How to contact us and our distributors

December 1997


The System Seven From Klyne Audio Arts

by Larry Alan Kay

For several years I had heard about, but never actually heard, preamps and phono stages designed and built by Stan Klyne. Some experienced listeners had said that Klyne’s phono stages and line level preamps had a sonic sweetness and finesse that rivaled the highest quality tube hardware as well as the speed, low internal noise, resistance to RFI and other noise, and reliability of the best solid-state gear. Since I live in an area where RFI can be a real nuisance and have yet to find a phono stage/line level combination that I feel is totally satisfactory, I was eager to get the Klyne Model 7PX3.5 Phono Preamplifier and the Klyne Model 7LX3.5/B Line Level Preamplifier into my system. Having lived with them for several months now, I’m now eager to have them—especially the phono stage—remain in the system. The Klyne pieces are among the most neutral, natural, and transparent I’ve heard. To the extent that I have any quibbles they relate more to convenience and ergonomics (and only to the line stage) than to sonics. To my way of thinking and listening, the sound of the Klyne System Seven is very close to just right.

Before I go on with the usual description, I want to illustrate, with one example, exactly why I find the Klyne preamp components so extraordinary. On a tune I’ve listened to perhaps a thousand times over a period of more than thirty years (egad!), “Lotus Land” from Guitar Forms [Verve] by Kenny Burrell, with orchestra arranged by Gil Evans and recorded by Rudy van Gelder (no wonder I keep playing it), there is a passage which is heavily and darkly scored for low woodwinds (bass clarinet, baritone sax, bassoon). With both Klyne pieces in the system I heard for the first and only time, deeply and faintly buried in the mix, a high passage played on the clarinet. And unlike the usual experience we audiophiles have, once we’ve heard a hidden detail, I still don’t hear it when I substitute other line or phono stages, even some of the finest and most expensive ones—the Klynes are that transparent and revealing, traits I most value. I (and you) can simply hear more of the music through them than I’ve heard through any others.


      1, 2, 3, 4, 5