The StereoTimes Most Wanted Components
Frank Alles
1 July 2001

Analog: Origin Live Rega RB250 tonearm
Reviewed 8/14/00

Publisher’s Choice Award!

Digital: Perpetual Technologies P-1A Digital Correction Engine and P-3A processor, Monolithic P3 power supply $2100
Reviewed 1/16/01. In virtually every performance parameter the P-1A and P-3A combination performed better, or at least as well, as any digital gear I have heard in my system at any time. Its ability to reproduce a great range of dynamic gradations, its power and control at the highest and lowest audible frequencies, and its notable lack of the usual digital pitfalls place it among the most elite performers at this point in time.

Bel Canto DAC-1 $1395
Reviewed 10/2/00. We audiophiles are actually the big winners here, in that we can reap the sonic rewards of more advanced technology at an affordable, reasonable price. To my ears the DAC-1 offered a rightness of tone, along with greater inner detailing and certainly more air and ambient information than I have heard from any of the "old-school" DACs. It purveyed an enhanced sense of dynamic shadings and quite frankly sounded very close to the performance of my hefty analogue turntable system—at a much lower total cost and minus the ticks and pops.

Preamp: Adcom GFP-750 $1250
Reviewed 2/10/00. If you’re in the market for a line stage preamplifier and you’re thinking, "Perhaps a nice Mark Levinson, or maybe a new Krell..." do yourself a favor and couple the Adcom name to that train of thought.

Rogue Audio 99 Line-Stage Preamps
Reviewed 9/26/00. If you’re the kind of person that obsesses about hearing all the minutia and subtleties of every recording, then you may need to continue your search. On the other hand, if your audio system tends toward the dry, lean, or edgy, the Rogue 99 may be your ticket to Paradise. For this latter group, the Rogue Audio 99 represents a musical oasis—where one can rehydrate one’s musical pores.

Amplifier: Monarchy Audio SM-70 Pro and SE-160 hybrid monoblocks; InnerSound ESL amp
See reviews dated 5/20/00, 6/1/00 and 4/26/01

Cables: WireWorld Equinox III interconnects $150 per meter and speaker cable $399
Reviewed 8/5/99. Honestly, I can’t think of any cable for the same money that can match this level of performance. However I can easily think of some expensive cables that are more colored and less capable of passing on the audio signal without alteration. This is especially true from the upper-midrange through the highest audible treble, where the performance of the Equinox III is simply stellar.

Accessories & Tweaks: ModWright Signature mod for Perpetual Technologies P-3A DAC, PS Audio P300 Power Plant
See Greg Weaver review dated 4/2/01