TAS-The Absolute Sound 2012 Editors Choice Awards - Audio Reference has 16 components (excl Clearaudio)

Keeping abreast of the many innovations and ongoing product development within the audio world can be somewhat daunting but it has been pleasing to see a wide selection of our Brands have been picked up by TAS - The Absoulte Sound for their 2012 EditorsChoice awards, including:
Bel Canto, BSG, Exposure, Electrocompaniet, Krell, Sutherland, Triode, Usher and Clearaudio (shown on a seperate news item).  
Of course it would be an impossible task for TAS  to review all the products available but their views on what they do audition are well respected within the industry. We know our other brands also measure up to this high standard too and they have other awards to hang their hats on so you can be confident you are in good hands when auditioning any of our gear.The following is a summary of the TAS 2012 awards: 

TRIODE TRX-1 Reference Tube Preamplifer @ US$3000
This all-tubed linestage boogies along with plenty of dynamic conviction, generating an infectious enthusiasm for the music. It may not excel in audiophile terms, but is a standout in its faithfulness to musical values. In particular, it captures the interplay between musicians to an extent that is rare or even exceeds that of preamps costing much more. The caveat is that you’ll have to invest in replacement tubes, preferably 5751s. Consider it a must-audition if your priority is to simply enjoy the music. DO, 219

Exposure 3010S2 CD player @$1795
A highly articulate CD player, Exposure’s 3010S possesses impressive breadth and depth, and good air and detail. Initially hard-sounding, after run-in the Exposure rewards with a musically natural presentation capable of bloom, complex harmonics, excellent rhythmic pace, and deep authoritative bass that’s always easy and effortless sounding. WG, 181

Exposure 3010S2 Integrated Amp @ $2195
Exposure’s electronics deliver the goods by balancing detail with warmth, rhythmic precision with lyricism, and delicacy with power. With an optional phono card, the 3010S morphs with the music as each recording demands; it can be either sweet and mellow, lean and mean, or a combination of the above depending on the disc. WG, 181

Electrocompaniet Prelude PD-1 Wireless DAC w/ volume control @ US$2990
Touch-controlled and userfriendly, the PD-1 USB/DAC makes a real sonic improvement in a hard-drive-based music system. Thanks to the processing power of its 24-bit/192kHz upsampling DAC, the PD-1 sounds open, precise, and focused, with a pleasing treble devoid of artificial edge or digital glazing. It also boasts inputs that can be changed on the fly and, since volume can be adjusted as with a preamp, you can run the PD-1 directly into a set of active speakers or an amplifier. NG, this issue

Electrocompaniet EBS-1 Bookshelf spealkers  @ US$1450
The two-way EBS-1 impresses with its top-to-bottom coherence and ability to “speak” with a single voice. Dynamic scaling, transient speed, and image focus are also strengths. The speaker’s okay but not great with soundstage depth, and of course its bass won’t shake the house with large-scale music. It works well on a stand or shelf, thanks to tiny foam port plugs supplied for the latter application. WG, 209

Electrocompaniet EC 4.7 Classic Reference Preamplifier @ $3495
The Electrocompaniet EC 4.7 solid-state preamp from the Land of the Vikings produces a natural mix of lifelike imaging and soundstaging that gives large complex orchestral music about as much realism as you can achieve in a home stereo. Clean, transparent, and exceptionally quiet, it also has significantly more extended bass and high-frequency response than many competing units. A very good preamp by any standard. AHC, 198

Electrocompaniet AW180 Monoblock Amps @ US$9600/pr.
The AW180 is a “tube-like” solidstate monoblock amp offering 180W into 8 ohms (considerably more into lower impedances). It provides very natural timbre and exceptionally realistic upper bass and lower midrange. Both lowand high-level dynamic contrasts are excellent. AHC, 198

Sutherland  20/20 Phonostage @ US$2199
The 20/20 shares designer Ron Sutherland’s “twin mono” (identical circuit) approach to circuit design, but unlike other recent Sutherland models, the 20/20 is not powered by rows of D-cell batteries but instead by an unusual (for highend audio) pair of “regulated desktop power supplies.” The sound is classic Sutherland: very low-noise, beautiful throughout the midrange, with a big, transparent stage, excellent detail and focus, and a bit of politeness in the deep bass. Some won’t like the tradeoffs; musical purists will embrace them. WG, 215

BSG Technologies QOL Signal Completion Stage @ US$3995 (new to Audio Reference)

This stand-alone device incorporate BSG Technologies’ QOL circuitry that claims to restore the original phase relationships present in live music. The “Signal Completion Stage” is an analog device, with no A/D and D/A conversion. It fits between your preamp and power amp, or between your sources and preamp. Engaging QOL with a front-panel button or remote control renders a significant change in the presentation. Timbres become more open, vivid, and “alive.” The soundstage becomes more three-dimensional, with greater separation of instrumental images.

Usher 8571 MkII Dancer floorstand speakers @ $10,799

An overachieving floorstander poised to eat any number of high-end sacred cows for lunch, the Dancer produces a big, finely focused, high-resolution sound that is dynamically alive. Bass power, extension, and clarity are very good, too. The overall sonics are reminiscent of Wilson’s Sophia or WATT/Puppy speakers, but at a fraction of the price. CM, 154

Usher Be-20 floorstand speakers @ US$21,199
Offering true full-range frequency response and a sound that is highly dynamic, extremely detailed, and very three-dimensional, his beryllium-driver equipped floorstander is accurate enough to delight left-brainers, yet soulful enough to capture the hearts of right-brainers. It looks stunning, too. Be aware that this hefty speaker needs room to breathe and works best in larger spaces. CM, 183

Bel Canto REF1000M  Monoblock Amps @ US$5990/pr.
If you’re looking for a component that is compact, efficient, powerful, transparent, musical, and extremely reliable, the Bel Canto REF1000M monoblock could be the last amplifier you’ll ever need. While it may not warm up an overly sterile-sounding system like a classic tube amplifier, it certainly won’t subtract any harmonic warmth. SS, 193

Bel Canto USB Link 24/96 @ US$249
The USB Link 24/96 is a cleverly conceived USB-to-S/PDIF converter that enables any PC to play music through virtually any DAC. Along with this flexibility comes higher resolution than most USB-capable DACs, plus a less plastic, more dynamic, airier sound. The Link cannot completely overcome USB’s intrinsic sonic limitations, but it is ideal for those who must use that interface. AT, 194

Krell S-150m Monoblock Amps @ US$5000/pr.
Krell’s compact, narrow-profile, cool-running 150W monoblock’s tight, musically convincing bass and superb treble openness place it on a par with Krell’s best. Further, it displays a dynamic liveliness and dexterity that verge on the uncanny. In the midrange, it is as grainless as any amp in SS’s experience, perhaps faltering just a bit in the way of hreedimensionality and harmonic juiciness. SS, 205

Krell Evolution One Mono Amplifier @ US$65,000/pr.
While the Evolution One mono amp is not a radical sonic breakthrough—the best aspects of Krell “voicing” have been preserved—the Krell virtues of deep-bass power and rich natural timbre have been enhanced, while air, life, microdynamics, depth, detail, and the upper octaves have improved to contenders for the state-of-the-art. A true sonic benchmark. AHC, 158

Krell Evolution Two Mono Amplifier @ US$55,000

The Krell Evolution series puts the third dimension back in music by providing exceptional depth. It also provides exceptional reproduction of hall sounds and musical mechanics—bowing sounds, score rustling, etc. This effect is enhanced by the imaging qualities of the Evolution Two. When the imaging on a recording is natural and detailed, the Evolution preserves the size, the place, the stability, and the layers of imaging. The result is a more open soundstage, better reproduction of life and air, and a greater ability to lose yourself in the music. AHC, 158