MCINTOSH MC312 2-CHANNEL SOLID STATE AMPLIFIER $7,000 REVIEW

September 18, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“During the evaluation period of a couple of months, I tried to find fault in the MC312, but I simply couldn’t. McIntosh has succeeded in engineering one of the finest stereo amplifiers for under $10k that you can purchase today. It is literally as much or more of an amplifier that one could ever want or need, and it may even be the last one that you’ll ever wish to buy!”

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LEGACY POWERBLOC2 STEREO AMPLIFIER $1800 Review

September 17, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“I enjoyed listening to my music with the Legacy Powerbloc2. It had finesse and muscle, imaging was excellent, and it had complete control of my speakers, allowing me to hear what they can do without the need for EQ or a subwoofer. Because ICEpower runs cool, thermal shock and heat are eliminated which should add years of life to this well-built dynamo. And there are no fans to pull in dust. If you need power in a tight space, the Powerbloc2 can easily fill a cozy spot in an equipment rack with less ventilation space than a Class A/B amp would need.”

Krell K-300i Integrated Amp/DAC Review

September 13, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“Go a bit more audiophile fare with the Rhiannon Giddens/Francesco Turrisi collaboration There Is No Other [Nonesuch 591336-2], which combines close-recorded female vocals with lovingly-captured instruments without going all John Lewis ad on you – I told you I’d just come back from a hi-fi show – and the K-300i’s combination of focus and generosity of sound is much appreciated. Giddens’ plaintive vocals bounce off the Mediterranean/North African instrumentation on ‘Gonna Write Me A Letter’ to winning effect, the amp punching along the percussion while allowing the other instruments to soar out of the mix.

With the infectious piano jazz of Ai Kuwabara, Live At The Blue Note Tokyo [Verve UCCJ-2164; 48kHz/24-bit], the K-300i is able to demonstrate further its combination of low-end extension and speed as a platform on which music is based. It renders Kuwabara’s piano with a delightful lightness of touch, while Steve Gadd’s drums have slam and crispness and Will Lee’s grumbling bass is tight and precise. Add in a fine sense of live atmosphere – got to love that oh so polite Japanese jazz audience applause – and you have a compelling set that’s clearly right up the K-300i’s alley, so well does it deliver it.”

Read more at https://www.hifinews.com/content/krell-k-300i-integrated-ampdac-page-2#QhGkHHsgsgw1p74D.99

The Boulder 1161 Power Amplifer $22,000 Review

September 9, 2019 § Leave a comment

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Nothing I’ve ever had the privilege of lifting the cover on in the audio world is built to this standard. This is what gives Boulder products the highest secondary market value of anything going – if you can even find them used. I’m sure people that trade Boulder in for something else are out there, but every Boulder owner I’ve encountered has only traded up. It’s rarely if ever for sale used, and I’ve never heard of one that has malfunctioned. I don’t even recall seeing a service area when I visited the factory, but I’m sure it’s there somewhere.”

Naim Nait XS 3 review

September 7, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“The Nait sounds more energetic and entertaining. It takes the multitude of musical strands in Arvo Part’s Tabula Rasa and combines them to deliver a musical and emotionally absorbing performance. Detail resolution is good, but it’s the amplifier’s ability to assemble all that information into a cohesive whole that really impresses.”

Krell K-300i $7,000 Review

September 6, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“Just a quick note about the HDMI performance of the K-300i. In a word, it is phenomenal. Watching Mary Queen of Scots, my wife and our friend agreed, it was like we had upgraded our modest Epson projector several levels. Color saturation and detail rendition was startling as was the contrast and brightness. If you are like me and your audio system does double duty as your home theater, the upgrade in video quality alone not to mention the ease of integration is worth at least half the overall cost the K-300i.”

MARANTZ PM-KI RUBY INTEGRATED AMPLIFIER £3,500 REVIEW

September 2, 2019 § Leave a comment

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“My first experience with this amplifier was in tandem with the matching SA-KI Ruby disc player/DAC and Revel 126Be loudspeakers, which produced an extremely polished and refined result but not one that was in danger of causing the listener to break a sweat. This was a case of three rights not adding up to a wrong but neither was it a successful combo, so I concentrated on the player in a variety of systems and left the amplifier to fend for itself. And it fended rather well once I had found a sympathetic speaker. That said it didn’t do badly with my usual choice of transducer, the PMC Fact.8, which brought out the musical skills of the PM-KI Ruby rather well. I spent some time listening to vinyl spun on a Rega RP10 with Aphelion MC cartridge and was pleased to find that the MC stage on the amp had sufficient gain to produce a dynamic result where the recording warranted it. Not all my favourite music is that well produced, however, and where compression has been used the Marantz will make it fairly clear. It’s a usefully transparent amplifier albeit one with a refined presentation that can fool you into thinking that it’s smoothing over the fine detail. In fact, it’s just very fine grained and revealing – put on something raw and it will sound that way. There’s decent power and drive on Ryley Walker’s Primrose Green[Dead Oceans] but it is reined in by the annoying powers of limiting. And yet that doesn’t get in the way of the music, which is close to the performance you’d expect from a decent standalone phono stage. ”

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