Winners at a Glance

Analog

Digital

 Amplification

Loudspeakers

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Power Conditioning

Accessories

 

 

The 2005 Stereo Times
“Most Wanted Components” Awards Event
 

                

                Accessories

Editor's Choice! Publisher's Choice! Audience Adept Response Power Conditioner [$3800 Audience's John McDonald with Greg Petan]: The AC competition has just become red hot with the addition of the 12-outlet Audience Adept Response AC conditioner. Here's an AC product that easily produced a sound that rivaled the mighty Hydra 8 in most areas; bass tautness, dynamics and outdistanced it in others; sweetness and overall high-end resolve. At nearly $4k, it better acquit itself at nearly twice the price. Moreover, it had to work its magic once again in other systems. Here's what Petan and Kim had to say...

Having lived long and happily with the Shunyata Model 8, I was hardly in the market for a new power conditioner. After a very persuasive and enthusiastic conversation with Key Kim and Clement Perry, I was ready to give the Audience Adept Response a try. It took all of five seconds to reveal its grace on my system. Greater bass clarity, an increase in overall resolution and detail while improving the organic nature of instrumental texture left no doubt that the Audience Adept Response would remain a permanent fixture in my system. The $3800, Audience is targeted only at the highest end of audio systems [Greg Petan].

Key Kim remarks...Each of the 12 outlets are individually and double filtered from each other providing maximum component-to-component isolation.  This makes my life so much easier because the same conditioner can easily power my entire audio and video system.  The unit was so quiet that it was retrieving many musical details that were missing with other power conditioners. Amazingly, dynamics were increased, and most importantly, the music became more involving. The Adept Response sets a new performance benchmark in power conditioning.            

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Publisher's Choice! EquaRack Shelfless System Model DW [$5000 Photo above Joe Ciulla President of EquaRack]: The first thing one notices about this rack system is its size; it can hold twelve components which is very important if your AC conditioner can use some isolation treatment. The second is its unique way of holding components using specialized feet instead of shelves. Simply put, it is among the best built racks I've seen as well as tested to date.

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Publisher's Choice! Halcyonics MOD-1 Plus Active Isolation System [$7,500 photo from left to right: The Halcyonics Team of Franck Rougier, Andrew Gadzic and Sam Laufer ] Perhaps one of the most interesting and expensive tweaks I've had the pleasure of auditioning. Here's a product designed for electron microscopes in real-world laboratories (not listening rooms) boasting  eight highly sensitive (0.6 Hz to infinity) integrated sensors. Employing very sophisticated Piezo-electric acceleration detectors and Electro-dynamic actuators permits the MOD-1 Plus to go beyond simple resonance control applications commonly used. Sheer insight by way of the obsessive/audiophile (now exclusive) importer Sam Laufer got the MOD-1 Plus seeing work as a vibration/isolation device in serious audiophile setups. I've had the unit installed under my Gryphon Mikado CD player by Laufer and his crew and it was obvious as well as apparent right from the giddyup that the Halcyonics MOD-1 improved the stability of images as well as heightened dynamics. But its most important characteristic, the one that ultimately sold me, was its innate ability to simply make things appear to come from no source whatsoever. Super expensive but meant for systems where only the best - or synergistic - will do.  

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RICHARD GRAY POWER COMPANY - POWER DELIVERY SYSTEM:
[Photo left Bill Wells with RGPC National Sales Rep Anthony Chiarella] The RGPC Power Delivery System is comprised of the Sub Station, 1200S Line Conditioner and High Tension Wire (HTW) - Power Cords. This system provides significant benefits for both audio and video installations. In terms of the benefits for high-end audio, the RGPC system greatly reduces AC line noise, provides a black background from which the sound emerges distinctly and clearly. Along with this, dynamics are improved significantly, bass impact and articulation is enhanced and the soundstage takes on a see-through quality that allows the system components to basically disappear. In particular when using the 1200S line conditioner coupled to the 240 volt version of the Sub Station, for powering all system electronics, the overall improvements are not subtle but dramatic with the sound taking on such a real and lifelike character that even casual listening is enhanced. Each of these products can be used separately but to achieve the full impact and improvement, they should be linked together as a system.

Retails costs for the various components of the Power Delivery System include: Sub Station at $2995, 1200S at $2000 ($2100 in silver) and $495 for 1 meter length of the HTW Power Cords.  These cords are available with either 15 or 20 amp IEC connectors and are available in longer lengths as well (i.e., $200 per additional meter) [Bill Wells]

 

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THE SILENT RUNNING AUDIO OHIO CLASS XL PLUS ISOBASE™ [custom made isolation platforms - prices vary by component]: Simply stated the SRA Ohio Class XL Plus isolation platforms are the Rolls Royce of resonance control devices. Their elegant yet deceptively simple appearance do not tell the entire story of their complex nature or the attention to detail and almost maniacal build quality within. These platforms are not your standard one-size fits all variety but are component specific designs tailored to the exact dimensions and weight distribution of your chosen component. Based on the same technology used by the designer to address resonance control issues in multimillion-dollar nuclear submarines, the result is an airtight platform containing a thermally reactive Jell-O -like substance capable of changing its density in response to the specific vibrations caused by that component's typography; in essence, a "smart" platform. No other isolation product can make such a claim. The resultant sonic effect is an improvement throughout the entire frequency spectrum, better dynamics, lower noise floor, more "air" around instruments and voices and, best of all, no sonic price to pay in the form of harm done in any other area! The SRA Ohio Class XL Plus platforms are not inexpensive, but considering the prices of most components and cables today, they produce excellent bang for the buck improvement and allow you to coax the very best from your components [Frank Peraino].

 

                                 

 

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