The Knox Reference System

Experience one of the best hi-fi systems in the world!

With over $1.5m investment & the only place you can hear the Cessaro Alpha III speakers in Australia, the Knox Audio system is a once in a lifetime experience.

The Knox Audio System 2021

What is the Knox Reference System?

As I have progressed through my own journey in audio, I have gained certain knowledge and experiences. It was important to me to present a representation of the best sound that I could achieve at any point in time to my clients in the form of the Knox Audio reference system.

This system is composed of a selection of some of the finest sounding equipment from a small number of the most exclusive brands available on the planet. It is important to know that all the components in the system have been carefully chosen for the specific way in which they interact with each other to create a system of complete synergy.

Over the years, the Knox reference system has changed and evolved as I discovered new ways of improving my sound. Please refer to the section on the history of my system if you’d like to see how it evolved over the years. Today, I am happy to say that based on the feedback of experienced clients, reviewers & members of the audio press and international visitors, the Knox Audio reference system has developed a reputation as being one of the best music presentation experiences in the world.

What does the system consist of today?

Although from time to time the components in the system may change or be upgraded as improvements and new models become available, the current system has been designed around a pair of Cessaro Alpha III horns which were carefully chosen, optioned, and tuned to match the unique totally neutral acoustic balance of the listening room.

The digital front end of our system starts with the spectacular sounding Taiko Audio SGM Extreme music server and an equally impressive special Silver Edition CD player, the Ypsilon CDT-100 SE. Both are connected to a Silver Edition Ypsilon DAC, the DAC-1000 SE.

A ‘State of the Art’ analogue front end (due to arrive in January 2022) showcasing the uncompromising Döhmann Audio Helix One turntable complete with a Reed 5A Tangential 90 Degree Pivot Reference tonearm utilising Double Birch/Thales geometry. This will be fitted with a special version of the Koetsu Coral Stone Platinum MC cartridge built around a pure diamond cantilever. The turntable is connected to a custom-made-to-order, Silver Edition version of the Ypsilon large step-up transformer built around specially made nanocrystalline cores with two switchable inputs. The SUT is then connected to the Silver Edition Ypsilon phono stage, the famous VPS-100 SE.

The Knox Audio System: Cessaro Air One

Central to any ultra-high-end audio system is the preamplifier. In our system we have chosen possibly the world’s best passive preamplifier; the completely neutral and colourless Cessaro Air One passive preamplifier. This preamplifier uses two specially wound autotransformers for the volume controls. These transformers are extremely large and are built to the finest tolerances currently available. They utilise specially made nanocrystalline cores and are hand wound for Cessaro by Ypsilon using Ypsilon’s proprietary silver wire. The Cessaro Air One preamplifier is an extensive design collaboration between Cessaro of Germany and Ypsilon Electronics of Greece.

The final electronics in our reference system are the power amplifiers. Initially we chose a pair of the amazing Ypsilon Hyperion hybrid monoblocs which are a 375 Watt RMS into 8 ohms push/pull (Class AB) design, however, we have recently made the decision to order a pair of the even more amazing Ypsilon SET-100 Ultimate monoblock power amplifiers. They are due to be installed around the end of the 2021. The Ypsilon SET-100 Ultimate monoblocks are a single ended pure class A hybrid design power amplifier with only two gain stages; a single ended tube input stage, and a single ended solid-state (mosfet) output stage directly coupled at the output using a double C-core amorphous choke as the DC current path. They produce 120 Watts pure class A into 8 ohms. As with all our Ypsilon electronics, the Cessaro preamplifier and the Cessaro horn speakers, the pair of SET-100 Ultimate monoblock power amplifiers are full silver designs.

Ypsilon SET-100 Ultimate monoblock power amplifier

When it comes to connecting our components together, a great deal of thought went into the best cabling system available to achieve the highest level of synergy, we have chosen Stage III Concepts which utilise flat twisted conductors which have been specially formulated from an alloy of pure silver and palladium produced in their own inhouse facility. All the signal cables throughout our system are Stage III Concepts and incorporate a vacuum dielectric which is totally unique in the industry. Stage III Concepts build their cables using a proprietary design topology & construction methodology.