Threshold Stasis SA/12e power amplifier System

Sidebar 2: System

I used the SA/12es in a system consisting of the Oracle Delphi Mk.IV turntable with Oracle 345 arm and Dynavector XX-1L cartridge, Sony CDP-X77ES CD player used as a transport with coaxial link to an Esoteric D-2 D/A converter, Rowland Consonance preamp, and B&W 801 Matrix Series 2 loudspeakers (no LF equalizer used).

Interconnects were AudioQuest Lapis (with the exception of the coaxial CD transport to processor link, which was a garden variety but 75 ohm video cable); loudspeaker cables were AudioQuest Clear Hyperlitz (bi-wire pair). The preamp-to-power-amp link was about 25', the loudspeaker cable length was 7'. A balanced preamp-to-power-amp link was used throughout the auditions on the reasonable (I believe) assumption that anyone purchasing an amplifier in this price category offering balanced inputs will want to use those inputs—if not now, then certainly eventually. If you already own a good pair of unbalanced pre/power amp interconnects for which you paid an arm and a leg, the manufacturer should be able to re-terminate them with balanced connections for far less than the cost of new cables. And practically all new high-end preamps are designed with a choice of unbalanced or balanced outputs.

I encountered only one problem with the hookup of the SA/12es. Used with a normal three-prong AC cord, a ground loop was formed (the preamp also uses a three-prong plug), and with the usual result: hum. Threshold states that this should not be a problem with balanced interconnects, but I did not find this to be true in my case. I found it necessary to use cheater plugs (which I have also had to use with other amplifiers) on the SA/12e power cords to eliminate the problem. Threshold recommends that it is more desirable for "cheating" to be done at the preamp, but it was not convenient to do so in my setup.—Thomas J. Norton

Threshold Audio, Inc.
PO Box 41736
Houston, TX 77241
(713) 466-1411