reviews

Audio Horizons TP 8.0sMCpn Phono and TP 2.1RnB Line Preamplifiers

Sometimes we are lucky by being in the right place at the right time. In this case, I happened to see the AudiogoN ad for Audio Horizons gear and clicked on the link to their Web site. Seeing the name of Joseph Chow, a long-time audio hardware engineer and a name I recognized, I researched his current products with great interest. In the past, Mr. Chow designed FM tuners for Kenwood and Proton.

Audio Horizons “More Than a Fuse” Fuses

Audio Horizons Platinum Reference Fuse

Audio Horizons Platinum reference FuseFuse "upgrades" never really turned me on (pun intended). I have tried aftermarket fuses from AMR, Audio Magic, and Synergistics and each was an improvement over stock fuses.

Audio Research LS 16 mk. 2 Line Stage Preamplifier

There are several definitions of “value”, but one that applies most to you, as a reader of audio reviews, is equipment that provides a proportional amount of enjoyment from the money you spent. In other works, pay a little – get a little enjoyment. Pay a lot – get a lot of enjoyment. Buy the best and the result should be artificial reality in your listening room.

Audio Research LS17 SE Preamplifier

The original Audio Research LS17 preamplifier was released in 2006 with a list price of $3,995. Using some of the same technology as the REF 3 and LS26 preamplifiers, the LS17 was targeted at a lower price point. The SE version hit the market in 2011 at $5,500. The upgrades in the SE version included “new Teflon coupling capacitors as well as other internal performance enhancements”.

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”.

Audioquest LeoPard Phono Cable

We do not have dozens of phono cables available from which to choose, as we do interconnect cables. It seems that only a few of the top manufacturers offer cables specifically designed and configured for the critical tonearm-to-phono preamplifier connection. One of these is Audioquest, one of the oldest high-end cable manufacturers.

Auralic Vega Digital-to-Analog Converter

The Auralic Vega DAC is a compact powerhouse, offering the latest in digital technology. At a list price of $3,495, it provides up to 32 bit 384 kHz decoding and upsampling and up to DSD256. The built-in volume control lets the Vega function as a preamplifier in an all-digital audio system. One key feature is a “Femto Master Clock” with only 82 femtoseconds (0.082 picoseconds) jitter.

Aurum Cantus Leisure 2 SE Loudspeaker

During the preparation for this review, I kept thinking about the theme of the Disney movie “Aladdin”: a diamond in the rough. Here at 10 Audio, we’re always looking for products that offer excellent value for the money in addition to offering outstanding sound. So the “rough” would refer to the price category of these beautifully finished speakers: $1600 with stands.

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