What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Mon, 23 Mar 2009, 3:00pm

Plinius Koru

Tested at £2240
100100
5

If you have a top-class system, the Koru will sound stunning. Vinyl has rarely sounded this good

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For

  • Transparent sound
  • great dynamics and timing
  • adjustability
  • fine build quality

Against

  • It’s a waste of money if the rest of the system falls below the Koru’s high standards

What kind of person drops more than two grand on a phono stage? Someone who spends at least three times that amount on a suitable record player and has an amplifier and speakers right up there with the top kit available.

For a vinyl fan with such a system, the Plinius Koru phono stage is a great buy. It's beautifully made and features the kind of adjustability that is crucial for optimum vinyl replay; cartridges need to be pampered.

They need the phono stage to have just the right amount of gain, resistance and capacitance to get optimal signal transfer. Get it wrong, and even the best cartridge in the world won't shine.

The Koru has the necessary adjustability. We had no problems getting it to work well with a range of cartridges, from moving magnet designs such as Goldring's 2400 all the way through to high-end moving coils such as van den Hul's Frog Gold.

Punchy, composed precision
Once set up in an appropriate system, this Plinius shines. It's utterly transparent, delivering a sea of fine detail without strain.

Fed Orff's Carmina Burana, the Koru rides the savage dynamic swings with ease, delivering each frantic crescendo with punch and composure. Imaging is precise and nicely layered.

The expansive sound stage gives each instrument and voice plenty of space to breathe. Background noise levels are low too, making the use of ultra low output cartridges a real possibility.

Change genre to the likes of Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run and the Plinius is happy to rock along. Tracks charge along with momentum, the Koru delivers masses of insight, yet communicates every gram of emotion in the process.

This phono stage may be an analysis king, but it never forgets that musical enjoyment is paramount.

Sure, this is a great deal of money to spend on a phono stage, but provided the rest of your system is good enough, the Koru won't disappoint.

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