Placette Passive Line Stage Preamplifier

Finally...sigh...a component that does exactly what the manufacturer says it does and nothing more. This is the first component in my experience that has so little identifiable character as to be, in the most exact meaning of the word, transparent. But before I tell you how I really feel about this little gem, let's address the two major stereotypes of the passive preamplifier breed.

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.

Prism Sound Callia DAC Preamplifier

Prism Sound is well known in the pro audio space where their analog to digital converters (ADCs) are used in many of the best recording studios worldwide. The Prism Orpheus ADC/DAC was reviewed here in 2009. The Prism Callia USB DAC Preamplifier is a new product aimed primarily at the home or non-professional market.

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:

PS Audio Digital Link III D/A Converter with Cullen Circuits Stage 4 Modification

By way of introducing Cullen Circuits, please let me share a quote from their Web site:
“Rick Cullen has been building high-end home AV products for over 35 years, first as the production manager of PS Audio and later as the head of Cullen Circuits.

PS Audio GCC-500 Control Amplifier and Underwood HiFi-modified GCC-250 Control Amplifier

There are two kinds of listeners. Only two. There are the “eye-closers” who become lost in the music, losing track of time and where they are. They put on a record or CD and soon are immersed in a world of sensation. Astral traveling? Asleep? Hypnotized? At the end of the music, the return to reality can be jarring.

PS Audio GCPH Phono Preamplifier

I do not recall ever listening to a component where the concept of diminishing returns was such a recurring theme. Diminishing returns is an economic principle that says where a basic function can be served at relatively low cost, small incremental improvements are gained at disproportional cost increases. In other words, it can cost a lot more for just a little improvement.

PS Audio HCA-2 Power Amplifier

Sometimes, there is a very small difference between the winner and the second place finisher. If we observe their actual performance, we may be unable to see any substantial difference at all. There is only a couple percent difference in the DNA of a man and a chimpanzee, but in this case, the difference is immediately obvious. Being close to the top of the food chain is not enough. Put another way, almost good enough...isn't.

PS Audio NuWave Phono Converter

The PS Audio NuWave Phono Converter is a very useful and, more importantly, very good sounding component for the digital age.

PS Audio Stellar S300 Stereo Power Amplifier

The new PS Audio Stellar S300 stereo amplifier is a delightful surprise. At a list price of only $1,499, the sound of the Stellar S300 has characteristics of some of the best amplifiers available, at any price.


Subscribe to reviews