Our favorite components for Jack’s music system


If you are familiar with “Jack and the Beanstalk” you will recall he likes to listen to the Magic Harp. He also needs instruments to slay the Giant.

In this space, we will feature audio components of exceptional value that slay components that have gigantic prices.

The Audreal LP-2 phono stage is a true Giant killer against all other transistor units.  Why?- because it is a vacuum tube circuit.  

Designers like to target low noise with silly little op-amps and transistors in units selling for over fifteen thousand dollars.  But in that pursuit, music dries up and disappears.

The Audreal LP-2 places no solid state parts in the signal path and the reward is instantly revealed when you cue the first LP.  A broad palette of musical harmonics, bold dynamic shifts, and a richness that will make analog playback captivating.

This is easily accomplished with affordable cartridges since the Audreal LP-2 is built for medium to high output cartridges that require standard 47K loading.  We will feature some of our favorites later in this space.

We have enjoyed this phono stage for many years.  At the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show it was playing in our exhibit when Michael Fremer dropped in.  I just watched a video my son and I made while he was listening.  It was during the closing hours of the show and he proclaimed that our modestly priced Audreal system was in the top 3 of all that he had heard that week, amongst systems that were approaching one million dollars.

Michael requested a review sample and we complied.  A fantastic review of our room was covered in Stereophile Magazine soon after the show.  The Audreal LP-2 review he wrote introduced the phono stage to happy buyers throughout the U.S.A. and Canada.

This giant killer is a formidable beast built with very heavy gauge metal for noise shielding and heat sinking.  The massive toroidal power supply is in a separate enclosure from the tube gain stage.  We have never had to service one in all these years.

My unit still has the original tubes. (knocking wood now)


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