AVM Ovation PA 8.2 modular preamplifier Review

December 13, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“The few months I spent with AVM’s Ovation PA 8.2 produced only satisfaction and listening pleasure. I didn’t expect these moderately priced modules to equal or surpass the sound quality of my far more costly, standalone reference components, and they didn’t—but I also didn’t expect to be so satisfied with the sound quality of AVM’s inexpensive analog and digital modules, especially through the Tube Output card, which I highly recommend. I switched back to my reference gear only for comparisons with the PA 8.2, and when I was working on this month’s “Analog Corner.”

Modularity aside, the Ovation PA 8.2 performed particularly well as a conventional, all-analog line-input preamplifier. Its operating system, easy to configure and use, and its outstanding sound from all of its supplied modules—each offered at what I consider to be a very reasonable price—make the PA 8.2 among the most satisfying preamplifiers I’ve reviewed, especially when you consider that the interconnects linking my own outboard gear and preamp together cost more than the fully loaded PA 8.2. Crazy, no?”


Boulder 1110 Preamplifier $21,000 and 1160 Power Amplifier $28,000 Review

November 29, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“The Boulder 1110 preamplifier and 1160 power amplifier are truly superb pieces of gear. They do have their own sound character, and this is audible even using a wide variety of front ends, interconnects, cables, and speakers. If you are building or improving a great system, you still need to listen carefully to the Boulders’ nuances and give them the same attention you do in auditioning every other component. You also need to be aware that you will hear the different mix of nuances imposed by your other components once you insert them into your particular system.”‘

Chord Electronics launch ULTIMA flagship amplifier and preamplifier

November 16, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“The ULTIMA mono amplifier unit has an incredible 64 proprietary MOSFET power devices that demand the most advanced and refined drive circuitry, suitably devoid of sound-degrading components. The drive circuitry features an ultra-low-distortion, high-voltage amplifier operating at very high speed: 300 volts per microsecond technologies with advanced feed-forward and feedback compensation techniques. It also benefits from Chord Electronics’ TO3-style dual die lateral matched MOSFETs, which are continuously monitored with output stage error-correction circuitry and feature fully balanced input circuitry with DC-tracking servos and full temperature compensation.

ULTIMA is incredibly powerful and offers 780 watts into 8 ohms, 1,400 watts into 4 ohms and 2,500 watts into 2 ohms. ULTIMA’s peak output current exceeds 500 amps, an extremely high current differentiated by the speed at which the dynamic peaks can be delivered, bringing astonishing dynamics, fidelity and unrivalled musicality. ULTIMA is truly an unprecedented amplifier design with exceptional performance and is one of the most advanced hi-fi amplifiers in the world.


August 29, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“When it comes to the purity of sonic deliverance Air Tight ATC-5 is anything but. One of the biggest surprises was the open, transparent yet always palpable sonic performance. Being all tube preamplifier one would expect the complete opposite.Yes, Air Tight ATC-5 is a single-ended preamplifier and as such it provides only RCA inputs. It was undoubtedly designed to fit within the Air Tight’s family tree of products and to be accompanied with other non-balanced front ends and power amplifiers.”

Balanced Audio Technology VK-53SE Preamplifier Review

August 26, 2018 § Leave a comment

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“BAT’s VK-53SE errs on the warm side of neutral. But to say that it lacks any specific capabilities because of this warmer personality is not really accurate because the information is still there — it just needs the right speakers and ancillaries to coax it out. If the buyer takes the time to do so, the VK-53SE can sound momentous — and, like all other BAT products, the VK-53SE is wonderfully engineered and built like a tank. It’s also one of the most ergonomically friendly preamps I’ve used, and highly flexible in its connectivity and customization.”

Zanden Audio Modern Line Review, Zanden Model 8120 Amplifier, Zanden Model 3100 Linestage,

August 14, 2018 § Leave a comment

Rega Fono MC Phono Preamp Review

August 3, 2018 § Leave a comment

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