I tested the No 326S preamplifier
with a McCormack CD transport and DAC, Yamaha Universal DVD player, Mark
Levinson No 433 and 436 power amplifiers, and Carver Mark
IV ribbon speakers. Cables were Nordost.
Schubert and Liszt are among my
favorite piano composers.
In this BMG Classics (8-28765-84202-0)
release, with Evgeny Kissin as pianist, the piano was as sweet as I
have ever heard, and the sound of the hammers striking the strings
was crystal clear.
Telarc strikes again in this SACD entitled Round-Up (Telarc
It has music, but also outdoor recordings of cattle round-ups.
I wish movie soundtracks had this kind of clarity. Maybe with
DD-True HD and DTS-HD, we will.
The "William Tell Overture" had very tight tympani with no audible
harmonic distortion. Very powerful.
Crackling campfire, crickets, and coyote: Accurate reproduction with
absolutely black background (no noise of any kind).
A large choir with full orchestra
represents a huge challenge. This disc (EMI Classics
7-24355-79522-9) is a good example.
The voices always remained incredibly
distinct from the musical instruments. Never was there any
As you will see in the Bench Tests,
this is partly a result of very low IMD.
Mozart's Symphony 41 (Jupiter).
The opening salvo is about as thunderous as any symphonic piece, and
yet, with the 326S, all instruments remained distinct, including
violins, oboe, and clarinets, against the brass.
One thing that struck me was how neutral the 326S sounded. No
frequency emphasized any more than others. Again, the Bench Tests
will show you why.
EMI Classics 0-94635-09222-6)
In this recording of Beethoven
Violin Sonatas (EMI Classics 0-94635-08542-6), with Pinchas
Zukerman, the piano follows the violin line, but the two instruments
remain completely distinct on the soundstage.
Barber's "Adagio for Strings" is an excellent test for congestion (IMD).
This particular recording is a recent EMI Classics release
There was no congestion in spite of so many different strings
playing over several octaves.
In the 2 Songs from Opus 13, Barbara Hendricks' voice had perfect
to Go to Part III.
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