darTZeel NHB-18NS/NHB-468 Pre/Power Amplifier £81,000 Review

January 28, 2022 § Leave a comment


Not that this amplifier combination reserves its talents for simple recordings. With the lush production of Elton John’s latest release, The Lockdown Sessions [EMI/Rocket EMICD 2051], the darTZeel amps’ big, weighty presentation kicked off the album with its throwback references of ‘Cold Heart’, complete with Dua Lipa singing the ‘Rocket Man’ chorus, to grand effect. Then the opening of the cover of The Pet Shop Boys’ ‘It’s A Sin’ sees the amps conveying the delicate quality of Olly Alexander’s voice before Our Reg slams in with full retro-disco pomp, all arpeggio’ing synths, pounding bass and strings.

Meanwhile the duet with Stevie Wonder, ‘Finish Line’, finds those big monoblock amps unleashing their power on the gospel-tinged arrangement, while keeping the distinctive voices front and centre. The production here is decidedly magnificent – not for Elton a few tunes accompanied by solo piano, recorded in a back room – and it sounds fabulous via these flagship amps.

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