Product of the Year awards for two of our products from The Absolute Sound

Musical Surroundings Nova II $1,200

Musical Surroundings Nova II phono stage 

“This is the third upgrade over some dozen years of Mike Yee’s Musical Surroundings phono preamplifiers, which have been PS’s references for that long. All of them exhibit the same sonic personality, an Apollonian grace, poise, and restraint that virtually define sonic neutrality. But the latest modifications have brought subtle improvements in both dynamics and that elusive sense of lifelikeness without compromising the original’s neutrality, so much so that there’s no basis left for reservations some have expressed about its predecessors’ putative politeness. Whether it’s the Rite of Spring or Graceland, the Nova II kicks, slams, and drives yet retains its underlying grace and composure. The options for loading and level make it a snap optimally to match any pickup out there, and its quietness (it operates in both AC and battery mode) is extraordinary. Though reliability was never an issue – PS’s past units have performed flawlessly week after month after year – the earlier built-in-a-garage looks have given way to a svelte new profile, and a super value has now become a super-duper one.”

–Paul Seydor, The Absolute Sound

Clearaudio Maestro v2 Ebony $1,200

Clearaudio Maestro v2 Ebony  

“The successor to the redoubtable Maestro Wood, the Maestro V2 Ebony is a sonic improvement in every way. With a higher 4.2mV output and an ultra-low mass Micro HD stylus mounted to a solid boron cantilever that’s identical to the stylus assembly used on Clearaudio’s upper-crust moving coils, the Ebony hews straight down the rich and wide middle of the sonic spectrum. Its overall balance brings symphonic recordings to life, unifying each section into the greater whole of the orchestra. Low-level detail is elegantly resolved. Plus there’s a lightness and speed to the way the Ebony resolves transients. As musical as they come, the Maestro V2 Ebony should be required listening for moving-magnet and moving-coil fans alike.”

— Neil Gader, The Absolute Sound