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Reviewer: Paul Candy
Financial Interests: click here
Digital Source:
CEC TL51X transport, PS Audio DL III DAC w/ Cullen Circuits Stage Three Mod.
Analog Source: Pro-Ject RPM 5 turntable, Pro-Ject Speed Box, Pro-Ject Tube Box phono stage, Ortofon Rondo Blue cartridge.
Amps: Audiomat Opéra Référence integrated, Audia Flight Three integrated (in for review).
Speakers: Green Mountain Audio Callisto (on sand-filled Skylan stands), Hyperion Sound HPS-738, (2) REL Q108 Mk II subwoofers.
Cables: Auditorium 23 speaker cable & SilverFi interconnects, MIT Shotgun S1 speaker cables & interconnects (in for review), Wireworld Equinox 6 interconnects & Speaker cables.
AC Cables: Audience powerChord e, Harmonic Technology AC-10 Fantasy, Wireworld Aurora 5².
Stands: Grand Prix Audio Monaco four-tier rack.
Powerline conditioning: Audience aR1p, BPT Pure Power Center with Wattgate, Bybee Quantum Purifier and ERS cloth options, GutWire MaxCon, MIT Z-Duplex Super (in for review).
Sundry accessories: Acoustic Revive RR-77, Auric Illuminator, Audio Magic/Quantum Physics Noise Disruptors, Caig Pro Gold, Crystal Cable Bridge, Echo Busters acoustic room treatments, Grand Prix Audio APEX footers, Isoclean fuses, dedicated AC line with Wattgate 381 outlet.
Room size: 11' x 18' x 8', long wall setup, suspended hardwood floors with large area rug, walls are standard drywall over Fiberglas insulation.
Review Component Retail: US$349 to $949 depending on configuration.

It's no secret that the world economy has taken a beating of late. Justifying large sums on audio equipment -- depending of course on your particular economic status -- is difficult at best and perhaps impossible for most. What puzzles me is the continuous flow of so-called statement products with matching statement price tags. Who can afford this stuff? I suspect the only folks who can afford $24,000 CD players and $107,000 loudspeakers are the exceedingly well compensated corporate cheerleaders and politicos who got us into this mess.

Well, looking at the sheer number of statement products in recent audio show reports, there must be thousands of these suited weasels on the loose. Personally I would rather have them all locked up in a perfectly square room with glass walls and forced to listen to Céline Dion through an all Bose system. What we truly need right now are recession-busting audio products that even the cash-strapped music lover might afford. This has been a consistent theme here at the moons, with several recently reviewed inexpensive products that punch way above their weight.

You can add Blue Circle's bizarrely named Fon Lo Thingee to this growing list. The Thingee line is Gilbert Yeung's answer for the economically challenged music-loving audiophile. He essentially takes the core guts from one of his upscale offerings, crams 'em inside a $2 ABS pipe and passes the savings to the consumer. What started life as an inexpensive USB DAC for computer users has rapidly turned into a complete line of affordable audio kit. Aesthetics won't appeal to all but you have to admire Gilbert's resourcefulness. He does give the pipes a nicely brushed texture to enhance their metallic appearance.

The Fon Lo Thingee is an MM/MC phono stage available in four configs depending on budget. While the phono circuitry remains as is, the power supply (arguably the most important part of a component) is upgradeable. The Fon Lo Thingee combines the input stage of Blue Circle's $6,995 BC703 with the output and RIAA circuit of the $2,295 BC707 and wraps those in a brass cylinder inside a standard 2" ABS pipe. The input side sports two pairs of RCA jacks; one for the incoming TT signal, the other for loading plugs of varying capacitance/impedance values which Blue Circle provides upon receiving specs of your cartridge.