The Dynamic Sounds Associates (usually just DSA) were here at RMAF to show off their new line stage preamplifier, the Pre 1 ($16,500). This new preamp is cosmetically matched to the Phono II ($12,000). With six inputs (three balanced), the Pre I allows the owner to set the gain on each input between 6dB and 15dB. There’s also a headphone jack under the front panel.
The Phono II is another interesting story. Solid-state and heavily configurable — and all from the front panel — the Phono II can handle three RCA/XLR inputs with individually varying gain of 40, 50, 60 and 66dB. Did I mention that it got a Stereophile Class A recommendation?
The turntable on the rack was a Classic 4 from VPI, here mounted with two JMW tonearms and regulated by the external SDS speed control system. On the one arm I got to hear was the brand new bamboo-cantilevered Miyajima Madake ($5,995); the other arm carried a Miyajima Zero ($1,995), Michael Fremer’s favorite mono cartridge.
A Wells Audio Innamorata Signature stereo amplifier ($15k) sat to the side of the Kanso Audio Furniture rack ($8,477). The Innamorata Signature really takes the base Innamorata and adds in super-choice parts — Duelund PIO caps, for example. Full readout is on the Wells Audio site.
A massive Silver Circle Tchaik 6 ($10k) handled power distribution. There’s a photo below with a Tchaik with an acrylic cover — get a load of that transformer! Yes, it’s huge — the thing weighs over 100lbs! I first explored this unit back in 2012, and it’s been anchoring my system since. Here, it sat on its own Kanso amp stand ($1,700), which is probably a good thing or that Innamorata may have been swinging in the air.
The loudspeakers were the TAD Compact Reference CR1 Mk2 & TAD-ST1 Stands ($45,000).
DanaCable Classic Quad speaker cables, 3.5m length ($4,480) Diamond Reference 1.0m ($1,500) Gold MC phono 1.0m ($1,600) PowerForce Power Cord, 2.0m length ($295) Source Clarifier Power Cord, 2.0m length ($395).
A popular room, here, and rightfully so. The sound coming out of the incredibly revealing TAD speakers was fluid and lovely. Given that these speakers are notorious for holing the pride of many a designer, this is an accomplishment. Nice work.