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RMAF 2015: Zesto invokes Eros, earns Kharma

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The new Eros 300 mono block amplifiers from Zesto Audio are big, massive and large. I mean, they’re really … did I say “big”? I did. Yep. That’s me, out of adjectives. That’s no good. Coffee! Stat!

The Eros 300 (Eros the Greek god of Love) are built on the same chassis platform as their “cousins”, the stereo Bia 120 amp. Output is accomplished by way of a sextet of KT88 tubes, with a pair of 12AU7 tubes driving. Note the nifty mirror-image fascia on the amps! More details:

  • Pure Class A
  • 150 watts
  • XLR and SE inputs
  • Auto-biasing
  • No negative feedback
  • 80lbs each!
  • $19,900/pair

The recently updated Zesto Andros 1.2 phono ($4,700) and Leto 1.5 preamplifier ($7,500) provided the signal path from the Merrill Williams Audio REAL 101.2 turntable ($7,200), here fitted out with a Triplanar U2 tonearm ($6,200) and a Dynavector XX2 MkII cartridge ($1,985).

The wire in the room all came from WyWires, including their newest Diamond Series speaker cables (starting at $7999/pair), Diamond Interconnects (starting at $4495/pair), a Platinum Series USB cable ($899) and Platinum Series High-Current Power Cords (starting at $999), the latter of which were coordinated by the WyWires/Daedalus Audio joint venture, called the Power Broker ($3,299).

Another surprise for me were the speakers from Kharma International — the Elegance Double Nine Signature (DB9-S — $37,500/pair). Kharma missing for a decade or two from the US market, seems intent on making a strong play for a come back. If so, I’d offer that this was a smart move — the showing with the Zesto front-end here, was powerful, and utterly convincing.

The DB9-S is 3-way, 4Ω nominal design, but I’ll offer that isn’t precisely what you’d think of when you look up “easy speaker” for any tube amp, even a big power amplifier. Driven here, the Kharmas were able to weave a full, rich and tonally colorful tapestry with alarming authority and percussive personality. Me likey.

RMAF 2015 coverage brought to you by Noble Audio! Click for more ….

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About Scot Hull (975 Articles)
Founder, Editor and Publisher at Part-Time Audiophile and The Occasional Magazine.