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Part One

  The new phone books are here! The new phone books are here! Here we are in San Francisco on May 28, 1997. After sharing a great breakfast with J. Skull and his wife as we discussed Formula One racing it was off to da show. As usual my first priority is hitting the music vendors to scoff up all the cool new music. Classic Records had the new Miles Davis Kind of Blue on vinyl. According to my sources, it's better then the UK pressing equivalent. DCC had Jethro Tull's "Aqualung" on their excellent 180 gram vinyl which was just released today (got one of the first copies right here :-) ). Also released by DCC is Jefferson Airplane's second album titled Surrealistic Pillow. Old rock 'n' roll never dies, it just keeps going and going and going. OH, speaking of old rock... The EMI reissue of Pink Floyd's killer tuneage Dark Side of the Moon. i'd tell ya more, yet let's just say there seems to be more and more new vinyl comin' out on domestic and import pressings. Life is good. And to tease you, DCC is going to release the album Elvis is Back at the end of this week. Now on to just a few of the toys i saw today.


Sphynx Preamplifier

And the winner for the most sexually erotic preamplifier goes hands down to the above unit. Using a dual mono design, the Sphynx offers a fully tubed preamplifier which includes a MC phono stage for higher output cartridges. Using the 5U4 for rectification, the 417 for phono duties, and four 6922 tubes for pre-amplification this unit seems just as serious as it is erotic. Interstate transformer coupling helps to bring this yummy into the audio stratosphere. If all that's not enough for you, this unit also uses a unique, log-linear separate right and left volume potentiometers. Offering one phono input, five standard inputs, and one tape loop this is one serious new unit. (Said with humor) Wonder if Madonna would buy it?


Amphion Monoblocks

New killer cool stuff is now being offered by CR Development LTD. Making their transformers 'in-house' gives them the capability to insure high quality, well matched transformers are in their units. They were showing lots of goodies. The one which caught my eye was their new mirrored monoblocks called the Amphion. Producing 12 watts per channel of single-ended 'class A' power they sounded very good in my humble opinion, in their demo room. Stupid me didn't write down the tube complement. i'll lookey-see tomorrow and update this info. Priced at $5,000 and finished in chrome this might be seem in my personal music reproduction system shortly for a test drive. On the road of life there are passengers and there are driver... Drivers wanted


Sonic Frontiers CD Transport

Doing it's best impression as a UFO or a 60's retro futuristic design is the new Sonic Frontiers CD transport (did i just say retro futuristic). MAN, this baby will have all sorts of digital outputs, the top-o-the-line Phillips laser and other yummies this sure looks like something right out of the TV show Lost in Space! The unit seen here is a prototype. Not too sure of the official release date but it looked too good for me to not mention it here. No price, no working unit, no literature by Sonic Frontiers. Ok, this part of the report might be worthless information wise but sometimes things are just nice to look at.


Nagra PL-P

Nagra has decided to reenter the consumer market after many years of absents. Nagra has been making highly rated equipment for over 45 years and if you've even been to a high quality recording studio, odds are they had some Nagra gear. Enter the new Nagra PL-P preamplifier. Anyone who's ever owned Nagra gear will tell you it's built like a tank! What first made me go ga-ga is the fact that this unit uses tubes and is 100% powered by a rechargeable battery system. Tubes on the go! Specifically, standard rechargeable "D"-cell batteries makes the puppy sing. The power supply regulation circuitry is dual DC to DC to ensure the unit is fed nice clean electricity. To ensure high quality sound and to enhance battery life, this unit will only 'turn on' the tubes specifically used for the various gain stages of the multiple inputs as needed. Nagra even included a phono stage! Yep, a MC/MM phono stage from the folks who brought us the industry standard Nagra D digital recorder. Amazing huh? Using custom, in-house made transformers and variable capacitive loading from 47 pf to 837 pf, this phono stage is one flexible dude. One 12AT7 and one 12AX7 serve as tube duties for the phono stage. For line level inputs, well, you get three (far left knob). The next two knobs are for left and right channel input level adjustments. To the right of those knobs is a classic analog modulometer. Last, but not least, is the far right knob which adjusts the units output level. The units line stage is also tubed via two 12AT7 and four 12AX7 glowies. All inputs are via RCA connectors. i could go on and on about this unit, but then you might get some idea that i'm gonna buy it or something :-) . Lookey here, it's a bloody Nagra!!! Need a say more?


---> Part 2












































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