanced only), and WireWorld Eclipse (balanced and single-ended). Speaker cables were Straight Wire Maestro, Kimber KCAG, WireWorld Eclipse, and ART. Room-treatment products included RoomTunes CornerTunes, EchoTunes, and Ceiling Clouds. ASC Tube Traps are installed in the corners of the room.

Gear was placed on a RoomTunes Just-a-Rack, an Arcici Superstructure IIs, an Audiostream equipment rack, a Bright Star Big Foot and Little Rock for CD players, Sorbothane pucks and Target amplifier stands. Other accessories included a Fluxbuster for cartridges, Shun Mook wooden pucks on preamps, The Original Cable Jacket wraps on power cords and some input interconnects, Music and Sound ferrite beads, AudioQuest ferrite clamps, Chang Audio Lightspeed 6400 power-line filters (one on input sources and one for power amps), AudioQuest record brush, Nitty Gritty record-cleaning machine, Radio Shack spl meter, SOTA Record Clamp, Kleenmaster Brillianize CD cleaner, and the selected works of Harlan Ellison—specifically, "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream."—Steven Stone