Stephen Meijas recently reviewed Beck’s Morning Phase on the Capitol label here. Here’s what John Atkinson had to say about the 96/24 download from...
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“The latest from Musical Surroundings is the Fosgate Signature Tube Headphone Amplifier designed by Jim Fosgate and incorporating two of this famous US designer’s patented circuits: a two-position bass boost equaliser circuit (based on Fosgate’s ‘Single Element Controlled Twin-T Filter’, US Patent #3,883,832) and a two-position surround circuit (based on Fosgate’s ‘Panorama Control,’ US Patent #5,307,415). According to Boris Granovsky, of Absolute HiEnd, which distributes Musical Surroundings components in Australia, the circuit is similar to that of Musical Surroundings’ Signature Phono Preamplifier, and incorporates 12AX7 vacuum tube amplification in a low-distortion SRPP (mu follower*) configuration. ‘The Signature Phono Preamp won a Golden Ear Award from The Absolute Sound magazine in 2011,’ he said. ‘It’s unique because it uses high-speed, high-current, video buffers to drive the headphones directly. These have no voltage gain, but offer high-impedance inputs so the vacuum tubes are not loaded down, and low output impedance, so they’re capable of driving most headphones to high volume levels with no audible distortion or sonic colourations, and there are no capacitors in the signal path, so the natural smooth sound of the 12AX7 vacuum tubes pass straight through to the outputs.’
The Fosgate Signature Tube Headphone amplifier is rated with a frequency response of 2Hz to 200kHz –3dB. Two stereo inputs and a stereo tape output are provided for added flexibility. A 35-second muting circuit eliminates turn on/off thumps from the direct-coupled output circuit. The industrial design by Fred Hulen incorporates all the hallmarks of the Fosgate Signature line, such as the classic, ‘open tube’ design and the use of side panels made from real wood. In Australia, the Musical Surroundings Fosgate Signature Tube amplifier retails for $1,900.”