Icon Audio Stereo 40 MkIV Signature Integrated Amplifier $5295 Review
April 25, 2023 Comments Off on Icon Audio Stereo 40 MkIV Signature Integrated Amplifier $5295 Review
The tonal flexibility of the Stereo 40 became evident yet again when I switched to the Fleetwood DeVille loudspeaker. With its livelier balance, it benefitted from the no-feedback setting, cutting down the perceived treble extension a bit and resulting in a slightly softer presentation, but with billowing image outlines. However, there was more to it than just imaging. It resolved layers of orchestration exceptionally well, and low-level detail floated to the surface naturally without the help of any gratuitous upper-midrange brightness. It was far more revealing than that great and beloved classic UL amplifier, the Dynaco ST-70, which practically sounded fuzzy by comparison. One of the critical factors I look for in any power amp is a low annoyance factor. By annoyance I mean a bright disposition, obvious textural grain, or lack of transient speed and rhythmic conviction. The Stereo 40 excelled when it came to the music’s boogie factor, as well as refined grain-free-textures and fidelity to tonal colors. This was most evident on female voice, which was capable of floating in space with emotional expressiveness. Brahms’ orchestral works define beefy musical textures, and the Stereo 40 seemed to be the perfect partner, facilitating a most enjoyable delivery of the Double Concerto.
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