Boulder 1110/1160 Pre/Power Amplifier Review

October 23, 2021 § Leave a comment

Play Iiro Rantala’s take on ‘Caravan’, from My History Of Jazz [ACT 9531-2], and the dense mix is punctuated, illuminated even, by the attack of the violin pushing the instruments forward, sounding large and confident. Stick with jazz and another favourite tester, the Espen Eriksen Trio’s ‘In The Mountains’, from Never Ending January [Rune Grammofon RCD 2173], and the sound is initially slightly claustrophobic, the opening drums deep and ponderous, before Eriksen’s spritely piano brings light to the scene and, once again, the ‘big picture’ is revealed.

Without doubt, what the Boulder 1110/1160 does well, it does very well indeed. Even with orchestral works such as the testing, but superbly recorded and mastered, Britten ‘Young Person’s Guide To The Orchestra’ [Reference Recordings RR-120SACD] there’s just no denying the sense of orchestral scale and weight on offer.

The 1160 is a big amplifier that begs for big loudspeakers. So, yes, in tandem this amplifier combination is insightful almost to the point of being idiosyncratic at times. But if you like the way they do what they do, and have a penchant for playing your music at adventurous levels, chances are you’ll love them.

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