CES & THE Show 2011 • Hot Product

John Curl's Vendetta Research phono stage is still revered decades after it was discontinued. Curl's latest phono-stage design is the Parasound Halo JC 3 ($2350), which has a number of important features, including direct coupling with DC servos instead of capacitors, a dual-mono power supply, and R-core transformers. The JC 3 has 47dB of gain for moving-magnet cartridges and 68dB of gain for moving-coil, and its RIAA curve is said to be accurate to within 0.2dB.

Both of the JC 3's gain circuits are housed in their own extruded-aluminum enclosures, which are isolated from the power supply by partitions.

Perhaps even more interesting -- and proving Parasound's commitment to digital playback -- is the Halo CD 1 CD player, whose LINUX operating system reads data bit perfect from a CD-ROM drive, storing it in a large data buffer from which it is played. It's not available yet and pricing is sketchy, but Parasound is aiming for a point below $4000.

The Audio Beat • Nothing on this site may be reprinted or reused without permission.