San Francisco –
has begun shipping its
$2,350-suggested Halo JC 3 phono preamp, promoted as drawing on a venerable hand-built
audiophile design that would cost more than $8,000 to build today.
The JC3 was designed by John
Curl, who also designed the near-20-year-old Vendetta Research SCP2B phono
preamp on which the JC3 is based. It will be displayed at International CES.
Both were designed to amplify the
very-low-power audio signal generated by a high-end low-output moving-coil or
moving-magnet phono cartridge while rejecting the noise that could otherwise
easily enter the low-power signal.
To reject noise, the 18-pound
preamp uses “the smallest possible amplifier circuit with the least amount of
copper to act as an antenna for noise,” said president and founder Richard
Schram. “To keep the background black and silent,” he added, each channel is
housed in its own extruded aluminum enclosure, each isolated from the power
supply with 3/8-inch thick low-carbon mild steel partitions.
The passive EQ parts’ values and
quality are the same as in the original Vendetta, he added.
The Halo JC 3 is a dual-mono
design with unbalanced inputs and outputs using Vampire RCA jacks as well as
balanced outputs using Neutrik XLR jacks. A custom-made three-position input
impedance switch provides for 47 k ohm moving-magnet cartridges, 100 ohm moving-coil
cartridges, and 47 k ohms, which is designed for some moving-coil cartridges
and high-end moving iron cartridges.