Audionet Humboldt Integrated Amplifier $55,000 Review
July 24, 2021 § Leave a comment
Forgive me if I exclude any others in the top-tier integrated category, but the Gryphon Diablo 300, Dartzeel CTH-8550 mk2, Constellation Argo, Ypsilon Phaethon, Vitus MP-I201 (significantly more expensive than the Humboldt) and SIA-030, Pilium Leonidas, Absolare Integrated SE, Soulution 530, CH Precision I1 are all world class. The mighty Vitus MP-I201 sits regally at around $120k and, sadly, I have never heard it, so I cannot comment on its performance or value. Price-wise, the Humboldt sits at the penultimate price position, with the others ranging from the mid-$20k’s to the high $40k’s. Sonically, the Humboldt offers pure neutrality, an insanely low noise floor, and supreme dynamic prowess, while conveying music with passion, soul, and energy. The other choices I listed are all damn good, and range in personality from warm and engulfing, to ultra-dynamic, to hyper-accurate and resolving. I’d put the $40k Leonidas and the $40k Vitus SIA-030 as the most comparable tonally. Your listening tastes, budget, and current equipment will help to define which direction you need to look in. As a reviewer, it’s not my job to tell you what’s better or worse, or what to buy. It is my job to tell you what the review subject sounds like, and what’s worth an audition, and if it’s something I would consider purchasing. Well, the Humboldt is unquestionably worth listening to and absolutely worth buying if you have the means. I was sad to see it go, and even sadder the following day when it was no longer in my room. Highly recommended.