VAC Statement 452 iQ Musicbloc mono/stereo power amplifier $150,000/pair Review

April 25, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“Well, yes, to a small degree. For instance, take Charles Mingus’s almost violent The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady (LP, Impulse A-35). Here, the trombone had better growl like a wild boar, the sax had better taunt and make an ugly sound, and the drums should pile up and knock you over. The 452 iQ didn’t quite kick it like my solid-state reference amp, but it came close enough that the music didn’t suffer. A well-regarded music writer visited recently to do some comparisons on a big rig for a feature he’s writing. After we’d finished his work, we had some fun. I played him the 45rpm lacquer of Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers’ “A Night in Tunisia” that I’ve been taking around to shows. That knocked him back! Then I hit him with the original Bob Ludwig–mastered (“RL”) version of Led Zeppelin II (LP, Atlantic SD 8236), and of course he was blown away by that, and so was I. Though the solid-state reference amp has greater “grunt” on bottom, never did the 452 iQ make me feel like I needed to switch amps so my guest could better appreciate the Led Zep tracks. The 452 iQ was an addictive-sounding amp, suitable for all kinds of music.”

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