More "Recommended Components" Corrections

Despite our best efforts, things can still go awry with Stereophile's "Recommended Components" listing, the most recent edition of which appears in the current, April 2002 issue. I reported a couple of errors a couple of weeks ago and now, sadly, I have more corrections to offer.

When we check the current prices, we also ask every manufacturer whose products are included in the listing to let us know if any of those components have been discontinued or are no longer available. In their answering fax, Canadian amplifier manufacturer Bryston let us know that the 9B-ST amplifier was no longer available. Unfortunately, we mistakenly took this to mean that the 9B-THX was also no longer in production. The 5-channel 9B-THX, whose Stereophile review is made available in our Website archives this week, is very much available and should have been included in Class A (Solid-State). The text for its entry would have read:

Bryston 9B-THX: $3880
The 9B-THX boasts five channels, 120Wpc into 8 ohms, and is built like pro gear; ie, like a tank. Hand-soldered double-sided glass-epoxy boards and elaborate grounding scheme front special-grade steel toroidal transformers. According to JA, "the excellent set of measurements indicates solid, reliable engineering." LG was impressed by this amp's speed, power, extension, its tightness and definition in the bass, and its "excellent" midrange. Fully the equal of more costly amps with wide dynamic contrasts and "involving" vocals, and sonically similar to previous Bryston ST amps. THX capability, a 20-year (!) warranty, and a reasonable price make this beefy, reliable amp an attractive package—a perfect choice, suggests LG, for home-theater and multichannel music systems. (Vol.23 No.9 WWW)

Next, we had been told that the Class B Transfiguration Spirit and Class A Temper Supreme phono cartridges were no longer available in the US. This is incorrect; these cartridges are now distributed by Joe De Phillips of Discovery Cable. The entries should have read as follows:

Transfiguration Temper Supreme: $3800
MF and WP considered the original Temper the best they'd yet heard. Supreme update includes silver coil windings and the former/coil assembly now sits directly inside the core of a ring magnet for "accurate, efficient coupling," meaning fewer windings and lower moving mass. MF found it "still the most neutral-sounding, 'characterless' MC cartridge I've yet encountered," noting greater dynamics, punch, and "overall sonic excitement" without edginess or "hi-fi" colorations. Blacker backgrounds and improved image dimensionality too. "You get the outstanding detail of a great MC with the relaxed feel of the finest MM and moving-iron designs." The 250µV output mandates a quiet, high-gain phono preamp. Trading in your Temper for a Supreme runs $1600. The differences aren't "profound" but are easily audible, said Mikey. (Vol.19 No.7, Vol.23 No.2)

Transfiguration Spirit: $1500
Yokeless magnet technology, boron cantilever, silver coil wires, and 400µV output make a nice, user-friendly package, suggested MF. "Spirited" high frequencies, he dead-panned; neither bright nor etched, "spotlighted" on top, lots of air and detail. Midrange comes off slightly recessed due to emphasis on top. "Sharp focus...very, very clean and detailed, the bottom tight and fast" when run wide open at 47k ohms. Best for warm-sounding electronics or lush speakers. "Can't have it all for $1500," MF concluded, "but the Spirit offers plenty for the money." Retipping costs $800 with cartridge exchange. (Vol.23 No.5)

Finally, the entry for the Vistek Aurios MIB component supports ($299/3) read: "RD highly recommends these footers. New version 1.2 (not received yet) is supposed to make leveling less critical. (Vol.24 No.5)"

Bob Deutsch has now auditioned the new version and writes: "Vistek Aurios MIB 1.2 footers do everything the originals did, but leveling is indeed much less critical."

Our apologies to Bryston, Transfiguration, and Vistek, and to readers who may have been misled by these errors.