Sidebar: Operational Perks and Peeves
Both the Janus Signature and Atlas are a delight to behold—brawny and handsome, yet supremely tasteful. Their exteriors attest to the quality of construction that continues within. And for the most part, these components are also brilliantly conceived from an ergonomic standpoint. The Atlas offers a nice menu system via its front-panel display for input selection and crossover point. A crossover in a power amp? Yes. The Atlas includes a 6dB/octave high-pass filter with the crossover selectable from 40–200Hz. This feature makes the Atlas a snap to mate with powered subwoofers.
The Janus Signature, like the Calypso and original Janus before it, is a couch potato’s dream. From the comfort of the listening positioning, one can use the remote to control volume, balance, source selection, phase, even cartridge-loading. A nice large front-panel display lets you know what’s happening, and its brightness is also under the user’s control. (Hint: Completely off sounds best.)
My only operational complaint has to do with the function switches on the Janus. The buttons have a nice positive feel and emit a reassuring click as feedback, but they also send an audible pop through the audio chain, such as when changing sources. No doubt this annoyance was exaggerated on my system, which includes speakers of unusually high sensitivity. Nonetheless, I prefer silent switching.
Glitches aside, in their looks, features, operation, build-quality, and sound, the Janus Signature and Atlas amply deliver the pride of ownership that characterizes the very best audiophile gear. They also deliver a level of value that is far rarer in this echelon. –Alan Taffel
SPECS & PRICING
Atlas Stereo Power Amplifier
Power output: 200Wpc into 8 ohms, 400Wpc into 4 ohms
Inputs: Single-ended and balanced stereo analog, RS232, 12V trigger
Outputs: Five-way binding posts
Dimensions: 18" x 8" x 19"
Weight: 70 lbs.
Janus Signature Preamplifier
Inputs: One RCA stereo phono, five RCA or balanced stereo analog, one RCA or balanced tape
Outputs: Two RCA or balanced stereo analog, one RCA tape
Dimensions: 17.875" x 4.375" x 18"
Weight: 40 lbs.