The Lejonklou Entity 1.1 Indeed an entity All in Itself

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Lejonklou Entity 1.1

I first became aware of Lejonklou at the first Axpona show several years back BC (before Covid) when I heard the SINGularity Phono, which in all of its polished copper glory stood out both in sight and sound.

The Lejonklou Entity phono stage here, manufactured in Sweden and imported into the U.S by Nokturne Audio out of Michigan, is descended from that cost-no-object beauty and as such also comes directly from the mind, to the desk, to the ears of Fredrik Lejonklou himself. It is a moving coil-only phono stage that, to my ears, tells me that not only does it share the same lineage as the SINGularity but that it is aptly named as well.

One of the Merriam-Webster dictionary definitions of the word "Entity" is “Something that has separate and distinct existence and objective or conceptual reality”…the Entity, although similar in many ways, is in its own self different from the other.


Like all Lejonklou audio products that I’ve heard, they sound wonderful, they sound right, they make music sound like real music...and Fredrik’s belief that every part that makes up that piece of equipment affects that sound…every part (including what makes up of that part), every step, and every process. It's how all these factors sound together that counts, not how good they are on their own on paper. Fredrik even encloses a short pamphlet on the reason behind the Entity that explains the journey from concept to the creation of this gem.

Take, for example, the composition and length of the power cord or the amount of torque on the screws holding the unit together…even these, to his ears, affected the sound of the unit…it was only after trying and then listening to all the parts, pieces, and such, no matter how big or small they appeared, over countless listening sessions, was the right combination achieved…Is this drive and attention to detail obsessive? Perhaps so… Is all that necessary?… Most certainly so!… If the end result of this obsession, the culmination of everything chosen for whatever it brought to the table…i.e. its own sound, has resulted in a piece of audio equipment that brings a new level of realism and truth and excitement to an audio system (as it did mine) then yes, emphatically yes!, it was absolutely necessary and oh how I wish more audio manufacturers would take this approach to their products.

Now bear in mind that I currently use a Lejonklou Slipsik 7.1 moving magnet phono stage paired with an Auditorium A23 SUT in my system, which is inline between my Well Tempered Labs Amadeus GTA turntable and Kauri cartridge and my Line Magnetic LM219IA SET with A23 cabling and various Isotek power cords and conditioner used throughout (except on the Slipsik which per Lejonklou’s direction should never be changed), this all feeding into my JM Reynaud Cantabile Speakers. All of which elicited, to my ears, the most wonderful music extracted from vinyl grooves that I had heard to date…that is until I placed the Entity in place of it…the Slipsik/A23 combo indeed did and does sound simply wonderful…but the Entity on its own just sounds markedly, yes I said markedly… better…as wonderful as the Slipsik/A23 combo is, the Entity elicited more dynamic range on passages than I have experienced before…on albums that I love and have used for decades as my references when reviewing equipment…and it’s not because I’m focusing on a different aspect of the sound of the recording.

Many times people get fooled into thinking they’re hearing more with a particular piece of equipment when in fact they are simply focusing on a different aspect of, be it vocal or instrument in the song that they’re listening to that they never did before, this alone will make them sound different to their ears for sure…no, the albums I listened to for this review, I have listened to all aspects of over the years and what I hear now with the Entity is not me listening to a different aspect, its just a greater sense of the music that I didn’t know was there.

As I mentioned, the dynamic range doesn’t just seem more extended, it is more extended. I listened between the Slipsik and Entity with all things being equal, volume setting, sitting position, tracks (I don’t even start comparing until after I’ve listened to a song several times to account for groove fluctuations)…no, with the Entity the dynamic range is most definitely extended and in a wonderful way…it is never harsh sounding on the top end, nor is it bloated on the bottom end and the volume shifts between soft to loud and back again on song passages happen so fast and dynamically that it puts greater distance between the notes…this extension, if you will, seems to allow the vocals and instruments to express more of their own texture and feeling, giving an even greater sense of realism, nay, truth if you will, to their sound that surpasses even that of the Slipsik/A23 in my system.

The breadth and depth of the soundstage at the same time became not only fuller but even clearer…there was never a sense that, as the music became louder that the soundstage became clouded…all the instruments and vocals remained clearly defined and placed, never bright or harsh, just right no matter how loud the passage got…to me there is no better feeling than, when you have the volume just right for a live performance, that you can hear the extra force of breath of a singer on a mic as they lean in ever so slightly closer to the mic and you hear that pronounced exhalation of the first letter of that word…I’m talking that kind of clarity here…it’s enough to make the hair on the back of your neck stand up! Notwithstanding, the depth of the sound stage through the Entity too is something to behold with your ears and mind’s eye…it goes back as far as the recording you're listening to captured it…never echo-ey, never exaggerated or fake sounding…I’m talking actual depth of field unfolding before your ears.

I was instructed by my venerable hi-fi guru, friend, and true audio maven Charlie Schnyder of Stereo Haven in Edwardsville, Illinois, that when the unit arrived, to give it a good solid 3 days of playing music through it before settling in for any serious auditioning, so that’s what I did…for several hours on end, over several days I played everything from quartets to orchestras, Easy Listening to Classic Rock, Progressive to Heavy Metal, Jazz (both traditional and contemporary), Sinatra to R&B, Big Band to Electronica, Broadway musicals to Opera, Bluegrass to Classic Country, both vocals and instrumentals, pretty much the whole gamut (far too many albums and songs to list here)…if something was going to better my Slipsik/A23, it was going to have to hands down prove it…but to be dag blasted honest with you, it didn’t take that long or that much music to hear the difference the Entity made in the landscape of music set before my eyes and ears!

Really you say? Yes, really! All it took was my listening partner wifey sitting next to me the very first night I played music with it in my system…after no more than 4 or 5 songs (really that’s all it took) into listening, “she-who-doubts and pooh-poohs every new thing audio" looked at me square in the eyes and said “I hate Charlie!”…the Entity made such a noticeable difference to the music and positive impact on her that it caused her to cast a disparaging word upon someone she likes probably more than she likes me! …higher praise than that?!...I can’t think of anything! (of course she didn’t ask the cost)…which at $2,795.00 isn’t inexpensive, but honestly for everything that went into the design, development, and construction of this piece as well as its level of performance….when considering the cost of other phono stages that would perform anywhere near the Entity’s level, it is a veritable bargain!…perhaps the best bargain currently available in the world of hi-end audio. The pace, rhythm, and timing (oh my gosh did I just audiophile word nerd out and mention PRaT?!…I did, didn’t I?!…gasp, I’m hopeless!) of the music through the Entity had our feet about to snap off our ankles it made the music so exciting, fresh, and toe-tapping enjoyable!

There is a highly respected stereo magazine that periodically puts out a recommended component list, and in the most recent issue that contains this list you will find the Entity listed there in the company of other exceptional phono stages that have a whole additional digit to their cost listed under its “Class A” designation. Part of their description of what a “Class A” designation is in their magazine calls them “Best attainable sound for a component of its kind, almost without practical consideration, the least musical compromise” I wholeheartedly agree with them.

I also like that the Entity is versatile. It has three load settings 90, 120, and 180 ohms, set via 2 toggle switches on the back of the unit (no doubt I suppose chosen too for the way they added to the unit's sound) one for each channel…after listening to all three settings over and over with the same songs, the missus and I both agreed that the 180 Ohm setting rocked our musical enjoyment world the most…while all 3 settings brought their own character to the sound, and we liked all three and would have been happy if only one of them were the only available choice, the 180 setting just brought that little something extra to the table that’s kind of hard to describe…the French might say a certain “je ne sais quoi”…everything just sounds a little fuller, and truer to our ears with that setting…I’m sure there are some so-called golden ears out there who might say it's because of some micro this or macro that, but who really cares about the why?…what matters is that I/you/we like it, nay, love it.


One thing I have not tried yet is using the cables that Fredrik used when voicing the Entity…He used the Linn Silver interconnects…and Fredrik, the gang at Stereo Haven as well as other audio reviewers all agree that the Entity sounds even better with them than with even my Auditoriums…alas I don’t have them (yet) to try them out for myself, but if they raise the bar on the level of performance the Entity already possesses, as they all say they do, then I can’t wait to get my hands on a pair to hear for myself!

So now that I’ve gushed on about the Entity, this is the point in the review where some audio reviewers try to bring you back down to earth by telling you about the product they just raved about shortcomings… no matter how small they may be, and they usually are very small…who knows why they do that?…who cares about small shortcomings (big ones yes, but small ones? really?)…we all know every piece of audio equipment will have some sort of shortcoming….perhaps it’s to help you in your decision-making process…that no matter how good they thought the piece was there might be one teensy-weeny aspect that they think might be a deal-breaker for you? or that you may hear it and think your ears are better than theirs(clutch-the-pearls!) because they didn’t write about it…who knows their reason…I believe in just talking about what's good about it, what I liked about it and why…If that whets your appetite (and I hope it does here) then take that with you and go find yourself (if you don’t already have one) an honest, reputable, experienced brick and mortar audio dealer where you can sit back, relax and listen for yourself and see if you hear (see if you hear?) and shortcomings on your own, or if you hear what I heard….and ask questions, voice concerns, and drink from their knowledge to assist you in making the right decision for your audio enjoyment without any pressure.

If you’re looking for me to say there is a better phono stage out there than the Entity that you should listen to…okay I will…go audition the SINGularity…it will bring you even closer to that you-are-there experience we all seek, but for those of you like me who don’t have that sort of income for it or for some of those other excellent but college tuition cost phono stages that are out there (some that your dealer may also have), I assure you, for my money and ears the Entity here from Lejonklou, brings a whole lot of that level of musical excitement down to Earth for you at a fraction of the cost, that far and away outpaces the competition.