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Audio Research LS26, Bel Canto PRe3 and McIntosh C220 Preamplifiers

We will not be talking about the ability of these popular preamplifiers to transport you to musical bliss or to bring musicians into your listening room. This survey is not about the musical performances of these components and how the bass, midrange, treble, or soundstage is more or less like the “real thing”.

PS Audio AV Power Center 5000

The PS Audio AV Power Center 5000 is a remarkable device with an extensive list of features that places it at the very forefront of this product category. From the PS Audio Web site:

Merlin TSM-MMe Loudspeakers

I am having an acute sensory conflict. My eyes are telling me one thing and my ears are reporting something completely different. I clearly see the Merlin TSM-MMe loudspeakers sitting on 22” stands. And there is music in my room. The problem is that the music is so completely disconnected from the speakers that it creates some confusion about the source of the sound.

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Jones Audio PA-M300 Power Amplifiers

The new Jones Audio PA-M300 monophonic amplifiers finally and definitively make obsolete the idea that solid-state sound cannot be as pleasing and involving as tube sound. The aural distinctions between the two technologies have been fading over the years as parts quality and design experience has advanced, but each type of amplifying device has been easy to identify with a short audition. No longer.

Velodyne Optimum-12 Subwoofers

Adjusting the controls on a subwoofer for best performance takes time and patience. It is always interesting to see ads for used subwoofers appear on the Web stating “only a week old” or “barely broken in”. These almost always identify a dissatisfied owner.

Prism Orpheus Digital Interface

A long and winding road leads to this review. The road is by no means smooth and straight, bumping along with disappointing gear and side trips to failed technologies. The road is an analogy for this writer’s audiophile journey, which currently finds us in a very nice place thanks to the Prism Orpheus Digital Interface.

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