New and notable products and offers.


MY TAKE: Adopting a unique and brilliant approach, Constellation Audio assembled a team of some of the most respected names in the audio world to pool their talents and design a line of state of the art, industry-leading electronics. Luminaries including Peter Madnick, Bascom King, the late James Bongiorno, John Curl, and Demian Martin collaborated to create a range of products that not only sound amazing, but offer outstanding value. Very impressive gear! - Galen Carol

A cool, reliable operation -

A custom-wound toroidal transformer, feeding a total of 24 capacitors yielding a combined 240,000 microfarads of storage, assures that the Inspiration STEREO 1.0’s output stages always receive the clean, ample voltage and current needed to achieve maximum musicality and sonic transparency. Massive heat sinks, ventilated through hundreds of ventilation ports in Constellation Audio’s trademark machined-aluminum side panels, assure cool, reliable operation. The Inspiration STEREO 1.0 is the very essence of the Reference-series Hercules and Performance-series Centaur amplifiers, distilled into a more compact and affordable package.


MY TAKE: This is one of those products (along with the Shunyata Everest) that you can say to someone; you've not heard what your system is capable of of until you've heard it with this.

Without a doubt, the Shunyata Altaira Ground System is a stunning achievement. Voted Product of the Year 2022 in The Absolute Sound, and deservedly so.
- Galen

The Absolute Sound:

Shunyata’s Altaira system is a revelation, not only
taking my system’s performance to the next level of sound quality but also revealing the effect of ground noise onmusical realism. It has become an essential component of my reference system, and I suspect that if you
audition one, you will find it equally indispensable.

"Listen to a system with an Altaira for a few weeks and then take it out; the contrast is stark. Shunyata’s Altaira system is a revelation, not only taking my system’s performance to the next level of sound quality but also revealing the effect of ground noise on musical realism." - Robert Harley


A Classic is Born!

There's not a more storied brand in all of audio with a history dating back over 150 years. The new 91E Integrated Amplifier marks the first significant improvement in single-ended amplifier design in over 100 years, and it sounds absolutely incredible!


The 91E is the latest advancement in single-ended sound, energized by its famous predecessor the WE 91A.

At double the power, you’ve never heard the 300B express itself like this before.

"This unit is groundbreaking. It delivers an incredibly high standard at a relatively affordable price. [The reviewer] was so impressed he purchased the review sample and listens to it daily.”- The Absolute Sound

"This is the best low-power amp I’ve ever heard, its scale and naturalness rivaling anything I can name – whatever the wattage." - HiFiNews


MY TAKE: Another winner from Berkeley Audio! - Galen Carol

The Berkeley Alpha DAC Series 3 - A Breakthrough in Both Sound Quality and Value

The Alpha DAC Series 3 uses advanced technology from the award winning Alpha DAC Reference Series 3 to provide sonic excellence never before possible at anywhere close to the price of the Alpha DAC Series 3.

The Absolute Sound: "With the brand-new Alpha Series 3, Berkeley Audio Design has brought near-reference-level performance to a significantly lower price. In fact, you can think of the Alpha Series 3 as a distillation of the $25,000 Reference in a less expensive implementation. By keeping some of the essential elements of the Reference (including the state-of-the-art clocking circuitry) and forgoing the expensive chassis machined from a solid block of aluminum, the price of entry to Berkeley’s unique technologies is substantially reduced.

"The Alpha DAC exhibits the characteristic Berkeley DNA—superb resolution of low-level detail, three-dimensional soundstaging with the ability to hear very fine timbral and spatial information at the back of the hall, dense tone color, and outstanding clarity that allows you to hear individual instruments within the whole. With a Reference 3 DAC and the new Alpha in my rack for comparison, I found that the Alpha doesn’t have quite the last measure of world-class performance, but it comes closer than you’d expect for less than half the price. I could easily live with the Alpha Series 3 and never look back. The Alpha DAC Series 3 is a terrific bargain and an unqualified triumph." - Robert Harley






ARC announces a popularly-priced line! The first offering is the I/50 full tube integrated amplifier. It's available in six eye-catching colors to match any decor or provide a highlight in your system

At 50 watts/channel, the I/50 will drive a wide range of speakers and provide outstanding fidelity. An optional internal MM phono stage is available with a DAC module to follow.

The I/50 is hand-built in in Minnesota by the same craftspeople who assemble the entire ARC line. 

Video: American Made ARC I/50


MY TAKE: Rega have outdone themselves with the Naia! This is the definitive statement of what Rega turntables are all about - the rhythm, pace and timing are at their pinnacle in the Naia. But beyond that, is resolution and refinement, and when partnered with the Aphellion 2 MC cartridge, the results are spectacular. The technology and implimentation of unique and exotic materials is astounding, but beyond the technology, it's all about the misic, and the Naia delivers. An unquestionably strng recommendation! - Galen Carol

The Tracking Angle

"Put it all together and you have a remarkably compact, lightweight, high performance package that at $16,999 is costly but not impossibly so and that can be taken out of the box, perfectly set up and playing records within ten minutes. If there's another turntable that combines all of these attributes at the NAIA's price I haven't seen or heard it—and I've seen and heard plenty!" - Michael Fremer

A Vinyl Revelation - "Extraordinary about sums it up. That any turntable can deliver so much musical information, so much of what the musicians who made each record laid down in the first place is truly remarkable. I have always known that vinyl is the finest format, the medium with the greatest sound quality available to the music lover and the Rega Naia proves this to be true in no small way. The Planar 10 is one of the best turntables in the world and this is significantly better, I seriously doubt I will hear another record player that comes close."

Earns EAR Best of 2023 and Editor's Choice Award


There may not be a more storied brand amongst hi-fi loudspeakers from Britain. Harbeth speakers are known for their true-to-life midrange, spot-on timbral accuracy in midrange and velvety-smooth top end along with and immense three-dimensional soundfield. Harbeth models are entertaining, musically satisfying and wholly engaging. Highly recommended! - Galen Carol

The Absolute Sound - 

"Yet the Harbeth Super HL5plus XD is easily the finest stand-mount speaker I've heard, and it challenges most floorstanders for pure musicality and enjoyment. It manages to combine high definition, warmth, soundstage dimensionality, intimacy, lyricism, gracefulness, refinement, insight, and clarity, and to weave those elements into a beautiful, sensuous, fulfilling whole." - Art Dudley


Chord Ultima Pre 3 and Ultima 5 Power Amplifier

MY TAKE: Frankly, this preamp and amp combo was quite a surprise, and a very pleasant one! I really didn't expect these components to perform at the level they did, easily besting a far more expensive stack of electronics they were up against. In particular, the soundstage was amazing, with depth that goes on forever - and as dimensionally-deep as any preamp/amp combination I've heard in this particular system. Images are rock solid and elements within the stage are spatially precise and exceptionally well delineated. - Galen Carol

The Absolute Sound:

"This combination of the Ultima Pre 3 and the Ultima 5 is not lush or polite sounding. An impressive characteristic I found was the solidity of the central image and the realism of acoustical instruments. Nearly all types of music play extremely well with the Chord, but large symphonic works were particularly rewarding. The Chord equipment is revealing and uncompromising. You get what is on the recording: compressed recordings sound compressed;
and highly detailed or even enhanced recordings will be revealed. I would characterize the Chord combination as musical while being unapologetically linear and detailed throughout all volume intensities.

"If you are in the market for an amp and preamp in this price range, and particularly if you have difficult speakers to drive, the Chord combo should definitely be on the list for an audition" - Rivas Bird

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