Engström • Monica Preamplifier and Lars Mono Amplifiers Review

May 20, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“If the benefits of the analog original are really that apparent, how about resorting to LP? Comparing the Previn performance on LP to the CD version shows the same yawning chasm in quality that I’ve come to expect. The LP offers a deeper, broader and far more dimensional soundstage, richer colors, greater presence and a far greater dynamic range. It’s not so much that the LP goes louder, but it delivers more concentrated energy to greater musical effect. Comparing it to the Berglund recording again highlights just how clearly these amps differentiate between performers and performances. Berglund is hardly a shrinking violet, as witnessed by his EMI/BSO Sibelius cycle, but in this repertoire the Bournemouth simply can’t match the discipline and the resulting concentrated power and expressive contrast generated by the LSO, power that is essential to this piece.”


Constellation Audio Revelation Taurus Mono Amplifiers

May 18, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“Of the three speakers Doug used, the most difficult to drive is the four-way, five-driver Ultima2 Salon2 — but even with the Revels, Doug found nothing to dispute Constellation’s power-output claims: “the 500W each Taurus Mono could provide wasn’t excessive — they produced SPLs as high as I’ve ever experienced with the Salon2s, with utterly clean, effortless sound throughout the audioband with every type of music I played.” And the Tauruses provided far more power than the GoldenEar Triton References and Dynaudio Special Fortys — the former with its own powered bass section, the latter a compact, stand-mounted two-way — could ever need.”

Simaudio Moon 240i Integrated Amplifier-DAC Review

May 12, 2018 § Leave a comment

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Emotiva TA-100 integrated amplifier Review

May 11, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“Next I brought out harder to drive speakers, namely my Ferrari red KEF LS50 bookshelf monitors. The TA-100 sounded fine, so I compared it with PS Audio’s newly revised Sprout integrated amp, which is now called the Sprout 100, it’s $599. With David Bowie’s final album, Blackstar, the Sprout 100 was clearer, and the sound of each instrument was more fully formed than what I heard from the TA-100. That amp sounded somewhat flatter and more two-dimensional than the more expensive Sprout 100, I’ll review it soon.”


May 8, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“In fact, there’s not much wrong with the Auris Audio Fortino 6550. Yes, by comparison to the really large valve amplifiers from the usual suspects, it lacks some dynamic contrasts and cavernous bass, and compared to a good conrad-johnson integrated at a similar price, there is a foreshortening of contrast and ‘microdynamics’, but this might be gilding the lily. The flexibility of the Fortino (even if the remote control is at best perfunctory here) makes it win out over an amplifier that is essentually a passive pot with a power amp attached.””

Esoteric Grandioso D1 DAC, P1 Disc Transport, C1 Linestage, and M1 Monoblock Power Amplifier Review

May 7, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“Comparing the Grandioso stack to my reference gear proved instructive. My Goldmund electronics are slightly faster and airier, thanks to their megahertz bandwidth and the speed that comes with it. The Goldmund gear also more accurately follows the shapes of notes. By comparison, these rise and fall a bit too quickly on the Grandioso stack; this is my one real complaint. On the other hand, the Grandioso series is more neutral than my reference electronics. And in other areas, such as dynamics and resolution, the Grandioso stack is among the scant few components I’ve encountered that can go head-to-head with Goldmund gear.”

T+A Elektroakustik PA 3100 HV Integrated Amplifier $23,500 Review

May 6, 2018 § Leave a comment

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‘The T+A Elektroakustik PA 3100 HV is an integrated amplifier that entails none of the compromises usually associated with integrateds. First, the price is no compromise. At $23,500, the PA 3100 HV is one of the most expensive integrated amplifiers I’ve ever had in my system. Unless you’re coming from some really expensive separates, it’s not going to save you any cash — you could easily get a superb preamplifier and stereo power amplifier for the same money. You’re also going to need a separate DAC — unlike so many integrateds these days, the T+A doesn’t come with one. It’s also pretty big and heavy — owning one won’t save you much space.”

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