YBA 1 Alpha HC power amplifier System

Sidebar 2: System

I used mostly digital sources (PS Lambda and Sonic Frontiers SFT-1 transports, Audio Alchemy DTI•Pro32 anti-jitter/re-dithering device, Sonic Frontiers SFD-2 Mk.II processor), but some use was also made of an LP setup (AudioQuest AQ7000nsx, Linn Ittok, fully updated Linn LP12). The Balanced Audio Technology VK-5 and Convergent Audio Technology SL-1 Signature served as preamps.

Digital links, interconnects, and speaker cables were TARA Labs RSC Master Generation 2, replaced late in the auditioning by TARA Labs RSC Decade. Source components and power amplifiers were plugged into a Chang Lightspeed CLS 9600 ISO power line conditioner, but the BAT and CAT preamps were plugged directly into AC (their preferred mode of operation). My 14' by 16' by 7.5' listening room has two dedicated AC outlets and several Tube Traps and RoomTune room treatment devices.

Loudspeakers were Dunlavy SC-IVs, with some use made of a pair of Rosinanté Evolution Sis (review to come). Amplifiers on hand for comparison included the Balanced Audio Technology VK-60 and the Jeff Rowland Design Group Model 2. (The Rowland Model 2 inverts absolute polarity, which was compensated for in comparisons by reversing both sets of speaker cables.)

A while ago, an article in another magazine referred to me as "one of Stereophile's leading tweaks," an appellation that I found at once flattering, amusing, and inaccurate. I will admit to using Kable Jackets on AC line cords and a Shakti Stone atop the digital processor, and I've been known to play the Purist Audio System Enhancer CD to facilitate equipment break-in. However, I don't suspend speaker cables with string, haven't the patience to tweak speaker position a millimeter at a time, and have trouble pronouncing "Mpingo."—Robert Deutsch

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