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Thales TTT Compact II & Simplicity II

The TTT Compact II is their latest turntable. It brilliantly solves the well-known issues facing the medium. Technically a belt drive, the drive system has aspects of an idler drive, so you get that direct drive intimacy but with some smoothing provided by the belt.

Thales claim to fame is their tonearm, which aims to marry linear tracking to a pivoted arm. Their latest design is the Simplicity II. Did it give me the thrill? And how! I have never heard such low distortion from a pivoted arm.

With this table/arm combo Thales has realized some very savvy design innovations and put it in a compact, user friendly package that is also beautiful to gaze upon. The TTT Compact II table is very good at its price point. However, the Simplicity II tonearm is beyond that. It is worthy of being mounted on the world's best tables.

- Marshall Nack

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Positive Feedback 5/24/2017
Metaxas & Sins MARQUIS Headphone Amplifier

Reviewing the Metaxas Marquis was an interesting experience. It’s certainly a design masterpiece, with amazing audio abilities. It’s a very accurate and powerful amplifier. It’s also unusual and eerie, perhaps even a statement piece.

But let’s be honest with ourselves. How many times can we admit that we have been so intrigued by an audio product that we just stare at it in awe?

- Matthew Jens

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Stereonet 4/12/2017
Hartvig TT turntable

The $14k Hartvig TT belt-drive turntable system’s construction and use of materials, such as a MDF and acrylic-sandwiched plinth, a 2-inch acrylic platter over another 2-inch of aluminum platter are exotic and impressive and serves remarkably as the foundation of a high-end system.

This construction exoticness and total turntable mass makes the Hartvig notable amongst similarly priced, substantial turntable designs although it’s highly economical footprint does make for a polarized appeal. By the same token, its ability to assume a pure, non-intrusive sonic footprint, however, is remarkable for the size.

- Constantine Soo

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Dagogo 3/23/2017
Stage III Concepts Analord Master

I certainly found a specialized phono cable that performs spectacularly. The Analord Master Phono Cable shares the extroverted characteristics with the rest of the latest cables Stage III Concepts. These new wire products from Stage III perform consistently at the top of the game. It should be obvious they garner a top recommendation.

- Marshall Nack

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Positive Feedback 11/19/2016
Finite Elemente Cerabase Classic

There was no doubt that from the very first LP that the Cerabase footers made a significant difference in focus. Voices locked in, and individual instruments were more easily heard. This increased focus was quite impressive.

The next thing I noticed was the bass. It had more slam, in fact quite a bit more slam.  The bass was also quite a bit faster. It wasn’t only the bass that was faster, micro-dynamics picked up as well and stood out more than without the footers. The system sounded more detailed, and the imaging was more precise with the Cerabase footers.

- Jack Roberts

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Dagogo 9/6/2016
Stage III Triton Power Cord
It ain't often I find myself preferring the one-down model of anything. This is that rare occasion. As the saying goes, all things in their place. The Stage III Concepts Kraken and the statement Leviathan power cords are excellent on amplifiers. On my front-end gear, however, I found their effects too much. But the Triton, the third down in the line, fit the bill perfectly. The Triton is a reduced version of the Kraken, both in appearance and performance: it brings proportionally less of all the Stage III bennies. That means it will satisfy both the analytical enthusiast and the music lovers among us. That was just right for my front-end. The addition of a single Triton transformed my sound in startling ways. Singlehandedly, it took the system from very good to outstanding. The Triton is another A+ power product from Stage III and recommended without reservation.

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Positive Feedback 7/18/2016
Gorgon Interconnect from Stage III Concepts
The cable manufacturer Stage III Concepts is busily revising their product line to incorporate new design developments. First they came out with a pair of power cords, the Kraken and Leviathan, which are outstanding. Last year they introduced the Medusa Speaker Cable, another solid winner. Now it's time for an interconnect. Before shipping me the Gorgon Interconnect, the distributor told me how it shared all the latest design elements of the line and had similar voicing. Frankly, I was skeptical since it seemed too good to be true. I had the same reservations about the Medusa Speaker Cable and it proved me wrong. Now it's the Gorgon's turn. I can state unequivocally, the Medusa and the Gorgon are worthy complements to the Kraken and Leviathan. In fact, the Gorgon may be the best of the lot. These new wires from Stage III Concepts do things I've not heard from other brands. It should be obvious they garner a top recommendation. You need to hear them. - Marshall Nack

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Positive Feedback 6/1/2016
Medusa Speaker Cable ~ Stage III Concepts

Until now, I've only auditioned Stage III Concepts power cord products. The latest models—the Kraken and the Leviathan—are outstanding, at the top of the game in the category.

The Medusa Speaker Cable is the first signal wire in the revised product line. When the distributor told me it had the same voicing as those power cords, frankly, I was skeptical. First listen proved me wrong. The Medusa is a worthy companion to the Kraken and Leviathan.

Stage III has hit another home run. It should be clear by now that the Medusa Speaker Cable from Stage III gets my top recommendation. (There's more to come. The recently released Gorgon Interconnect is now in house. Spoiler alert: the Gorgon sports nearly the same voicing. Stay tuned.)

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Positive Feedback 3/1/2016
Thales TTT-Slim Turntable and Easy Tonearm

The Thales TTT-Slim and Easy is a very nice turntable and tonearm system in a very small package, while also incredibly easy to set up for a high-end turntable.

I think the Easy tonearm is innovative and works very well. It is a very good tonearm, and the lack of need for an offset makes setup simple.

In the end, the Thales Slim and Easy is a truly wonderful sounding analogue source and one I could easily live with.

- Jack Roberts

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Dagogo 1/18/2016
Finite Elemente Resonator Tuning Device

There's an entire industry of audio tweaks that promise gains in resolution and focus. Many of the Finite Elemente Resonator effects can be obtained with other products. I've tried a lot. The Resonator is among the most effective.

Secondly, the theory underlying it is not voodoo. It eliminates artifacts; it doesn't alter the signal. It is fundamentally honest and everything it does helps to reveal the source. And what it offers in the realm of immediacy and presence is not redundant of any other product.

I find again and again that within the audiophile community there are subsets, small communities who seek quite different, even opposing, goals. The target audience for the Finite Elemente Resonators is those audiophiles seeking maximum "you are there" immediacy

- Marshall Nack

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Positive Feedback 7/22/2015
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