Superphon Revelation preamplifier

Superphon's Revelation Basic preamplifier is made by Stan Warren (footnote 1), formerly the "S" of PS Audio, so it should come as no surprise that the Revelation Basic and the PS Audio Source sound much alike. The Revelation Basic sells for $399, assembled (no kit available). Like the Source, the Revelation has an outboard AC power transformer to minimize hum problems. But unlike the Source, the Revelation has dual volume controls (a pain) and lacks moving-coil capability.

The Revelation seems to offer slightly greater depth and detail than the Source, although it is not quite so mellow sounding. It's also an extraordinarily good preamp for $399. Unfortunately, I did not have the Revelation and the Source in for auditioning at the same time, so I can't quite choose between them. You won't go wrong with either one—maybe you should make your choice based on the moving-coil section of the Source, unless you already have a good step-up device or prefer moving magnets. Or maybe your system needs more or less mellowness.—Sam Tellig

Sam Tellig on the Revelation Dual Mono, August 1985 (Vol.8 No.4)

Alas, if life were simple! No sooner had I settled in with the combination of the Quad 34 preamplifier and Quad 405-2 amplifier than I received the latest Superphon Revelation Dual Mono preamp—sans moving-coil stage. If the original Superphon was a very good preamp, this Dual Mono is a killer. It is quite simply the best preamp I have ever heard with moving-magnet cartridges. Considering that it only costs $399, this is extraordinary. Use it with a Shure V15-VMR or an Audio Technica AT-140ML (both available for less than $150 if you shop), and you may find yourself in ecstasy. A more complete review of the Superphon is in the works.

Does this mean that I'll give up my days-old Quad? (footnote 2) Frankly, I am torn. It is one of the best-sounding preamps I have heard, and just look at the lavish compliments I've heaped on it above. I may keep it because of well it handles CD and old recordings. But the Superphon does very well with old recordings,too; there are no tone controls, but it avoids a strident treble. And its depth and imaging (though not detail) are unsurpassed by anything I've heard. I'm sure I'll get through this (identity?) crisis somehow, aided by Stan Warren's willingness to let me keep the review sample for a while. Keep your eyes on these pages.—Sam Tellig

Footnote 1: Superphon is long gone but Stan Warren can be contacted at Supermods 2375 21st Avenue, Eugene, Oregon, OR 97405. Tel: (541) 688-9723.—John Atkinson

Footnote 2: Help! No, no, and no! How is the audiophile-neurotic reader supposed to do any better with an example like this?—Larry Archibald

Anton's picture

One of the greatest preamp lines of all time.

I still use two: Both are the Revelation 2 in space cases, one has a volume control for each channel, the other has a volume and balance set up.

They are still very competitive. Superlative.

I look around for Stan Warren from time to time, but find nothing.

If any of these pop up on the used market, buy buy buy!

tonykaz's picture

These things sell for around $200 on Ebay, there is one for sale just now.

I knew Stan, years ago, now I understand he's up in Oregon.

Tony in Michigan

ps. I was a seller of PS Audio stuff starting with the PS 4 Preamp.

allhifi's picture

Oh, to go back (to 1985). I really enjoyed the openness and honesty from the writer's here. Such polite, no-nonsense frankness that has long since vanished from society -and many hi-fi mag's.

I recall the Superphon name (in 1985) from a hi-fi store I'd soon find myself (surprisingly) employed. Though I don't recall listening to it. Or seeing it, come to think of it-lol.

Oh those days, to return would be grand indeed. Everything back then seemed far more accessible -and affordable. In fact, for hi-fi purchases that would remain the same for the next twenty years; by 2005, the price explosion began in earnest. The reasons unclear to this day.
Yet the insane pricing of hi-fi goods will, mercifully come to an end. And fast. Just as fast as it had escalated circa 2005 -perhaps faster. Here's hoping.


radleyw's picture

Haha. Stan warren is my grandfather. Interesting to see you guys still think the Superphon holds up. I'm sure he'd be quite happy to see these comments.