How SCB Rolls, Part 1

This morning's Ask the Editors panel was another fun and engaging event full of excellent questions and (hopefully) informative answers. At one point the subject of separate systems optimzed for two-channel audio vs video and surround sound came up, offering me a chance to get my own message out there on this subject, and to admit to you all that I am in fact a card carrying analog druid. I do not have two systems and I sacrifice nothing in performance for either.

Front projection makes this easier as there's no huge TV in between my stereo speakers to deprive them of their imaging capabilities. But the real key, aside from a proper ITU speaker setup, is that I use an analog two-channel preamp with an input set up to do a unity gain processor pass through on the front two channels for surround sound. No compromises.

As fate would have it, the manufacturer of my loudspeakers, Vandersteen Audio, was teamed up with Audio Research in a booth this year and making great sound with a system built around the Vandersteen Model 5A speakers I use, along with the Audio Research Reference 3 preamplifier I use for a preamp. The system also featured ARC's PH7 phono stage, a Reference CD7 disc player and the Reference 110 stereo power amps. All the ARC components referenced above are tube components. Rounding out the system was a Clearaudio turntable and AudioQuest Signature DBS cables. Pictured here is the ARC Reference 3 preamp.