We know, we know, it’s only November 12. But it’s one heck of an issue, featuring our Products of 2018, and it’s hitting newsstands, tablets, and mailbox now! The versatile Ovation PA 8.2 preamplifier from German company AVM is featured on the December cover and this issue’s line-up of reviews has a European flavor: as well as the AVM, we audition Elac’s Adante AF-61 speaker and EMT’s HSD 006 phono cartridge (Germany); the ATC CDA2 CD player, Harbeth P3ESR minimonitor, and Wharfedale Diamond 11.2 bookshelf speaker (UK); Ortofon SPU Wood pickup head (Denmark); and Aqua Formula xHD DAC (Italy).
But we haven’t forgotten our home country: there are reviews of VPI’s new Avenger Reference turntable, with its Fat Boy tonearm, and Cary’s SLI-100 integrated amplifier.
Jon Iverson kicks the issue off, arguing that he doesn’t want audio components to editorialize, even if doing so makes recordings sound better; inside, Jim Austin points out that the epithet “snake oil” is not always appropriate, given that real snake oil was an effective medication; while Art Dudley concludes the issue with a review of a new reissue of Jacqueline du Pré’s wonderful performance of the Elgar Cello Concerto.