Manley Labs Reference 240 monoblock power amplifier System


For this amp review the following equipment was used: Analog sources were a VPI TNT Jr. turntable, with cost-effective upgrade and outboard flywheel, on a Bright Star base and a Townshend Seismic Sink. Tonearms were the Graham 1.5T/C, and Clearaudio/Souther TQ-1. In my small room, a VPI HW-19 Mk.IV with a SAMA and mounted with a Clearaudio/Souther TQ-1 sits on a Bright Star J-7 base. Cartridges included the van den Hul MC-1 Super, Dynavector XX-11, AudioQuest MC-200, Fidelity Research/van den Hul FR-1, Denon 103/van den Hul, and Denon DL-S1. Digital front-ends were PS Audio Lambda and C.E.C. TL-2 CD transports and a Sony TCD-D7 "DATman" connected via coaxial, AES/EBU, Toslink, and AT&T optical connectors to EAD DSP-7000 III or EAD DSP-9000 III D/A processors.

Preamps in-house were the Threshold T-2 and Carver Research Lightstar line-level units, with Vendetta SCP-2C, Audio Research PH-2, and Gold Aero dB-45 outboard phono units. Comparison power amps included the Rowland Model 6 and Pass Aleph 0. Speakers were the Dunlavy Signature SC-VIs in my large room and the Avalon Eclipse speakers in my small room.

Interconnects—all balanced—included Audio Magic Sorcerer, Synergistic Research Kaleidoscope, and Wire World "Eclipse." Speaker cables were Dunlavy Labs DAL-8Z and Audio Magic Sorcerer (with the Dunlavys) and Synergistic Research Signature 2 and 3 (with the Avalons), all in 8' lengths. Digital cables used were Mod Squad Wonder Link 1 and Audio Magic Sorcerer coaxials, TARA Labs RSC Master AES/EBU, AudioQuest, Sony and Parasound fiber-optic cables.

All major components sat on Bright Star Audio Big Rock bases and Little Rock top plates. Other accessories included Room-Tunes Corner Tunes, Echo Tunes, and Ceiling Clouds, Acoustic Sciences Tube Traps and Shadow Casters (in the small room); Arcici Levitation stand (in the large room); Room-Tunes Just-a-Rack, Arcici Superstructure II, Soundstyle X503, and Billy Bags amp stands, Shakti Stones, Fluxbuster, PAD break-in disk, Music And Sound ferrite beads, AudioQuest ferrite clamps, Noisetrapper power strip, Synergistic Research power cords, TARA Labs RSC Master power cords (with Pass Aleph 0), Coherent Systems EAU-1 Electroclear AC line conditioner, AudioQuest record brush, Gryphon Exorcist conditioning tool, Nitty Gritty record cleaning machine, Radio Shack Sound Pressure Meter, Kleenmaster Brillianize CD cleaner, and a 1945 Martin 000-18 with original brass frets.—Steven Stone

Manley Labs
13880 Magnolia Ave
Chino, CA 91710
(909) 627-4256