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"... The Balancing Act—BA for short and bachelor of audio perhaps—can be set up for either 45/2A3 or 300B/PX4 but not both. Let's start at the beginning. "This is a line/headphone amp featuring 3 x RCA and 1 x XLR line inputs and XLR and RCA pre-outs. For headphones there's one 6.3mm output on the front for standard drive, two three-pin XLR plus one 4-pin XLR for balanced. The amp drives all headphones including the new less efficient planars. Features include a lustrously polished top, laser-etched nomenclature and a retro Davies control knob. There are partial silver EI-core OPTs and a quiet outboard supply with two power trannies and two 6X4 rectifiers. This PSU also has dual regulated  B+ supplies; a discrete 18-watt 40kHz heater power amp; and a meter with voltage adjustment for the output tube heaters..."
"... Gallo's spherical speakers always soundstaged like demons. The Classico continues that tradition if perhaps trading a tad of hologram specificity for a definitely taller image. The enabler is the unique tweeter with a surface area far greater than traditional domes (good for dynamics), lower mass (good for micro resolution) and wider dispersion (good for spatiality). This tweeter's location on top rather than between the mid/woofers plus the upward angle from the slanted baffle have raised the subjective stage height. I doubt those who found the Reference 3.0/1 and 3.5 too low will find the Classico III lacking. The precise location of virtual images is fixed by their HF content. A superior tweeter like Gallo's pays obvious dividends. Transient precision and speed (how steeply and fast attacks rise) support localization too. They also creates PRaT, Brit speak for pace rhythm & timing.."

"... To any heaviness which substantial low bass might produce, Daniel Lee's OmniHarmonizer is the perfect antidote. Crossed in far too high to tilt tonal balance and merely paralleled to the pleated widebander, this feature is about increasing audible space. The focus isn't on sounds per se. It's on the surrounding dither of ambiance, atmosphere, acoustics actually recorded or artificial reverb. It's about texturizing too. With as well-damped a speaker as the Fantasia, cabinet talk under normal playback conditions is essentially eliminated. The high-output drivers then are just as well damped and precise. Such deft articulation could seem dry and mechanical. The upfiring auxiliary tweeter injects coastal ions. Nothing gets brighter or friskier by even a tad. The lighting of the scenery doesn't change. Though stretching the image, it's more like injecting oxygen from crashing waves to increase vibrancy. It works splendidly. The attenuators adjust the relative magnitude in concert with boundary proximity and tastes..."
"...These chips were designed to drive 75Ω loads so there's no need for any output buffer. In the Octave you have 4 chips per channel working in parallel. 8 chips total are connected by eight 330Ω resistors to create an output impedance of 82.5Ω. The other four chips at the end of the board meanwhile handle the digital input and glue logic to match the octet of dacs whose outputs —coupled directly to the output RCAs via those resistors—are routed between the six layers of the PCB to the edge of the board. That part was easy. To work my way through all available chips took almost two years however. All of them were matched to this circuit and worked properly yet only one sounded terrific and completely different to all the usual silicon. I think you will notice the stress-free core gestalt of this machine after only a few bars. Be aware that the sound initially is bright and requires about a week to settle down and about 3-4 weeks of play to mature fully. But even out of the box the essence should communicate itself clearly..."

"... Once I moved in the Zu Essence from below the staircase, I had a tailor-made iNova speaker. With it the Cherry-clad box would run as intended on all cylinders: as iPod DAC/integrated with remote control (and subwoofer output if required but not here). Now I felt churlish about any prior criticisms. "Pardona me". That whole chorus was ringing in my ears. The gutsy warm slightly voluptuous thick and very attractive sound I now had was the stuff which quite costly valve systems tend to pursue. No I didn't obtain top resolution, kick and adrenaline. Things on those counts were lusher rather than dialled for speed. No I didn't bathe in momentous soundstaging on a wall-to-wall scale. Here things were more centered and compact. But I did get meatarian rather than me-too-ian tone density which eludes most all affordable transistor amps. In fairness I must also credit the Zus for their trademark contributions in that realm..."