I agree with JLM. The review could have been more comprehensive in reporting on the options that retain the sound without the expense of the review system
. I just got a dual mono Clari-T in the tuxedo box with plain aluminum knobs, and this configuration is both less expensive than the Lotus pre+amp and has the added channel separation of two Tripath chips plus no expense or potential effect on sound from amp/pre interconnects. In addition, the iPod Mod that Vinnie offers is less expensive than the SB2 (and perhaps less versatile) but offers a bit better sound (by Vinnie's esimate; though he might say simply different in ways that he prefers
) without the need for high-end power cables and conditioners.
I also second the notion that cabling in the review unnecessarily pushed up the cost. It's good cable, but I did notice that the reviewer was not drawing strong distinction between the $600 speaker cable and the ca. $185 set (the "R" cables) also available from Omega (made by Hudson Audio). If you go the iMod route for the source, then you can also pick up some very fine interconnect for $69. I just ordered this from Signal Cable (http://signalcable.com/silvermini.html
): 2 feet of 5 nines silver wire terminated with Eichmann TeCu Bullets and a Neutrik 1/8" plug. Nice.
And finally, the A8s do come in a less expensive (but still beautifully made by Louis) set of finishes. So, a perhaps better sound could be had for ca. half the cost of the review setup.
I don't mean to disregard the generally very favorable review, or the good boost it gives to RWA and Omega. I just want them to get a fair shake: they deserve more praise and support
Oh, and the review really should have noted that the synergy between the A8 and Clari-T is because Louis actually voiced the speaker with the Clari-T. It wasn't just that this was a happenstance synergy. This was by expert design, and how often do you find that? It's a very compelling point that would have been good to note.
I feel like I'm being too cranky
. It's great they got a detailed, positive review with beautiful product shots and solid information. Right on, Vinnie and Louis