AXPONA 2010 Coverage

March 8, 2010
The Soundsmith Room

Iconoclastic Soundsmith brought all of its gear out to AXPONA. The sound of its Firefly line of speakers was warm and inviting.

The black box on the top left is the new SG-200 phono preamp for the Strain Gauge cartridge (together, $5,500). It is the same phono stage as the $2,000 more expensive SG-400 in the fancy wooden cabinet (third from the top left). If you are interested in the Strain Gauge cartridge, already have a line level preamp, and don’t want another big box on your rack (especially a wooden one which undoubted will stick out like a sore thumb with the rest of your components), this is the way to go. If you do not already have a full feature preamp, or want to replace yours with a wooden one, then the SG-600 or SG-800 (they both look the same cosmetically) are the way to go at $11,499 and $14,999 respectively, including cartridge (second from the top left). At center is the VPI Synchronous Drive System (SDS) ($11,999) controlling the motor for the VPI HR-X turntable ($12,000 with JMW-12.7 tonearm) shown to the right. On the bottom left is the Soundsmith HE-2006 300 watts/channel power amplifier ($22,500). Fortunately, its rainbow-colored lights can be switched off.

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