This story begins back in 1993 when Israel Blume establishes Coincident Speaker Technology. Mr. Blume wanted to produce a speaker unrivaled in sound quality at an affordable price. Since that time this Canadian company has expanded its manufacturing base to include, amplifiers, preamplifiers, speaker cables and component interconnect cables.
The Statement MCPP
This power supply provides an ultra stable power source. This is accomplished by employing four different stages of independent ultra stiff choke regulation. The supply is dual mono with two transformers per channel. One transformer is for filament power and the second transformer has huge reserves for high plate voltage. All internal capacitors are ultra-pure high quality polypropylene and there are no electrolytic capacitors used in the circuits. All internal wiring is hand soldered from point to point eschewing the use of printed circuit boards. This is the basis for the manufactures claim of vanishing low ripple, zero clipping artifacts, minimal AC noise and non-existent hum.
The Moving Coil Phonograph Preamplifier:
The Coincident Statement Phono Preamplifier's
front panel has two independent left and right volume control potentiometers.
This is something that I wish all two channel amplifiers had. Near the center
you will see two small toggle switches, the first is a mute switch and next to
that is the phono amplifier input selector. The input selector logically has two
positions because there are only two sets of input jacks, Phono and CD. I have a
minor gripe about the way the mute switch is labeled. Of course, the two positions are labeled on and off.
However, the word MUTE is silk screened at the bottom of the switch and I would
rather see it placed above the switch, to me this is far more logical. It should
read Mute; on with the switch in the up position and the word off should be at
the bottom as you flip the switch to the down or off position. Looking at the preamplifiers back panel and reading from
left to right, you will find two pairs of RCA input jacks one is labeled CD and
the other is labeled Phono. The CD input can accommodate any high level signal
source thereby obviating the need for a preamplifier stage.
next to that is a gold-plated grounding lug. In addition, at the center is a
cartridge impedance selection knob. This is a switch that has four numbered
positions, clockwise they are 3-10, 11-30, 31-100, 101-300 Ohms. There are no
other markings but I believe the numbers represent resistive cartridge loading
in Ohms. Next and right of that is the umbilical connector from the power
supply. Last and at the far right side are two sets of left right channel RCA
output jacks labeled Phono Out. There are two pairs of amplifier outputs from
this moving coil amplifier to allow system bi-amplification.
Cartridge And Record Ritual
Install cartridge in headshell and lock headshell to arm.
Rough set tracking force too approximately one and a half gram.
Adjust arm pillar height to level bottom of cartridge parallel to record
Step five: Set
cantilever alignment and cartridge overhang with a Cart Align mirrored
Step six: Set
tracking force at, 2 Grams with a Roksan Stylus Balance, then recheck everything
in the previous steps.
Using the Ultimate Analogue Test Record
(AAPT1) and the Fozgometer Azimuth Range Meter set stylus perpendicular vertical
With the cartridge tracking the moving record adjust rotational speed to exactly
33.3 RPM with the DT2234A Digital Laser Tachometer.
Hearing Is Believing?
Alpha 2 Moving Coil Cartridge
On side one of the same album is another great track, "Taking It To The Streets". The sound of a tambourine can be heard from the beginning and all the way to the end of this cut. However, the sound of this tambourine is buried and overlaid by every instrument and voice present on the recording. It serves as a good test of detail resolution. Suffice it to say that the Alpha 2 was able to follow this thread of sound all the way to the end.
The same fourth dimensional factor (Time) is evident on the next recording. Dire Straits, Brothers In Arms [Warner Brothers-25264-1]. I had forgotten the incredible wealth of detail and wide open window of sound that exists on this recording. On the cut Money For Nothing the sound is dynamic and with every musical element you can hear a progression of distinct pitches and delineated lines. Because of this, it was very easy to make sense of the bass guitars chord changes and it is the bass lines that anchors the structure of the composition.
Enigma: The Devil is in the details, or a reminder that set up matters. The vinyl playing system you listen to is made up of interacting parts. It is after all a turntable spinning a recording of variable quality through a cartridge possibly misadjusted, hanging at the end of a moving and vibrating arm. So how do you separate the contribution/coloration if any that the moving coil amplifier imposes on the performance? And how much of that reproduced music is attributable to the cartridge as opposed to the amplifier itself. There is only one (practical) way to find out. It is by swapping known cartridges and by exchanging one for the other while listening to the same songs on the same recordings.
Paraphrasing Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle "The solution is elementary: you must eliminate what is impossible and what ever remains however implausible is the truth."
Therefore, let us listen to a second cartridge, the almost
ubiquitous Denon DL 103 moving coil with its 0.33 milliVolt output. And so back
to the Doobies and listen once again to the cut, "Taking It To The Streets".
The Denon is a fine budget moving coil cartridge but it does not have the
resolving power of the Alpha 2. The Denon lost the thread of the tambourine
sound on two occasions. Obscured and buried deep under the backing track mix, it
finally did reemerge near the end of the cut.
Out of a record pile came disk three, Stevie Nicks and her
album, "Bella Donna". A
reissue produced by Mobile Fidelity [MFSL-1-121] the sound from this album was
surprisingly poor. The treble and bass frequencies sounded truncated, meaning
compressed. The effect was as though the dynamic life had been sucked out of the
vinyl. Mobile Fidelity and their Gain Cutting System has always produced
extremely good vinyl recordings, so what was going on? The answer came after
readjusting the arm height. I did this even though all the records played where
the same thickness. Of course that altered the cartridge vertical tracking
angle. Additionally I reset the Statement resistive load to the 31 and 100 Ohm
setting to approximate the manufacturer's 80-Ohm specification. After
adjusting the vinyl setup the transient response returned and so did a measure
of ambience and Ms. Nicks' micro tonal vocal inflections.
The lesson must be that even with competent recording
engineers, there is still some latitude and interpretation of the mastering art
that coexists with the recording industries standards.
By contrast when listening to Compact Disc's there
exists a digital barrier between you and the realization of what is real and
belonging to the natural sound of living things. It is fundamental to the way
your brain processes the information in the world around you. We have a
marvelous instinct based on a very primitive ability to filter out background
noise and sense movement and perceive danger approaching in the darkness. The
barrier I refer too is predominantly an under lying digital graininess,
(possibly quantization noise). These digital artifacts exist on a subliminal
level, still the human brain can and does instinctively sense that it is
present. It is these non-linear divisions of sound that do not perfectly fit
into our analog world. That is the raison d'ętre for the Coincident Statement
The story of this device has been a test not only of the
Coincident preamplifier but of this writer. The high-level preamplifier input
sounds exactly like what you plug into it. It is the most transparent
preamplifier that I have ever auditioned. The familiar sound of my Marantz
DV8400 CD player and my Sangean HDT-1 digital tuner was unaltered in any way.
Try as I may the Coincident preamplifier has no obvious faults, you may disagree
but your objections can only be based on differences in taste. Like a masterful
painting, no single element sticks out. No color, no objects in the foreground
or background, no perspective is distorted in size. You can look at it and
instantly it makes sense. You will know exactly what the artist wanted you to
see, but you may not know how you know it. At this point, I can identify only a
few very broad qualities. The Phono section does not have the lighting fast
transient response of some solid-state phono stages, but that might be a good
thing. What you will hear is a vinyl performance deep and wide painted with airy
microtonal details that can suspend disbelief, it is this that erases the here
and now, and it is this that draws you into the performance.
If you posses and enjoy a quality collection of vinyl than it makes perfect sense to experience this world class Statement Phono Preamplifier.
Review System Components
Amplification: Sanders ESL power Amplifier, Audio Research SP-9 MK 3 Preamplifier
Speakers: Aurum Cantus Leisure 2 SE two-way monitors on 24-inch stands.
Onix Rocket Strata Mini four-way speakers.
Cables: Monster Reference 4 pairs of two 0.5 meter and 1 meter plus 1.5 meter
Power: Wire World 10 gauge IEC line cord
A comfortable chair.