This project came in as a logical end of a continuous process of refining the amplifier’s performance. The itch to check out how a stepped attenuator will perform against the ubiquitous volume potentiometer became increasingly acute after the surgery that transformed my Audio Note OTO Phono SE Signature integrated into a P1 SE Signature power amplifier.
Two coils, two caps and resistor, arranged across two drivers, with the purpose to divide the energy between them evenly. This is what I came up with after several months of experimentation. I tried almost everything, but it was the series crossover network that brought resolution and peace to my weary soul.
Although it made an analog junkie out of me, I have to admit that I’ve been aware of the slightly resonant signature of Oto’s phono stage. To my ears there has always been a sonic disparity between its line level and phono performance that manifested itself in a kind of exaggerated euphonic quality attributed to the latter.
I have to confess that initially I was impressed neither by their look nor by their sound. It was a year ago when I climbed the stairs up to my apartment carrying the 15 kg heavy box that Andy Whittle handed me after a short stop at my place on his way to Copenhagen. “These are your new speakers, give them some time to properly break in,” were his words.
I just recently visited a friend – Nadia – she is a music lover and her vinyl-based rig consisting of some vintage components is located in the kitchen. As opposed to me she listens to music while she is cooking or doing something else in the adjacent room or when simply chilling out on the veranda. On contrary at my place I always listen intently and in front of the audio system. But I did enjoy the evening we spent on the veranda chatting about things, drinking and laughing with couple of fellows.