Kronos Audio PRO Turntable - Kronoscope RS Tonearm Review.


It can be said that Kronos Audio has unintentionally created a subversive effect on the market. In the high-end audio industry, no one knows what can and will happen to a particular brand when it hits the market, but Kronos Audio's impressive track record with its firm,  steadily growing product portfolio and impressive customer base around the world is proof that Louis Desjardins (with a help of his distribution/dealer network) has created something powerful and encapsulated the product and business concept that goes above of just doing it right. 


The Kronos has never been an extremely expensive turntable, and this stays unchanged no matter how the pendulum swings in the market. With today's exorbitant prices, even the new Kronos Audio Flagship Discovery turntable is "well" priced. 

There is something no-nonsense about the Kronos PRO turntable from the first encounter, and this is reflected in the way the music is reproduced, as you can read throughout this review. 

Operational


I have heard Kronos Audio turntables and tonearms at many high-end audio shows and as a part of the most impressive systems. Still, nothing comes close to listening at home in the familiar reference system. 


When I want to understand and appreciate something, I can be very persistent, and this is true even for such delicate products as the Kronos PRO turntable and Kronoscope RS tonearm. 


I adhere to the rule that if I can not mount the cartridge, adjust, align, and refine the tonearm, and set up the turntable, I am not worthy to be trusted with appraised equipment. Of course, subsequent refinement by the manufacturer is not out of the question, it is always welcomed, but by doing what I do for decades and even building my turntables and associated gear, I trying to maintain my ego bottled and keep appreciation for great equipment in balance.


My fondness for mechanical gems was certainly addressed with the two Kronos Audio products in this review, but my appreciation for the Kronos way of doing things grew with each step of assembly.

Every part of the Kronos PRO turntable is well thought out. The same goes for the Kronos RS Kronoscope tonearm. They are of refined simplicity. Simple, but not simpler. It just shows that everything has been carefully thought out and refined to create a harmonious whole, not just a collection of various unsynchronized concepts, approaches, and materials. The proof is in the pudding and Kronos delivers. In spades!


I like and love the watchmaking quality of the Kronos, the fine brushed nickel finish. The design has an understated beauty that is neither intrusive nor obtrusive. Kronos PRO is not small in size, but neither is it huge in appearance. Like the sound, the look is balanced. 



There is no doubt that form follows function with Kronos, yet I appreciate a well-executed design and give a nod where it's due.


Both the Kronos PRO turntable and the Kronos RS Kronoscope RS tonearm pack a hell of a lot of power and are easy to use. 


After a couple of weeks, I started playing with the tension of the screws at various strategic points on the turntable, tonearm, tonearm base, headshell, etc. Kronos PRO does come pre-tensioned, but as with any high-end audio equipment, transport and the changing temperatures during transport are affected. 


As with F1, every tiny change in torque comes into play here. This is perhaps one of the most important points when following up with the fine adjustment of Kronos Audio. There is also a special screwdriver with a graded scale to help with this.

 
When the screws are set a little looser, the resonances and micro-vibrations are muted by disconnecting the accumulated points. It can make a head spin how this affects the performance, which even affects the boominess and the elimination of distortions.


When everything comes together as described in the next section, the novelty and familiarity of the music with the Kronos PRO turntable and Kronoscope RS tonearm is immediately revoked.

 

The patented counter-rotating platters are just one of the many unique features of the Kronos PRO turntable. But since this has already been covered in detail, I've devoted my focus primarily to the music and the sonic benefits. 

The Music 


Desjardins does not tend to preach to the choir with a big bang, preferring that the music and performance speak for themselves. 

I had my high exceptions, knew the technicalities behind Kronos Audio, had heard various Kronos turntables and tonearms it many times, and would not call myself truly unequipped. Still, I was not prepared for the impact of Kronos PRO and Kronoscope RS.

With the Kronos Audio PRO turntable and the Kronoscope RS tonearm, my evaluation listening became music nonstop. With a wide variety of music, I was always fixated on the music and had so many moments when my head was spinning and I was repeatedly transported to a sonic Shangri-La.

The Kronos duo displayed a physical dexterity that is all too often missed even on more expensive turntables, where instead of full control, the teetering phenomena is induced. 


On Cowboy Junkies Trinity Session, it was immediately audible how Kronos PRO does not disperse the music, but controls it, underlining with fixed, stupendous bass the atmosphere of the cover of Robert Johnson's "Crossroads," in which he allegedly sold his soul to the devil for fame and money.

The familiar elements were interwoven with novel elements, the radiant vocals of Margo Timmins and the haunting guitar harmonies of Micheal Timmins, the chord changes bestowed a captivating image and a newfound, differently weighted delicate balance. A shocking, revelatory rediscovery of very familiar music. 


Too often on Pat Metheny Bright Size Life, the turntables of all price ranges can alter harmonic characteristics. Not so with Kronos PRO and Kronoscope RS. Unforgettable Jaco fretless bass was full-bodied, never bulldozed, with a tight and taut lower register, holographic three-dimensional drum layering un the sound sphere, and gripping and timbral point rendered on Metheny guitar rendition.

Kronos PRO and Kronoscope RS handled the trio exceptionally well. Moses' drumming was palpable, the drums filled the sound sphere with fantastic holography, the highs were exceptionally illuminated, and Metheny's masterful guitar playing filled the room with a sense of presence and tactileness.

Kronos PRO and Kronoscope RS opened a new path to this timeless album with a first-rate reproduction that contained more nuanced and better-defined articulation with a higher dose of realism.

It was remarkable to scrutinize how the dynamic yet distinguished nature of Bright Size Life was not fragmented as can happen with turntables far south of the Kronos PRO /Kronoscope RS combo prices.

The Kronos PRO turntable and Kronoscope RS tonearm never acted stridently or shrilly, but produced a sonic sevenness, where nothing pushed itself to the front. 


The remarkable ability to create a tangible tapestry of needed and life-life wariness was further revealed with the bizarre narrative but fantastic-sounding album Yasukazu Amemiya, Morton Feldman - Summer Prayer

Kronos PRO turntable and RS tonearm rendered a frenzied and dramatic score with newfound grandeur and the album never sounded documentarian but furnished "Summer Prayer ("Natsu Nebutsu")" with aplomb.

Kronos PRO and Kronoscope RS didn't slow down or tamper with the tempo of "Summer Prayer", the hidden details germinated, and I gained many new insights into this remarkable, yet completely surreal composition.


Not only that the  Kronos PRO turntable and the Kronoscope RS tonearm reproduced Muddy Watters Folk Singer with all hallmarks.

Even at full pelt, Watters' vocals were reproduced with power, vigor, authority, and needed massiveness. As befits a singer nearly six feet tall. There was no dynamic congestion and Watters' fiery guitar and the majestic rawness of his voice were delivered with punch and grunt.

Rise and decay were presented with the requisite speed of light, and the ignited goosebumps collided with the unique, unforgettable velocity of splendidly captured acoustic blues.  Kronos PRO turntable and the Kronoscope RS tonearm acted as a genuine time capsule transporting me back way back in time to this timeless moment of history. To speak of Kronos' analog double-decker just celebrated this time voyaging is truly an understatement.

The Kronos Pro turntable and Kronoscope RS tonearm always kept the focus on the music on all tracks and albums, delivering invariable laser-sharp yet natural directionality with musicality, natural sound, and warmth, there was no unagitated underpinning nor floundered dynamics, and everything appeared from much more black silent backgrounds than expected. 

There was no turning back once Kronos PRO and RS purred their emotional act in a colorful, enticing, and open manner. They are bold analog devices that disappear under the radar below or near the threshold of auditory sensual guards, avoiding overly induced vestibular processing.  

The Kronos combination is not flavorsome. Both the Kronos PRO and Kronoscope RS tonearms take a familiar sonic factor from the house of Kronos, which celebrates all great things analog, and playfully and unapologetically puts music in its deserved place.

Kronos PRO and Kronoscope RS tonearm allow the listener to immerse themselves in the tales of composers and artists from track to track, album to album, without philosophizing to death whether it's an audiophile or music-loving incident. Kronos analog assortment simply melds all the needed. 

With the non-analytical approach of Kronos Audio's analog combo, exploring details for the sake of details becomes a secondary matter, and the music comes to the fore with superior performativity, managing to create a sea of connections that make music such a glorious and fulfilling encounter.

The Conclusion


Many audiophiles and music lovers like to believe that analog has reached its status quo, notwithstanding some "out-of-the-box" solutions that can go into the upper price stratosphere.

I often hear that analog cannot be compared to digital due to the nature of the medium. I can only disagree with that. For the most part, many have not had the opportunity to hear a great performing analog front end, which the Kronos Combo undoubtedly is. In spades. 


The digital is reminiscent of the human obsession with perfectionism, which contradicts reality. In contrast, in the analog domain, it is possible to free oneself from the frantic analysis of music by accepting the so-called imperfections and opening the doors to the virtuosity and genius of music, instead of clinging to the analytical crux. 


Kronos PRO and the Kronoscope RS tonearm can be considered Louis Desjardins' utilities of nuance. But not exactly minuscule.


Desjardins has a penchant for analog mechanics, and Kronos products reflects that.

Kronos Audio PRO somehow defies and is far from the analog edifice associated with turntables. The way Kronos works is diametrically different, reflecting Desjardin's fanatical attention to and treatment of resonance, micro-vibration, etc. Consequently, the Kronos combo does not hurl sonic matter into chaos. Quite the contrary. It provides harmony and synchronization of a different kind.


As with anything, when the fundamentals are shaken, new possibilities emerge. Especially in analog, every little detail matters, and Desjardins' abstract thinking paved the way for many discoveries 

But ultimately, the Kronos experience is also not about the analog or the acceptance of imperfections. It is about transcending them.

When the code of music is not reconstituted, it triggers a series of reality checks. Something I have never experienced with the Kronos Combo at any time .


There are many turntables, regardless of price, that can dishearten music and cause a kind of the sonic equivalent of birefringence phenomena, where music and sound part ways and sound synthetic, dissonant, and tedium.

Kronos PRO and Kronocope RS are not just additional solutions that provide a compendium of music. Kronos PRO and Kronocope RS allow the music to constantly renew itself each time it is played, with an impressive number of potent qualities in concert.

With the Kronos PRO and the Kronoscope RS tonearm, Desjardins paves the way to analog heaven, a gateway to sonic Olympus that offers an infinitely expressive ethereal helix of compelling interactions of music with tacit quality.


Kronos Audio PRO and Kronoscope RS go beyond the approach of Kintsukuroi, which fixes everything with a golden-infused glue. It's not about the usual sufficient punch, nor about reconstitution, but about conveying the essence of the music without ever going astray or missing the mark.


Kronos Audio's analog solution represents a marked difference, an aural voyage, unlike anything I come across before.

Louis Desjardins' insights undoubtedly stem from tribology, but has he also inadvertently stumbled upon new, technically potent particularities? That may be.


Despite his seemingly bold stance, Desjardins, like many designers and entrepreneurs, works in a process-oriented way. He might uncover what was already there but not presented and used, he discovers what was not yet implemented, he slugs deep into the gut of the matter and arrives at the brilliant moment of intuition when the laborious elaboration itself presents a solution.

For something extraordinary, there must be a restless spirit behind it, an owner who is not satisfied with mediocrity and half solutions. And Louis Desjardins is not a man of resting spirit and as the saying goes, fortune follows the brave! 


We are often told that we have already heard everything, that there is no further development in the analog field or the solutions operate in meaningless delimitations.

On the contrary, Kronos Pro was designed from the ground up to withstand the test of time and illustrates the advantages of analog technology when used properly.


Kronos Audio analog como has its own bravura. The connections that bond the listener to the core of the music. It resets expectations and raises the bar, being able to weave infinite levels of music hidden in the black grooves, not letting the music rest, but on the contrary, delivering the movement of the micro and macro acoustic cosmos in a profoundly different momentum. 

Our auditory cortex immediately recognizes when music sounds right and the Kronos Audio PRO turntable and Kronoscope RS tonearm sound spot on right!


The refinement of concepts and especially sound goes hand in hand with the inclusion of fundamental experiences with all things needed in connection with music listening, resulting in broadening acoustic horizons and reaching the deepest points of music. In tune with this Kronos Audio PRO turntable and Kronoscope RS tonearm simply promote credibility with exquisite analog reproduction that transcends the digital and analog. 


There's little doubt that the Kronos Audio PRO turntable and Kronoscope RS tonearm were designed for die-hard music lovers and die-hard analog perfectionists. 

In a world where the visual dimension and instant dopamine uptake have displaced and taken over the auditory dimension, Kronos Combo is a clear antipode. 

Kronos PRO and Kronoscope RS tonearm are not simply top-of-the-line analog products. Rather, they belong in the league of top-of-the-line devices that defy the medium with their unique ability to transmit the energy of music so profoundly. 


Kronos PRO and Kronoscope RS tonearm fit well with Desjardanis' broad ethos of making his proud creations accessible to more analog enthusiasts. What the Kronos Audio PRO turntable and Kronoscope RS tonearm accomplish musically and how adventurously they lead one into the unknown of the seemingly known, they represent the analog maxim and wholeheartedly give them the 2022 Mono & Stereo Editors Choice Award. •

Matej Isak 

Price

  • Kronos PRO turntable - 42.000 USD
  • Kronoscope RS tonearm - 14.000 USD
  • SCPS1 - 17.500 USD

Contact


Kronos Audio

Tel: +1 514 865 6746