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I start this review with a confession. I have consistently found that when I play CDs on a transport and feed the digital data via AES3 (AES/EBU) to a D/A processor, the music has more drive, particularly at low frequencies, than it does when I send the same 16/44.1 data to the same D/A processor via my network.
Hot on the heels of its tube hybrid integrated comes this altogether cooler solid-state amplifier from Danish brand Copland. It packs on the style while also packing a punch.
The new LUMÏN P1 is a technical tour de force that promises to become the digital hub for your audio-visual system. Priced at $14,900 in Australia, it is not for the faint-hearted, but to think of it as simply a network music player is selling it short.
Past experience with the smaller Harbeth speakers has always played to smaller music. You can’t crank up Led Zeppelin, or Tool on a pair of C7s to the point where it is convincing. As a Harbeth owner, honestly, I’d rather play “The Rain Song” on my JBL L-100 Classics than my C7s, good as they are. Switch it up to Crosby, Stills, & Nash, or Joni Mitchell and the Harbeths prove more engaging. Much more engaging. Choices, choices.
It’s been about fourteen years since the first time I heard any Harbeth—an earlier version of the legendary Compact 7, by the way—and it’s been at least a dozen years since I reviewed the Monitor 40.2s (and instantly declared them one of my favourite speakers of all time, something that may still be true). After that, years of practically nothing.
Copland’s new CSA70 is a solid-state amplifier delivering a claimed 70W per channel into 8 ohms and 130W into 4 ohms. It sports three unbalanced analogue line inputs, MM phono stage, coaxial, optical, and USB digital inputs via a built-in DAC, plus a headphone socket.
"As Kudos state in their promotional material, the Cardea Super 10A’s just sound right. In other words, you just plonk them down on good stands and with a good system they’ll sing all day long."