Seen above is the Pluto 12a
special series 2 turntable. After two full years of careful development, the
12a uses aluminum, carbon fibre, ceramic compounds and stainless steel to
offer exceptional vinyl replay. The bearing is a "hand built ball and
diamond seated side bearing". The motor is continuously adjustable for
33.3 and 45 rpm playback. Suspension is via very a stiff spring mechanism. To
reduce the effects of power supply instability from adversely upsetting the
rotational speed, a battery supply PUS is employed. The 12a turntable is
$6,800, the 5A tonearm is $4,300 and Pluto 1 cartridge is $4,600.
Contrary to the gossip, the Jeff Roland Design Group is in
business and happily offering more of their critically acclaimed devices. Seen
here is their new MC-6 ($15,800), six-channel amplifier. Capable of producing 150 wpc
into six channels @ 8 ohm. This was quite a large unit and like other Jeff
Roland amplifiers, it is built like a German tank. Both balanced (XLR) and
unbalanced (RCA) inputs are provided for with very high quality speaker binding
posts included as well.
The wonderful Italians at SAP are now offering their Cinema
($2,500 for two channel, $5,100 five channel) an all tube modular five-channel
amplifier. You can start with two channels of tube amplification and
eventually add three more modular boards to complete this five channel unit.
Claimed power output is 30 wpc with a frequency response of a super wide 18 Hz
to 250 kHz.
Seen above is the SAP Anniversary Phono Stage ($1,050) that
mates with their Anniversary integrated OTL amplifier ($5,500) or can be used
alone with external power supply ($500). When used with their Anniversary
preamplifier, the electrical power is supplied to the phono stage via an
umbilical cord. SAP is definitely a company to keep a close lookout for in
your local stores.
Tetra Listening Instruments were showing (from left to right)
their Rebel ($2,350), Live ($5,600), and Space ($3,500) triangle-shaped
loudspeakers. All three are ported designs and use a 1" tweeter. The
Rebel uses a 5" woofer driver while the Live employs a 8" driver.
Meanwhile, the Space uses 6" driver.
Bright Star Audio now offers an Air Mass DVD ($149) platform
to "decouple" your sensitive DVD player from external vibrations
from adversely affecting your music reproduction system. They have now offer a
Reference Series which utilizes new higher-grade polymers and multi-layer
construction. Five different models are now offered including the Air Mass 2
Reference ($750), Air Mass 3 reference ($650), Big Rock 2 Reference ($500),
Big Rock 3 Reference (($350) and Little Rock 2 reference ($500).
VAC's Avatar ($3,590) is a great retro-tube looking E34 based
integrated amplifier. This fully integrated preamplifier/amplifier and includes
a phono stage too! The phono stage handles both MM and high output MC
cartridges. Multiple input capability, tape loop, and "home theater
bypass mode" (which allows the amplification to be used more purely) are
provided for. Speaking of amplification, push-pull EL34 pairs are used to
produce a 60 wpc output. User selectable triode/ultra-linear operation is also
included too. A wireless remote control is available for only $390.
Wavelength Audio were using their Napoleon (front) or
new Mercury AV20 (rear) on my new fave horn loudspeaker... the Avantgarde
Acoustic Unos. The Mercury AV20 is a single stage, single tube single-ended
amplifier. Hmmm.. makes me glad i am a single, not married, guy. Seen here, it
is using the highly desired Western Electric 437A driver tube. Also used in
this system was the Nirvana cables (another favorite of mine). Nirvana now
offers their all new S-X Ltd. interconnect cable which is claimed to achieve
and even lower noise floor than their well received S-L model. Also new is
their DC 110 AES-EBU digital cable.
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