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Impressions: The KRONOS Pro LE Turntable, Black Beauty Tonearm, and Air Tight PC-1 Supreme MC Cartridge

02-24-2017 | By David W. Robinson | Issue 90

KRONOS Pro LE Turntable

The KRONOS Pro LE Turntable with Black Beauty Tonearm, photograph courtesy of KRONOS Audio.

Take a breath.

A shift of gear, now. From reference-grade DSD DACs to reference-grade turntables.

This will be the third of three turntable evaluations that I've done over the past year, rounding out what's turned out to be the top three that I've had in my listening room. One, the Walker Proscenium Black Diamond Level V system, I own; one, the Wave Kinetics NVS turntable with Durand Telos 12" Tonearm was a long-time visitor, though no longer here for quite a bit now; and one is the subject of this review.

Interestingly, each one represents a radically different design approach. I touched on some of this in my review of the NVS back in Issue 87:

"There are many ways to skin a cat when it comes to turntables. Over the years I've listened to a number of designs. Standard single belt drives. Standard band drives. Multiple-belt drives. (All of these either with or without computer control of speed linearity.) Direct drives. Lighter-weight spring-suspended tables. Band-suspended tables. Heavy mass-loaded tables with no suspension. Air suspension, very heavy or not. Some turntables are very complex in design and construction; others hew to Thoreau's dictum of 'Simplify, simply, simplify.' There are quite a lot of options when it comes to turntables, and every designer has their own set of preferences when it comes to getting the best out of the sacred grooves."

It's always just a question of how well a designer does with the set of parameters that he or she chooses. There are a lot of roads to the mountaintop; some are better than others. Will you hit synergy, or will the creative possibilities fall apart?

Triumph, or despair?

Enter the KRONOS Pro LE Turntable…a description

KRONOS Audio is the brainchild of Louis Desjardins. Located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Louis Desjardins has moved from obscurity to front-rank eminence in just a few years. His reference standard is the KRONOS Pro LE turntable with its 12" unipivot Black Beauty tonearm, made by André Theriault. It has already garnered a handful of awards from me:  Both Audio Oasis! Awards from several shows, as well as one of my Brutus Awards in 2015.

KRONOS Pro LE Turntable

Photograph courtesy of KRONOS Audio.

In the case of the KRONOS, we have a very different design configuration:  A multi-platform system of modern layered construction with dual counter-rotational platters. Louis has done some real proverbial "out-of-the-box" thinking with the KRONOS Pro. As he states on the KRONOS Website, there are clear design concepts in play:

"The first thing that distinguishes a Kronos turntable is its two equal mass platters, rotating opposite each other. We call this the dual platter counter-rotating revolution. It is a means by which the vibration inducing torque force, present in suspended turntables is eliminated. The result of this design is a suspended platform particularly well isolated from environmental and mechanical noise while maintaining unequalled stability. You can immediately hear the difference dynamic stabilization makes. No other turntable can offer its advantages."

This first principle of the KRONOS is the key starting point for appreciating what Louis and company are seeking to do:  to absolutely hammer down extraneous vibration, and to maximize isolation in order to deliver the purest signal from the grooves possible. The stability that he mentions is a natural benefit of its counter-rotational design, since the turntable provides an inherent nulling effect when it comes to the potent effects of torque existing in uni-platter designs. That is, a platter spinning in a single direction is producing a force generated by the torque of the motor and inertia of the platter. The heavier the platter, the greater the torque required, and the greater the inertia generated, thus creating potentially greater vibrations. It's all of a piece.

How to counteract this? KRONOS' approach was simple and direct:  You solve the problem of rotational inertia by rotating a platter of the same composition and mass on the same orbital axis in the opposite direction, at exactly the same speed. This has the effect of nulling the inertia of torque, and damping down the vibrations that are generated by the main platter.

That's simple, but brilliant, when you think about it.

And yet this is complex to actually do in the real world of turntable production. It requires a very precise motor, solid and reliable drive belts (since that's what the KRONOS uses, in two sets of two), and extremely fine computer controls to monitor two platters, spinning in opposite directions, and keep them perfectly locked to the master rotational system. KRONOS states that "Our groundbreaking DC computer controlled drive systems deliver outstanding speed control while remaining vibration free."

The US Patent for the KRONOS Pro LE Turntable, photograph courtesy of KRONOS Audio.

The technical drawing for the US Patent for the KRONOS Pro LE Turntable, photograph courtesy of KRONOS Audio.

The computer monitoring of turntable speed (33.3 and 45 RPM) tied to the DC motor is a precise digital readout for both platters, upper and lower, so that the user can see when both have reached equilibrium and synchronous lock with one another.

KRONOS Pro LE Turntable

The KRONOS Pro LE turntable at THE Show, 2015. You can see the two LED readouts for the 45 RPM album, as well as the dark touch pads to the left and right of the LED displays.

The activation of the KRONOS is done by touch controls on the base readout platform. There are two LED readouts, as I mentioned earlier. As you see in the photograph above, the left display shows the upper platter's speed, while the right one shows the speed of the lower platter. The dark pad to the left of the left display is the power on touch space. You place two fingers on it, side-by-side, to activate the turntable system. The KRONOS comes up in 33.3 RPM mode by default. You'll see the spin-up speeds cycle up as the platters come up to stable operation. After a reasonably brief time, both the upper and lower platters will settle in at 33.3.

If you want to shift to 45 RPM, you get into 33.3 RPM mode, and then place two fingers on the right touch space. The KRONOS will spin up to 45, after going through another upper-lower calibration sequence. To power off the unit, which I do between albums, just put your two fingers on the left touch space again, and the turntable will go offline.

KRONOS Pro LE Turntable

Closeup of the KRONOS Pro LE platter and record clamp…quite striking! Photograph courtesy of KRONOS Audio.

In addition to the above, KRONOS provides a record clamp that flattens and controls your LPs nicely. You can see it above; it's moderately-sized, and quite positive in operation.

My routine with the KRONOS was therefore pretty straightforward over time. Place the LP on the platter; clamp it; power up; while the system was coming up to speed, use my carbon fiber brush lightly, and degauss with the Walker Audio Talisman; let the KRONOS stabilize; and cue it up. Power off to flip or load another, and do it all again. Pretty straightforward stuff.

Specifications

For the more technically inclined, these are the specs as listed on the KRONOS and Air Tight Websites:

KRONOS Pro LE Turntable

KRONOS Pro LE Turntable

Photograph courtesy of KRONOS Audio.

  • net dimensions:  56 cm (W) x 36 cm (D) x 28 cm (H)/22" (W) x 14" (D) x 11" (H)/
  • net weight:  41 kg/90 lb
  • crate dimensions:  64 cm (W) x 43 cm (D) x 38 cm (H)/ 25" (W) x 17" (D) x 15" (H)
  • shipping weight:  55 kg/120 lb
  • rotational speed:  33.3 rpm and 45 rpm
  • tonearm length:  9" to 12"
  • power supply:  dual channel pure class A linear DC
  • ac voltage input:  110V or 220V factory set
  • dc voltage output:  0 to 5 volt, dual cpu controlled
  • dc transmission:  factory calibrated pico 3 pin cable
  • data input/output bus:  RS232
  • transmission:  pico 4 pin cable
  • motors:  2432 precious metal brushes dc motors (quantity 2)
  • motor mounts:  delrin enclosure, height adjustable
  • speed guidance system:  continuous open loop feedback
  • sensors type:  optical diode I/O (each platter)
  • correction cycle:  every two rotations. 1.5% max., 0.05% min.
  • monitoring:  twin real time speed LED display
  • command input type:  1 capacitance sensor on/off (left); 1 capacitance sensor 33/45 (right)
  • platters type:  composite layers and encapsulated, balanced
  • platter weight:  30 lbs / platter
  • drive:  2 silicone/viton 1.8 sting belts / platter
  • compensation pulley:  teflon and chrome steel bearing
  • lubricant:  synthetic grease
  • sevice interval:  1 year (clean and re-grease)
  • main bearings:  dual hydraulic isolated inverted sleeve and ball
  • shaft type:  grounded heat hardened tool steel pvd coated
  • ball type:  ceramic top platter, steel lower platter
  • lubricant:  8 ml. variable viscosity synthetic oil
  • service interval:  5 years (clean and re-oil)
  • suspension:  full floating top suspended
  • elastomers:  317 o-rings , viton/silicone mix
  • service life:  lifetime

Black Beauty Tonearm also from the KRONOS Website.

Photograph courtesy of KRONOS Audio.

  • Shipping weight:  3 kg/6 lbs.
  • Shipping dimensions:  43×14.5×11.5 cm
  • effective length:  308 mm/12"
  • effective mass:  medium high
  • overhang:  13.2 mm/0.5"
  • pivot to spindle distance:  294.8 mm/11.6"
  • maximum tracking error:  0.0135
  • measured resonant frequency (9 grams, 15 units of compliance test cartridge):  8.5 Hz
  • cartridge weight compatibility:  7 to 16 grams
  • VTA adjustments:  coarse and fine up to 1 inch
  • azimuth adjustment:  coarse and fine
  • bearing type:  proprietary ball and spherical mirror uni-pivot
  • arm tube characteristics:  double-wall high modulus carbon fiber composite
  • outer shell:  3k 50t fibers, variable thickness and fiber orientations
  • inner tube:  uni-directional fibers. Selected wood fairings between the tubes. Hand polished cellulosic lacquer finish.
  • arm lift:  hydraulic dampened

Air Tight PC-1 Supreme MC Cartridge

Air Tight PC-1 Supreme MC Cartridge

The Air Tight PC-1 Supreme MC in the groove on a KRONOS Pro LE at AXPONA.

  • Internal impedance:  1 ohm (DCR)
  • Output voltage:  0.4mV/1kHz
  • Stylus pressure:  1.9 – 2.2 grams
  • Channel balance:  within 0.5dB/1kHz
  • Dynamic compliance:  8x10-6 Cm/Dyne
  • Cantilever:  boron

Setup…some photos of the action

Bill Parish, GTT Audio

Bill Parish of GTT Audio with the KRONOS shipping case.

The KRONOS system was delivered and setup by my good audiobud Bill Parish of GTT Audio, who is the distributor. Bill and I have known each other for a number of years now, and it was good to have him in to do the magic-fingers-on-the-job. Bill's a real master of audio setup, and of getting the most out of his components and systems.

Impressively, the parts and pieces required for the assembly of the KRONOS Pro LE arrived in one professional shipping case. Note in the background that the base platform has already been removed and its vertical posts placed.

The target site for the assembled KRONOS Pro LE:  a Black Diamond Racing shelf (remember D. J. Casser?) from years gone by, resting on the main supports of the Stillpoints ESS Rack.

The KRONOS Pro LE foundation and supports in place.

Bill Parish, GTT Audio

No fears! "Buddha Bill" Parish of GTT Audio is doing the KRONOS Pro LE assembly…all is well!

Bill polishing the lower platter after its placement.

Bill Parish, GTT Audio

Bill Parish filling the oil chamber; 8 ml is the usual dose, though Bill has recommendations for variations on this. Ask him!

KRONOS Pro LE Turntable

The KRONOS Pro LE with second platter in place, ready for the installation of the Black Beauty Tonearm.

The 12" Black Beauty Tonearm in its shipping box.

Air Tight PC-1 Supreme MC Cartridge

The Air Tight PC-1 Supreme MC Cartridge, photograph courtesy of Air Tight.

Black Beauty 12" Tonearm

Black Beauty 12" Tonearm mounted and ready to rock 'n roll!

Black Beauty 12" Tonearm

The Black Beauty really is that:  A beauty! (Photograph courtesy of KRONOS Audio)

KRONOS Pro LE Turntable

Mission accomplished:  The KRONOS Pro LE with Black Beauty Tonearm and Air Tight PC-1 Supreme MC cartridge, plus its power supply/control center, in place in my listening room.

Associated Equipment

The rest of the system used during the time of the KRONOS Pro LE review included the following components, organized into four separate systems over 15 months. The first system was wrapped around the superb Audionet system, as I reviewed HERE.

  • 12" Black Beauty Tonearm
  • Air Tight PC-1 Supreme MC Cartridge
  • Audionet PAM G2 Reference Phono Amp
  • Audionet EPX Power Supply for the PAM G2
  • Audionet PRE G2 Reference Preamp
  • Audionet MAX Reference Monoblock Amps with Stillpoints Ultra V Isolation Feet
  • Evolution Acoustics MM2 Loudspeakers
  • Kubala-Sosna XPander Power Distribution Unit
  • Kubala-Sosna Elation! interconnects, speaker cables, and power cables
  • Walker Audio Talisman LP demagnetizer
  • Furutech Demag LP Degausser
  • Furutech DF2 LP Flattener
  • KLAudio KD-CLN-LP200 LP Vinyl Record Ultrasonic Cleaner with Dryer (Internal Reservoir Version)
  • Stillpoints ESS Reference Rack with Ultra V Isolation Feet

Note that the KRONOS package arrived later in this system, after I had photographed our listening room after its initial setup.

I was also able to listen to the KRONOS Pro LE with a second set of reference electronics from TIDAL Audio (see my review of that system back in Issue 88 HERE).

This was the same as above, but substituting the following components for the Audionet and Evolution Acoustics gear above:

  • TIDAL Audio Presencio Linedeck
  • TIDAL Audio Presencio Phonodeck
  • TIDAL Audio Presencio Powerdeck
  • TIDAL Audio Impulse Monobloc Amps
  • TIDAL Audio Agoria Loudspeakers
  • Furutech Degmaga LP Degausser

The third system substituted the reference line from GamuT Audio (review forthcoming).

This included the following reference-level components:

  • GamuT Audio D3i Dual Mono Preamplifier
  • GamuT Audio M250i Mono Power Amplifier
  • GamuT Audio Zodiac Loudspeakers
  • All other accessories as listed in the two sections above

As a fourth variation, for a brief period of a few weeks we had the KRONOS package together with Balanced Audio Technology electronics in the following system:

  • Balanced Audio Technology VK-P12 SE Phono Amplifier with Superpak
  • Balanced Audio Technology VK-53 SE Reference Preamplifer
  • Balanced Audio Technology VK-255 Stereo Amplifier
  • GamuT Audio Zodiac Reference Loudspeakers
  • Critical Mass Systems PXK Isolation Racks and Platforms
  • Stillpoints ESS Reference Racks and Ultra V Isolation Feet

LP Sources

During the 15 months that it was here, the KRONOS Pro LE was in constant use. Given the time span and the results, I couldn't begin to count the number of LPs…many of them reference-grade recordings…that rotated on its (top) platter.

Among my particular favorites for this project: 

Analogue Productions' Duke Ellington's Masterpieces by Ellington

Dean Martin, Dream With Dean…both of these two titles in standard 200 gram 33.3 and 45, plus test-pressing editions

Nina Simone, Little Girl Blue in 33.3 RPM

Several of the Peter, Paul, and Mary LPs from Analogue Productions, plus LPs from their Doors box set, and their Creedence Clearwater Revival review LP reissues, as well

We have an extensive set of test pressings from Analogue Productions, as well, which allowed us really fine LPs in both classical and jazz sources for review

The killer all-analog mono box set of The Beatles complete recordings (the best sound thus far…still waiting for a stereo version!)

Classic Records' 45 RPM of The Weavers:  Live at Carnegie Hall

Classic Records' Bizet Carmen Suite in 45 RPM

Various of the Analogue Productions RCA Living Stereo series of reissues, especially Scheherazade, The Pines of Rome/The Fountains of Rome, Stereo Spectacular…you know, all of the usual suspects.

The ORG reissue of Ellington's Blues in Orbit

Louis Armstrong Plays King Oliver

My lovely box set complete collection of The Smiths (yeah, still love 'em)

My complete library of all available LPs from The Foo Fighters

A number of Mobile Fidelity LPs, especially Dean Can Dance's Into the Labyrinth and Spiritchaser, as well as some Alan Parsons Project LPs:  Tales of Mystery and Imagination, a particular favorite of mine since it was first released in 1976, and I, Robot.

I do also have a large library of Simply Vinyl, though the quality of this family of LPs varies from good down to so-so.

And I shouldn't forget my plain-jane regular old LP of the soundtrack to Repo Man from the early '80s! Anyone who got to hear that with the KRONOS Pro LE won't forget the experience.

My good audiobud Randy Forman diggin' Repo Man with the van den Hul The Grail SB reference phono amp that was in the circuit at that time. See what I mean?

And so on.

In other words, a large variety of LP sources, audiophile-grade and otherwise spent time on the KRONOS's platter.

The Sound

Soft Avon, a painting by Dan Zimmerman

From the very first, the KRONOS Pro LE/Black Beauty Tonearm/Air Tight PC-1 Supreme created a profound impression on me.

In the first place, the sense of absolute silence (which is not the same as a PCM digital dead zone, by the way), of freedom from extraneous vibration or distraction from the grooves, was exceptional. The counter-rotational system in practice did what Louis said that it would in theory:  Act as if the LPs were spinning, free from noise pollution at the level of drive and platter. The dual dual-belt system was free from cogging, and the DC motor was spot-on for linearity. No matter what album I was listening to, I'd have to say that the KRONOS combination was world-class in this regard.

This underlying rock-solid stability in turn heightened the ability of the KRONOS to convey real transparency, that king of audio virtues in my book. How can other attributes like detail, or texture, or musical timbre, or harmonic balance and integration, reach their maximum if there are impediments and audio editorializing…some form of coloration, if you will…standing in the way? I was pleased to note that at no point was there a time in which I felt myself perplexed by such irritants; the KRONOS was crystalline in its ability to get-out-of-the-way-and-let-the-music-play.

Dynamics were never a problem with the KRONOS/Black Beauty/Air Tight PC-1 Supreme. This tandem has a nearly frightening ability to let rocks roll, thunder roar, and Jim Morrison howl. Tracking was universally spot on, and I didn't catch signs of overload, even in the most thunderous passages. We can credit much of that to the PC-1 Supreme MC, but the underlying platform must provide rock-steady rotation, and the tonearm must be well-matched. While listening to albums like the Analogue Productions RCA Living Stereo reissue of Respighi's Pines of Rome/Fountains of Rome, for example, track four of side one, "The Pines of the Appian Way" is a potent test of a turntable's ability to handle the growth of dynamic slam until it reaches a massive crescendo. This is one of the great benchmarks of recorded orchestral dynamics in my book. The KRONOS system passed with flying colors.

Rock 'n roll was likewise excellent with the KRONOS front end. The Doors were right there, kicking; Jim Morrison was haunting and hammering. John Fogerty howled banshee-like, with rhythm and lead slamming me back in my chair. As it should be! And my old buddy Repo Man…well, it was hard to beat the alternative rock vibe that the KRONOS launched with ease. Iggy Pop and the Circle Jerks made the joint jump.

Ditto The Smiths:  Morrisey moaned, and Johnny Marr's Rickenbacker slew me, the way that Rickenbackers played with real edge always do. The Beatles, The Byrds, Johnny Marr…

Rotatio, a painting by Dan Zimmerman

I was particularly struck by the excellent harmonic integration of the KRONOS/Black Beauty/Air Tight PC-1 Supreme. By this, I mean the top-to-bottom linking of frequency ranges, and the degree of seamlessness to which this is done. I was able to evaluate this quite thoroughly, since during the 15 months that the KRONOS turntable package was in place, we had no less than four sets of world-class audio systems in place. Whether listening through the great Evolution Acoustics MM-2 loudspeakers with Audionet reference electronics, the TIDAL Audio Presencio reference preamp stack with the fantastic Agoria loudspeakers, or the GamuT Audio components with the brilliant Zodiac reference loudspeakers (review forthcoming shortly)…a broad and diverse range of designs…the KRONOS performed flawlessly. In each case, there was a smooth presentation of bass, midrange, and treble from our LPs that made it impossible to determine driver or frequency range boundaries. Whether listening to state-of-the-art ceramic drivers with ribbon tweeters (Evolution Acoustics MM-2's), or ceramic drivers with a large diamond tweeter (TIDAL Audio Agoria), or highly customized Scanspeak drivers and special dome tweeter, the KRONOS/Black Beauty/Air Tight PC-1 Supreme tandem made each LP sound like a well-integrated, organic whole.

I noticed this especially with three of my favorite LPs over the past couple of years, all from Analogue Productions:  Ellington Masterpieces (which is one of the first mono LP albums, from 1950), Little Girl Blue, by Nina Simone, and Dream with Dean by Dean Martin (which I reviewed HERE). These 200 gram masterpieces of the audio arts all shone fiercely as they spun on the KRONOS front end, and showed how wonderfully Chad Kassem's team had pulled off this trifecta of all-time great performances and recordings. The music is just there…world-class results.

This is where a world of great audio wonders lies:  in the ability to present great recordings as a smooth and truly organic sonic whole. When you hit this point, you shift from mere "high fi" to real presence, a condition in which a listener will connect with the music emotionally and spiritually. If this doesn't happen for me with a given audio system, then I know that I'm hearing no more than "hifi," and my attention wanders quickly. No problem in any of these four The KRONOS package did this wonderfully well.

Soundstaging and imaging were very fine. LPs like the Weavers Live at Carnegie Hall 1963 on Classic Records 45 RPM is one of the truly great live recordings of folk music ever done. (The cover above is from the more recent Analogue Productions 33.3 RPM reissue on 200 grams.) With a superior collection of components, you really will be able to see who's where on stage. The KRONOS was top-notch in its ability to place performers and sections of orchestras properly, assuming a reference-level recording was in play. Even mono records like Masterpieces by Ellington seemed to have a stereo-like wrap-around feel to them. (Of course, I consider that album to be amazing and unique, as I said in my review of that LP HERE.) Feed the KRONOS top-notch records, and you'll hear a transformation of sound staging into something more like a sound space.

The sense of texture and tactile feel in recordings was quite well done. Regardless of the system downstream, plucking, strumming, bowing, shimmering, hammering…all were resolved and rendered with convincing and pleasing results. And no, this is not always true of turntable systems.

Any problems?

[Update to this paragraph:] No, there really were not. I did hear a very faint rhythmic sound from the drive motor, but it was so light that I couldn't hear it with any music on at all. Part of the problem here is that the noise floor in my listening room is very low, measuring at 30dB. I can hear just about anything going on there! Having heard multiple KRONOS Pro LE turntables elsewhere, I checked, but never heard it anywhere. I concluded that the effect on the playback and my listening experience was zero. When Bill Parish and I talked about this, he said that the KRONOS motor is a precious metal brush design that is non-cogging. It's simply the quiet sound of this high-quality design in operation. As I said, the effect on listening is zero.

The KRONOS/Black Beauty/Air Tight PC-1 Supreme package worked without a single problem while they were here, and in all four reference systems. There were no failures over 15 months. I rate the reliability of the KRONOS as outstanding.

Conclusion…for now…

All good things come to an end eventually; after 15 months, Bill returned with our unindicted co-conspirator Joe Kubala of Kubala-Sosna Cables to pack up the KRONOS system for another audio show. I have to say that it was yet another melancholy moment. Who likes to see great audio designs hit the trail? "Magic…and loss," as Lou Reed would have said.

Bill Parish, GTT Audio

Bill Parish enjoying a fine cigar with me in the Columbia Gorge, during his trip to pack-up the KRONOS Pro LE…

Joe Kubala, Kubala-Sosna

…together with our dear audiobud Joe Kubala. What a great afternoon this was!

Once again, the blues:  The infallible sign of a really great design leaving you.

So…what does all of this add up to? How does the KRONOS Pro LE stack up in my audio pantheon of turntables?

Well, having spent over a year with it in my listening room, and having visited it at a handful of audio shows in 2014-2016, I can quite safely say that the KRONOS Pro LE with the Black Beauty 12" Tonearm and the Air Tight PC-1 Supreme is in the very first rank of turntables that I've ever heard. Definitely in the top o' the heap. And that's a pretty tight heap for me.

To be quite specific, I have three turntables in my "world-class" category of those that I've had in my listening room. One of them is most definitely the KRONOS Pro LE with Black Beauty Tonearm and the Air Tight PC-1 Supreme MC. This combination does all things well, and at the highest level. Quiet, transparent, rock-solid and stable, spreading analog joy wherever I've heard it, but especially here at Positive Feedback River City.

That is very high praise from me. If you love LPs and turntables, you really need to give the KRONOS Pro LE system a very, very serious listen. It's well behaved, impeccable in its presentation of the music, and a joy to both ear and eye. You simply can't go wrong with the KRONOS Pro LE front end.

KRONOS Pro LE Turntable

Photograph courtesy of KRONOS Audio

But wait! There's more!

KRONOS Pro LE Turntable

The KRONOS Pro LE with Black Beauty Tonearm and Air Tight Opus 1 MC, but also featuring the radically new SCPS Power Supply. Photographed by Robinson at GTT Audio's reference listening room in NJ, September of 2016.

My evaluation is complicated by the fact that my comments at this point cover the standard version of the KRONOS Pro LE, and do not include the new SCPS edition, with the new DC Accumulator power supply. I heard that at GTT Audio in September of 2016, as I reported HERE, and was simply staggered by the quality of that latest version of the KRONOS Pro LE. It was not an incremental improvement; it was closer to a quantum leap in turntable performance. There were also two other differences:  I heard the KRONOS Pro LE SCPS in a marvelous listening room with the new YG Acoustics Sonja XV super-speakers; and the KRONOS was sporting the Air Tight Opus 1 MC, their latest statement cartridge.

Regardless, the step forward was mind boggling.

In that sense, this assessment of the KRONOS Pro LE is provisional, and subject to possible significant revision upwards in the future.

To that end, Louis Desjardins has promised to consider a return review opportunity with the KRONOS Pro LE and SCPS power supply later in 2017, if feasible. If that comes together…you can never tell…then I'll have to issue a part two to this review…but I already know that the SCPS system lifts the KRONOS to new audio worlds.

We'll see if there's more to come….

Until then, the KRONOS Pro LE with Black Beauty Tonearm and Air Tight PC-1 has Ye Olde Editor's highest recommendation, and with enthusiasm.

Prices:  Check with GTT Audio for current pricing on the KRONOS Pro LE with Black Beauty Tonearm, as well as the Air Tight PC-1 Supreme or Opus 1 MC Cartridge.

KRONOS Audio

4035, rue Saint-Ambroise, suite 414

Montréal (Québec)  H4C 2E1  Canada

+1.514.939.5770

info@kronosaudio.com

US Distributor

Bill Parish, GTT Audio

1.908.850.3092

av@gttaudio.com

www.gttaudio.com

All photographs and image processing by David W. Robinson, unless otherwise noted. Drawings and paintings by Dan Zimmerman.

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