Hot off the press: Audio Consulting's famous Silver Rock goes remote
Checking our site's access stats, certain articles and reviews clearly generate more interest than others. Jeff Day's Garrard restoration project and his Sonic Impact Tripath amp pieces come to mind as having long legs - perennial attraction. The reason for that seems apparent too. One's on a $39 amplifier, the other a DIY venture that ends up with statement vinyl performance for $1,000 and change plus sweat equity.

Our recent coverage of TVCs -- transformer volume controls -- also has attracted more than its fair share of interest. As the true cognoscenti know, the most famous of this breed is Serge Schmidlin's Swiss Audio Consulting Silver Rock, starting at $3,780. There's tweakers and then there's tweakers. And then there's Serge. He is plainly in a class of his own when it comes to how wickedly far he'll go for good sound yet remain just commercial enough to actually sell stuff. Imagine my surprise when I received the following e-mail:

Dear Srajan,
I just read your review of the Music First passive magnetic preamp and have some comments to share. I've been evaluating transformer volume controls for 3 years now and the best I've heard is the Audio Consulting Silver Rock. I've done direct comparisons of the Silver Rock against both the Stevens & Billington copper-wired and silver-wired TVC and the Silver Rock is better.

Of course the standard Silver Rock is sparse in features with only 1 input, 1 output and dual volume controls. After much persistence requesting of Serge to sell me just the transformers so I could build them into a remote-controlled volume, multiple input, dual output unit, he finally did last year and now offers them for sale OEM. You can see a picture of it on my website. I use my Silver Rock-based TVC with a pair of Audio Note UK Neiro monoblocks and it's a match made in heaven!

With my unit, I use heavily plated Audio Note silver RCA jacks, silver contact input selector switches (switching both the signal and the ground to isolate inputs from one another), a Shallco rotary switch and Audio Consulting's silver wiring. I also have a ground lift switch to fully isolate primary and secondary or share ground. Following Serge's belief in non-metallic or electrostatic chassis, my chassis is built from 6mm and 12mm Finland birch plywood with laser engraved black acrylic front and rear trim panels.

My tentative price for this unit is in the $5-6k range sold direct. I still have a few details to finalize like the volume indicator/knob [still missing in above photo]. When I have a final unit, would you be interested in evaluating it?

Best regards,
Donald North

Would I? Hmm, lemme mull this over real hard. Until I figure out the right answer, here's the teaser notice about the imminent launch of DNA's remote-controlled, twin output, multiple input Silver Rock - in case you've always dreamt of owning one but found the feature set of the Swiss original too minimal for your needs.