McCormack Power Drive DNA-1 power amplifier 1995 System

Sidebar: 1995 System

The DNA-1 Deluxe saw time driving Genesis II.5 loudspeakers and Apogee Slant 6es (see my review in this issue). With the Genesis, the DNA-1 Deluxe drove only the ribbon midrange and tweeters, not the woofers, which are powered by Genesis's dedicated servo amplifier. Although auditioning the amplifier in this way won't tell you anything about its bass performance, it was highly revealing of the Deluxe's midrange/treble qualities and soundstaging—particularly because I'm so familiar with the Genesis driven by the reference-quality $12,000/pair Audio Research VT150 tubed monoblocks. The Apogee Slant 6, however, was an ideal full-range speaker for evaluating the DNA-1 Deluxe: its price makes it a likely match for the DNA-1 Deluxe, and it presents a moderately difficult load to the power amplifier.

Source components included a Mark Levinson No.31 Reference CD transport driving a Sonic Frontiers SFD-2 Mk.II, Mark Levinson No.30.5, or the Theta DS Pro Generation V D/A processor. The balanced interconnects between the processor and the Audio Research LS5 Mk.II preamp were AudioQuest Diamond x3, and the long interconnects from the preamp to the DNA-1 Deluxe were AudioQuest Lapis. Loudspeaker cable was Transparent Ultra, AudioQuest Dragon/Clear bi-wire, or bi-wired runs of Symo (with the Slant 6).

The analog front-end was a modified Well Tempered Turntable and Arm, fitted with an AudioQuest AQ7000NSX cartridge and amplified by a Vendetta Research SCP2B phono preamplifier. The turntable sits on a sand-filled Merrill Stable Table. Phono interconnects were Monster Cable Sigma.—Robert Harley