MW2020 page 2

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Classe Audio Delta PRE ($9,999.00)
 and Delta Mono Power Amplifiers ($21,998.00/pair): When you consider what you might pay for a reference-quality linestage, DAC, and phonostage, the Delta PRE may seem like a silly-good bargain at only $10k. Now add in enough digital and analog inputs for just about any piece of gear and the convenience of front-mounted headphone and USB inputs, and you have one of the most flexible and thoughtfully designed components I have ever reviewed. But the cherry on top? It sounds fantastic. The Delta MONO amps are a bit of a throwback to the early Classe’ designs, such as the legendary DR3. The first 35-watts of these amps are pure class-A and offer some of the cleanest and most powerful music I’ve ever heard. No matter how much I lowered the volume for late-night listening, music still sounded lively and full-range. Reviews were pending. (Dave Thomas)
 

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Coda Technology CSib integrated ($6,500.00): I’ve been thoroughly impressed with this design. In many ways I think it’s the best amplifier (integrated or otherwise) I’ve ever heard. I haven’t finished writing the review though. I did a brief comparison in my M1200 review. The Coda kind of stole the show. If I had to paint a visual picture, it would have a sound like mountain spring water; liquid, smooth, clear, and pure. (Richard Willie)

 

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Coda Technologies 16.0 Amplifier
 ($13,500 without meters, reviewed here): This beautiful hand-built single chassis 110-pound behemoth delivers tube-like purity in its tonality/colors, along with the type of spatiality (3D imaging and a sense of air around images) rarely found in solid-state designs. The 16.0’s first 100 watts are pure Class A. It can also drop 100 amperes of current, based on its 3000V transformer and 280,000uF of power supply capacitance, and will effortlessly drive any speaker on today’s market. (Terry London)

 

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Lejonklou Boazu integrated amplifier (3999.00 reviewed here): Fredrik Lejonklou arrives at the final design of each of his components by listening to the changes made by every single solitary piece that goes on or into them; nuts, bolts, and washers included!  Only those parts that make for the most musically satisfying device make the team. This 24 watts per channel minimalist integrated, whose name means ‘reindeer’ in the Sami language, did more nothing to the signal than just about any other amplifier in my memory, easily revealing even small differences between sources and cabling. Moreover, within its power envelope, it is dynamic, engaging, absolutely grainless, and quiet as a zen master in samadhi. It can also be left on all the time with nearly no heat and has a delightfully intuitive and colorific volume indicator to boot. I bought my review sample and if you have decently efficient speakers, you should certainly take this little reindeer for a ride! (David Abramson)



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SBS Designs S2 PRO Power Amplifier ($3,995.00 reviewed here): I’ll tell you right upfront, I bought the review sample of the SBS Designs S2 PRO Power Amplifier. At first glance, this Class AB amp wasn’t much to look at but, along with a couple of minor system tweaks, its addition resulted in an extraordinary jump in sound quality from my rig. While other amps have allowed themselves to be controlled by our large space, the SBS Designs S2 Pro amp tamed it, delivering far beyond the capabilities of amplifiers many times its price. (Greg Voth)
 

 


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Sound Performance Lab (SPL) Elector Preamplifier ($2,599) and Performer S800 Amplifier ($3,299 reviewed here):
 This German-based company is highly admired for its professional gear in recording studios around the world. Five years ago, they started building equipment for home audiophile use. The combo of the Elector preamplifier and Performer S800 amplifier offers German build quality, a grainless silky-smooth overall presentation, seamless integration of all frequencies, and powerful dynamics and transit speed. These pieces are based on a proprietary design called VOLTAiR technology that delivers the above stated sonic virtues. This relatively inexpensive combo competes with gear that costs at least another 5K to 10K more. (Terry London)


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Struss Audio DM250 Integrated ($5,632 reviewed here): This slick Polish-designed integrated utilizes the company’s patented Field-Effect (N-Mosfet) transistors in addition to a capacitor-less signal path. Built-in phono stage comes standard while the DM in its name signifies a true dual-mono circuitry. Driving the Tekton Double Impact SE’s proved exhilarating. In the review, I wrote: Most importantly, the DM250 never sounds aggressive even when I crank it. Pairing it with the 98 dB efficient Tekon Double Impact SE’s has its apparent advantages due to these loudspeakers’ remarkably high sensitivity. In my opinion, this combination creates a symbiotic relationship that is indeed rare in the real world of affordable two-channel audio. Very seldom can you find two components so functional, and yet this affordable. If you admire the sound of the Grandinote components, then consider Struss Audio among that same class of great-sounding solid-state designs that mimics the best in vacuum tube outputs.  (Clement Perry)

 

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Stereo Times Masthead

Publisher/Founder
Clement Perry

Editor
Dave Thomas

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Frank Alles, Mike Girardi, Key Kim, Russell Lichter, Terry London, Moreno Mitchell, Paul Szabady, Bill Wells, Mike Wright, Stephen Yan, and Rob Dockery

Current Contributors
David Abramson, Tim Barrall, Dave Allison, Ron Cook, Lewis Dardick, Dan Secula, Don Shaulis, Greg Simmons, Eric Teh, Greg Voth, Richard Willie, Ed Van Winkle, and Rob Dockery

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