Stereophile's Products of 2022 Joint Analog Components of the Year

Joint Analog Components of the Year

Clearaudio Reference Jubilee turntable ($30,000 inc. tonearm; reviewed by Ken Micallef in July 2022, Vol.45 No.7 review)
J.Sikora Reference turntable ($47,000 w/o tonearm; reviewed by Michael Fremer in July 2022, Vol.45 No.7 review)

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Finalists (in alphabetical order)
Channel D Lino C 3.3 phono preamplifier ($3799 basic model, $7082 as reviewed; Michael Fremer and John Atkinson in June & July 2022, Vol.45 Nos.6 & 7 review)
Linn Klimax LP12 record playing system ($30,120 inc. tonearm, MC cartridge, and phono stage; reviewed by Herb Reichert in June 2022, Vol.45 No.6 review)
Sutherland Engineering Little Loco Mk2 phono preamplifier ($3800; reviewed by Herb Reichert in Vol.45 No.1 review)

Two winners, both moderately expensive turntables—though, because the J.Sikora price doesn't include a tonearm or cartridge (the arm adds about $9000), the J.Sikora deck costs considerably more.

But enough about price—what about performance?

In reviewing the Clearaudio Reference Jubilee, Ken Micallef noted that it didn't sound at all like his Kuzma rig, with its big soundstage, ample weight, and good drive. Instead, the Clearaudio "sounded like nothing ever heard here in my urban listening salon.

"The Reference Jubilee's sound combined vivid detail retrieval, forceful dynamics, a delicate, refined top end, and a translucent midrange. Levels of resolution, clarity, transparency, and trueness-to-source left me vinyl-shocked and thinking, 'So that's what's on this recording.' ... Records surrendered their secrets, their inner lives, their time-secured, soul-charged beauty.

"I didn't just hear more music; I heard more life force, a deeper recorded experience."

What about the J.Sikora Reference? Whichever tonearm Mikey used—the supplied J.Sikora KV12 VTA ($9000, with a 10% discount if bought with the 'table) or Mikey's reference 'arm, the very expensive SAT CF1-09—the "'table delivered Impressions of Duke Ellington's percussive transients with sparkling, effervescent clarity." The J.Sikora Reference, Mikey wrote, produced an "iron-fisted, well-tuned bottom end. ... It's bass I dreamed of having as a kid, the kind that kicks you in the stomach and leaves you wanting more!"

"Everything about the J.Sikora Reference—its well-tuned design and construction, its outstanding instruction manual, its fine power supply and 40lb, multimaterial platter, and of course the sound—make it a 'must audition' turntable at and well above its price."

About the Vote
Last year's competition for Analog Source of the Year included two mega-priced 'tables, the OMA K3 ($363,000) and the TechDas Air Force Zero ($450,000). Those 'tables, though, split the vote, and their extravagant prices seemed to repel some value-conscious reviewers. As a result, two less-expensive 'tables—the Clearaudio Concept Active Wood ($3700) and the Thorens TD 124 DD ($11,499)—split the prize.

This year we have another split decision—and another co-win for a Clearaudio 'table. In second place (or is it third?), the Linn Klimax LP12 system trailed the joint winners by two votes. The two phono preamps in the category, from Channel D and Sutherland Engineering, also made a strong showing, sharing third place.

COMMENTS
Jack L's picture

......seven categories: Amplification Component of the Year,.."qtd Jim Austin

My question is: did "each reviewer" already auditioned "EACH of the 3 items in the seven categories" in order to give valid & impartial nominations ????

Otherwise, how could it be a valid nomination in case the reviewer(s) concerned never auditioned those particular candidate components out of the seven categories he/she nominated ????

IMO, actual personal in-depth audition of a candidate components is crucial of valid & fair nomination given by the reviewers concerned.

Listening with own ears is believing

Jack L

ChrisS's picture

Jack L, do some reading.

Did you even read this article?

A priori?

Jack L's picture

Hi

I have read it. That's why I asked.

YOU think you read it but you don't seem to know what you are talking about !

Jack L

ChrisS's picture

A priori!

Jack L's picture

Hi

If I were a priori, you are a big mouthing posteriori !

Hahahahahaaha....

Jack L

ChrisS's picture

...everything in your head?

Jack L's picture

Hi

Sure, better than a huge posteriori like you "listen to your great stereo with your head so far up your ASS all the time" as per your pal: johnnythunder!

Johnnythunder1: get your kissing cousin johnnythunder2 talk to me as yr mouth stinks like your ASS !

Hehehehehe

Jack L

johnnythunder1's picture

with your head so far up your own ass all the time.

David Harper's picture

ignore this guy. everything he thinks is wrong.

ChrisS's picture

...between Jack L and David Harper.

Hehe...!

Anton's picture

I don’t think it would be a conversation so much as simultaneous monologues.

Jack L's picture

Hi

Since when Stereophile Components of the Years becomes a stage for you bunch of polylogue-jokers ???

Jack L

ChrisS's picture

...believing, Jack L!

Jack L's picture

Hi

If here were a library, reading books there is believing.

Here is Audiophile, so LISTENING is believing, right?

Besides, who wants to read any nonsense from "you bunch of polylogue-jokers" here ?

Hahahaha..

Listening to music is believing

Jack L

ChrisS's picture

...Stereophile.

I can also read Herman Melville's Moby Dick on my computer.

Are we believing yet?

Jack L's picture

Hi

First off, what's Stereophile magazine in your "libray" to do with "Mody Dick" read from yr computer ??

Stereophile is about audio/music - we listen with our ears.
"Mody Dick" = The Whale, is an 1851 novel read by the eyes.

Apple to orange comparison ! Former is for real vs latter is a fiction. So you believe in fiction, be my guest ! I don't.

This is an audio/music venue, not for novels reading. Thanks but no thanks.

Listening to music is believing

Jack L

PS: I am never a novels reader since day one. Too busy with my music listening already ! What dragged me in to start my first novel reading was the billion-dollar top seller: "Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown in 2003. The thriller was sooo popular I got to wait a while for it from my neighbourhood public library !

ChrisS's picture

...go round and round.

Jack L's picture

Hi

Come on. You should be "WATCHING yr eyeballs go round & round in your mirror to look for yr ears - gone with the wind !

For no-ear YOU, reading is believing, pal. HEhehehe...

Jack L

Indydan's picture

Hey Jack L, why does everyone pick on you? Maybe it's because the L in Jack L is for LOSER.

For Jack L, SUCKING is believing.

Jack L's picture

Hi

Who cares, SOURgrapes !

What "everyone"?? The editor here is not a "LOSER" like YOU here as he does not "pick on" me.

YOU "sucking" "loser" is my believing !

Jack L

Indydan's picture

Hey JackOFF the Loser, keep sucking!

Jack L's picture

.

Indydan's picture

Hey Jack L, I am hearing from reliable sources that you pick your nose and eat it...

rschryer's picture

Btw, I'm eating dude. Gross.

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