analog

SOTA Cosmos Series IV Vacuum Turntable

I have to tell you that I have been putting off writing this review for months. Stalling, actually. It is not because I was faced with the unpleasant chore of writing a review about a poorly performing product. Writing one of those is something that just does not motivate me to spend a day or more writing and editing a review. The delay was for two good reasons:

SOTA Satellite Turntable and Origin Live Zephyr Tonearm

This review was suggested by two events: I have been enjoying a SOTA Cosmos vacuum turntable since 2007 due to its outstanding performance. The second event was my review of the VPI Classic turntable which appeared about a year ago.

Sutherland 20/20 and DUO Phono Preamplifiers

Sutherland DUO

The Sutherland 20/20 dual mono moving-coil/moving magnet phono cartridge preamplifier was introduced in 2010 and carries a list price of $2,199. The 20/20 differs from previous Sutherland phono preamps by being powered by the AC line, not by batteries. The design is what Ron Sutherland calls “Two Mono”. There are two entirely separate sections in the single enclosure separated by air, one section for each channel.

van den Hul Condor XCM and XGM MC Phono Cartridges

I can’t tell you what to buy. Even if I found the perfect component…well, what is “perfect”, anyway? Take an amplifier, for example. Let’s say that I thought that the Cary 300SEI amplifier was the absolute best amplifier on the planet. In my room and with my speakers, it just might be the best choice out of the hundreds of other amplifiers out there.

VPI Aries Turntable with SME V arm and SDS

An unexpected thing happened as a result of this review. I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later, but I didn’t expect it would be a turntable that was the catalyst. I was finally convinced that satisfaction from reproduced music has a tenuous connection to objective observations.

VPI Classic Turntable

VPI introduced the Classic Turntable to mark the occasion of their 30th anniversary. Since this turntable was auditioned earlier this past summer, a Classic 2 and Classic 3 have been announced.

VPI Prime Turntable and JMW 3D Tonearm

VPI Prim

Making quick judgments about the sound of a new component is dangerous. Those snap judgments are usually just a comparison to another component and are subject to change as the listener gets to know the new component better over time. For a new component, being definitive is often being silly.

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