SoundStage! Equipment Review - Esoteric A-30 Stereo Amplifier (5/2010) (2022)


SoundStage! Equipment Review - Esoteric A-30 Stereo Amplifier (5/2010) (1)

May 2010

Esoteric A-03 Stereo Amplifier

SoundStage! Equipment Review - Esoteric A-30 Stereo Amplifier (5/2010) (2)SoundStage! Equipment Review - Esoteric A-30 Stereo Amplifier (5/2010) (3)For years, Esoteric made what many considered to be the best universal disc player on the market. The DV-50 set a high standard of sound quality in its reproduction of recordings stored on CDs and SACDs, as well as DVD-Audio and DVD-Video discs. What really set this model part, however, was its build quality. At 47 pounds, the DV-50 was built like a tank. The designers went to great lengths to build a sturdy chassis that would isolate the optical disc from outside contamination. But then, everything about the DV-50 was supernice. The aluminum finish of the faceplate is a hallmark of Esoteric products, and the rear-panel layout was intelligent, with high-quality connectors. The combination of these characteristics with reference-grade audio and video performance justified the DV-50’s price of $5500 USD. This put the player in rarefied air, but its performance, design, and build quality made it worthy of the adjective "high-end."

Now in for review is a class-A stereo amplifier from Esoteric, the A-03 ($14,000 USD). It measures 17.5"W x 8.6"H x 17"D and weighs about 70 pounds. My first impression of the A-03 was of how attractive it is. The photos I’d seen of it had not done it justice -- this amplifier is stunning. The front faceplate is natural aluminum subjected to a combination of blast and short-scratch finishing. It’s 20mm thick, with Esoteric engraved on it. An indention below the logo houses the Power and Warm-Up buttons, each backlit by a blue light. Press Warm-Up and the amp readies itself to play by using less power than if you were to just turn it on and leave it on. In Warm-Up mode, the total power consumption is 220W, or about 45% less than full throttle. Once the Warm-Up button is pressed, it blinks a few times, and the amp reaches its optimal operating temperature.

The symmetrically placed heatsinks on the A-03’s sides are processed from black Alumite, a liquid compound that is an excellent casting agent. Poured into a mold, Alumite solidifies in three minutes, to a consistency very much like manufactured plastic. The little ridges on the sinks increase their surface area, which means they can dissipate more heat. Great effort went into making the chassis of the A-03 as inert as possible; however, when I rapped a knuckle on the amp’s top plate, I did hear a slight resonance.

The input and output connections on the A-03’s rear panel are far enough apart to permit easy connections. The amp has one pair of speaker binding posts per channel; these are WBT-0710Cu terminals, whose conductor cores of pure copper are gold-plated for high conductivity and low resistance. The input connections are the standard balanced XLR and Esoteric’s own RCA terminals. In the top right corner is a selector for choosing between RCA and XLR input, and just below that is a switch to select between BTL (bridge-tied load, or mono configuration) and Stereo. The A-03 is claimed to output a minimum of 50Wpc into 8 ohms, 100Wpc into 4 ohms, or 200W into 8 ohms in BTL.

Audiophiles read a specification like "50Wpc" and immediately assume that it refers to a low-power amplifier. However, while that is the A-03’s official power-output spec, I’m told that, in reality, its maximum useful output into 8 ohms is more like 77Wpc. The A-03 has large, independent toroidal transformers, one per channel. According to Esoteric, this enhances the amp’s ability to "supply current to each channel’s speakers, while preventing interference between channels. By using an independent transformer and power circuit for the voltage amplifier stage, which drives the current amplifier stage, the effect of variations of voltage is suppressed and the current amplifier receives a stable power supply. Separating each circuit block into power circuits and providing independent transformers reduces cross-channel interference and enables both robustness and delicacy of expression within the music."

But why class-A, a very inefficient way of converting AC power into sound? Because the output devices of a class-A amp are always switched on, the unused energy is converted into heat and expelled into the listening room. Sure enough, the A-03 ran hot -- after an extended listening session, its heatsinks were hot enough to burn the skin. But while such inefficiency can heat a room while raising your electrical bill, the benefits in sound quality make up for it -- class-A amps are generally low in distortion and high in linearity, which means they sound cleaner and more natural to many people’s ears. The A-03’s signal/noise ratio of 117dB is impressive, and supports Esoteric’s claim that the A-03 has great sound. But did it?

System

The Esoteric A-03 was connected to my Rockport Technologies Mira loudspeakers and the preamp section of my Simaudio Moon Evolution 600i integrated amplifier. Also in the signal chain were a Bel Canto DAC3 DAC, and an Apple MacBook Pro laptop computer used as a music server. Speaker cables and interconnects were Analysis Plus Solo Crystal Oval.

Sound

There are moments in audiophile time when the way a particular song sounds at a particular moment sticks with you forever. The funny thing is, as you try to pursue that elusive sound by adding new gear to your system, it’s rare that you ever recapture such moments. Perhaps the memory of a particular audio system’s reproduction of that recording has been unfairly placed on an unrealistic pedestal. Or perhaps it really was a truly special combination of components in an outstanding room.

Such a moment happened to me a few years ago, while I was listening to the Wailin’ Jennys’ version of Neil Young’s "Old Man," from their 40 Days (CD, Jericho Beach 0403), through a pair of YG Acoustics Kipods. The acoustic guitar that opens this track sounded as real as any music I’ve ever heard through an audio system. With the A-03 in the chain, my Rockport Technologies Miras provided an equal sensation. The strings of the guitar were incredibly focused. Each pluck of the pick was ultraprecise, and resonated out from the image of the guitar as if from an actual instrument in my room. The sound had the palpability of a physical object occupying three-dimensional space. This was a rare moment, and an accomplishment by my audio system that I will remember long after the A-03 has been returned to Esoteric. To say that the A-03 got the best from my speakers is an understatement. In fact, I now have newfound respect for the amplifier’s importance in the audio chain -- I always knew it was critical, but I hadn’t realized it could define the sound of the system, just as we expect speakers do. The exceptional synergy of the combination of A-03 and Rockport Miras created a sublime sound in my room.

Something else I immediately noticed was the improved immediacy of large-scale music, such as Gustav Holst’s The Planets, with David-Lloyd Jones conducting the Royal Scottish National Orchestra (CD, Naxos 8.555776). This remarkable recording features driving brass that requires a gutsy amplifier to fully control the speakers in order to re-create its intensity. I couldn’t help feeling that hearing this performance through the A-03 was a completely different listening experience from any I had had before. It was as if the A-03 -- and its mere 50Wpc -- had breathed more life into the orchestra, and I was hearing an inspired, once-in-a-lifetime performance that was filled with passion -- a performance I won’t soon forget.

The A-03 sent a wave of energy through my Miras that allowed them to perform at a level I was unaccustomed to hearing from them. With recordings, such as The Planets, that have an immense dynamic range, an amplifier with exceptional damping factor can really earn its stripes. Because the A-03 could properly scale the force of the brass section, then recover quickly enough for the drumstrokes, which are farther back in the soundstage and lower in level, it reproduced a greater sense of realism. The sharp leading edges and natural decay in which this recording abounds require a fast, controlled audio system to be properly reproduced. Nothing in my audio system had changed other than the amplifier, and it had made all the difference.

The Esoteric A-03 also helped reveal more life in smaller details of recordings. My favorite CD at the moment is Neil Young’s Live at Massey Hall 1971 (CD, Reprise/WEA 43328). The sounds of the audience and the ambience of Massey Hall can be heard to varying degrees, depending on the system you’re listening through. I’ve said to friends that while I can enjoy the CD while listening to it in the car, only when I hear it through a well-put-together high-end system can I fully appreciate Young’s performance. With the A-03, the applause of the crowd was more vivid than I’d ever heard with my system. Small details, such as Young’s movements on stage and the sound of him fumbling with his guitar, all seemed a bit more forward and present. My system had always delivered his voice with proper space, scale, and depth, but now I felt there was more life in the performance.

Young’s singing fluctuates in level and intensity all through Live at Massey Hall, but especially in a song like "A Man Needs a Maid," which can overload a room and push a speaker’s tweeter to distortion if played too loud. My Miras showed no stress, even at very loud levels, and neither did the 50Wpc Esoteric -- further proof that the on-paper specs don’t tell the A-03’s whole story. And, as in the Wailin’ Jennys’ version of "Old Man," Young’s acoustic guitar sounded more natural, more present in my room. In fact, at no time did I ever even sense a lack of power -- the Esoteric sounded like a 250Wpc amp, with grunt in the bass and an effortless quality everywhere else in the audioband, just as you’d expect from a powerhouse solid-state amp.

Comparisons

I have owned two class-A amplifiers, including my first "real" stereo amp, the Krell KSA-50S ($3300, long discontinued). Krell has always had a reputation for providing a great foundation for deep, powerful bass, in part because of their massively built power supplies, and the 50Wpc KSA-50S lived up to that rep. My next class-A amp was the Coda Model 11 ($5500, discontinued), rated at 100Wpc and noticeably more powerful than the Krell in the low end, the latter already excellent in that regard. My latest stereo amp, the Classé CA-2200 ($5500), outputs 200Wpc in class-AB. The differences in the sounds of the Classé and Coda were night-and-day. While the Classé had plenty of punch for the bottom octaves -- almost matching the Coda Model 11 -- the Classé’s sound was much sweeter and more detailed from the midrange frequencies up.

The Esoteric A-03 combined the best qualities of the Krell and the Coda -- very strong, deep bass and plenty of drive down low -- with the Classé’s overall neutrality and detail. It was truly the best of all worlds. I found details in music to be a bit more forward than I’d experienced before the A-03’s arrival, which could be a good thing. For instance, when listening to recordings featuring a cello, I found the instrument had greater physical presence in the room: more shape, and a better sense of space within the soundstage. The increase in low-frequency detail within each stroke of the bow reminded me of far more expensive audio systems that I have experienced in the past. My system was now operating on another, higher plane.

The Esoteric A-03 costs more than twice as much as any of the amps I’ve listed above -- and twice as much as any amp I have ever reviewed. But it was, quite simply, sonically superior to all other amplifiers I’ve had in my system, and not by small margins. It was the most neutral, but also the most extended in the highs; it was as strong in the bass as the best, but countered that with excellent balance throughout the audioband; lastly, it was as quiet as any amp I’ve heard in my system, while also able to scale a wide dynamic range with frightening realism. In a word, it was just better.

Conclusion

For an audio product to be truly high end, it must first sound great; second, it must be rugged and reliable; and third, the execution of the design, from the build quality right down to the finish, must be impeccable. The Esoteric A-03 is such a product.

However, there’s one other thing. If I’m going to buy a product, it’s vital that its manufacturer have a reputation as impeccable as the one Esoteric has earned. I’m reminded of a recent editorial Jeff Fritz wrote on Ultra Audio, in which he paraphrased Warren Buffett: "It’s far better to buy a wonderful audio component at a fair price than a fair component at a wonderful price." I believe that the Esoteric A-03 is that sort of wonderful audio component.

If you’re in the market for a new stereo amplifier and can afford an A-03, you may find it to be the last amplifier you ever buy. I fell in love with this amp from the moment I pulled it out of its box. The Esoteric A-03 is the best stereo amplifier I have ever heard in my room, and I was thoroughly impressed with it in ways I hadn’t expected. If I could afford it, it would make a huge improvement in the sound of my audio system. Actually, it did.

. . . Randall Smith
randalls@soundstagenetwork.com

Esoteric A-03 Stereo Amplifier
Price: $14,000 USD.
Warranty: Three years parts and labor.

Esoteric Division
TEAC America, Inc.
7733 Telegraph Rd.
Montebello, CA 90640
Phone: (323) 726-0303

E-mail: esoteric_info@teac.com
Website: www.esoteric.teac.com

After listening to Esoteric’s A-02 stereo power amplifier ($17,600 USD) for a few weeks and figuring I’d better begin my review, I grabbed the model’s marketing brochure. But aside from a few basic specifications, most of the brochure is dedicated to flowery audio language that’s not only meaningless, but poorly translated from the Japanese. An example: We are told that the A-02 will provide "a musical experience featuring beautiful resonance swelling with the reverberation of crashing waves and vitality." Was I reading a brochure for an amplifier, an energy drink, or a vacation paradise? It was hard to tell.

After listening to Esoteric’s A-02 stereo power amplifier ($17,600 USD) for a few weeks and figuring I’d better begin my review, I grabbed the model’s marketing brochure.. He told me that in 2009, Esoteric was approached by Nittobo Acoustic Engineering Co., Ltd. (NAE), a Japanese company that specializes in the design and construction of sound studios, listening rooms, and acoustical laboratories.. In fact, when NAE needed a mono amp to complement its system of custom-made NES studio monitor speakers, it asked Esoteric to build it, based on the design of the A-80.. This model proved so successful that Esoteric began selling it worldwide to other professional customers: studios, sound laboratories, universities, and other organizations that require high-power amplification.. The transformers of many amps, including Esoteric’s A-03 50W class-A stereo model, use one toroidal core for the input stage and two for the output stage for each channel.. Finally, Esoteric states that the A-02’s capacitors, transistors, and resistors are hand-selected based not on specifications or reputation, but on how they sound when used in this particular amplifier.. According to Esoteric, this greatly improves the A-02’s sound quality, as well as its ability to remain extremely linear while providing high power.. Other than your $17,600 amplifier, inside the shipping box you’ll find a power cord, felt pads that can be placed under the A-02’s feet to protect a shelf or rack, and a feature that’s nothing short of pure genius: a small "power plug support bracket.". After screwing the power plug support bracket into the back of the A-02, I connected the amp to my Synergistic Powercell 10SE Mk.II power conditioner via a Synergistic Hologram A power cord.. I then connected it to my YG Acoustics Kipod II Signature speakers and my Esoteric C-03 preamplifier via Synergistic Element Copper-Tungsten-Silver speaker cables and interconnects, respectively.. A steady stream of components has passed through my listening room over the years, including some Esoteric models, and while I’ve experienced a surprising number of equipment failures and associated headaches, no Esoteric product has ever done anything but work flawlessly here.. The fact that NAE and Sound Inn use Esoteric amps speaks volumes.. If your system would benefit from high power and is good enough to reveal what the Esoteric A-02 can do, look no further.. Amplifiers -- Bryston 6B SST 2 Preamplifiers -- Esoteric C-03 Sources/DAC -- Esoteric K-03 CD/SACD player, netbook computer running Windows 7 and JRiver Media Center 17 Speakers -- MartinLogan Summit X, YG Acoustics Kipod II Signature Interconnects -- Synergistic Research Element Series Digital cable -- Synergistic Research Tricon USB Speaker cables -- Synergistic Research Element Copper-Tungsten-Silver Power cords -- Synergistic Research Tesla Hologram A (amplifier) and D SE (source), Precision AC (speakers, Powercell 4 power conditioner), Precision AC SE (Powercell 10SE power conditioner), T2 SE (preamplifier) Power conditioners and distribution -- Synergistic Research Powercell 10SE Mk.II daisy-chained to Powercell 4 (digital), Synergistic Research QLS 6, and 9 line strips Isolation devices -- Bright Star Audio IsoRock reference platform , Synergistic Research MIGS, Mapleshade Heavy Hats, DIY amp stands Misc.

The accuracy of a hi-fi system's "soundstage" reproduction seems to be of paramount importance these days, just as a component must now have "transparency" to possess hi-fi righteousness. If the system in which that component is used doesn't give good soundstage, then the system's owner has definitely fallen by the wayside. But what defines a good soundstage? Stereo imaging must have something to do with it, I hear you all cry.

"The fundamental object of the invention is to provide a sound recording, reproducing and/or transmission system whereby there is conveyed to the listener a realistic impression that the intelligence is being communicated to him over two acoustic paths in the same manner as he experiences in listening to everyday acoustic intercourse and this object embraces also the idea of conveying to the listener a true directional impression...An observer in the room is listening with two ears, so that echoes reach him with the directional significance which he associates with the music performed in such a room...When the music is reproduced through a single channel the echoes arrive from the same direction as the direct sound so that confusion results.. In other words, if you can record not only a sound but the direction in space it comes from, and can do so for every sound wave making up the soundstage, including all the reflected sound waves (the reverberation or "echoes"), then you will be able to reproduce a facsimile of the original soundstage, accurate in every detail.. Blumlein was concerned with a system for playback over loudspeakers, and proposed a method of recording directional information as a ratio of amplitude differences between the two signal channels.. If you have two independent information channels, each feeding its own loudspeaker, then the ratio of the signal amplitudes between those two loudspeakers will define the position of a virtual, phantom, sound source for a centrally placed listener equidistant from them.. If there is no reverberant information, then the brain will place the virtual image of the sound source in the plane of the speakers; if there is reverberation recorded with the correct spatial relationship to the corresponding direct sound, if it is "coherent," then the brain places the virtual image behind the speakers, the exact distance depending on the recorded direct-sound/reverberant-sound ratio.. As this is a device which by definition produces a ratio of amplitudes between the two channels, it would seem that every recording made this way is a true amplitude-stereo recording, capable of producing a well-defined stereo image.. Footnote 2: The July 1986 issue of Studio Sound has a fascinating article by Michael Gerzon, of Ambisonics fame, outlining how boosting the bass of the difference signal in a true Blumlein amplitude stereo signal can beneficially increase stage width.

This review page is supported in part by the sponsors whose ad banners are displayed below

This review page is supported in part by the sponsors whose ad banners are displayed below. Reviewer: Frederic Beudot Financial Interests: click here Digital Source: Esoteric X-03SE, Weiss Minerva [on loan] Analog Source: Acoustic Solid Classic Wood, AS WTB211, Grado Reference Sonata 1, Denon DL103, Clearaudio Nano, Audia Flight FL Phono (on loan), ASR Mini-Basis Exclusive [on loan], Esoteric E03 [in for review], SQ-PH-1t [on loan] Pre-amplifier : Esoteric C03 (on loan), Wyred 4 Sound STP Amplifier : Genesis Reference 360, McIntosh MA2275 Speakers : FJ OMs, Rogers LS 3/5a, Zu Essence Cables: Zu Varial, Zu Libtec, Esoteric Mexcel 7N-DA2100 Balanced interconnects [on loan] Power Cords: Zu Mother, Isotek Power, ACCUSTIC ARTS Ferrite II [on loan] Powerline conditioning: Monster Power HTS5100mkII , Isotek Nova and Titan [on loan] Sundry accessories: Isolpads under electronics, ASI resonators and sugar cubes Room size: 12’x13.5’x8’ Review component retail: $12,000. If you had asked me for the skinny on Esoteric five years ago, I’d have told you about a Japanese company that is one of the strongest supporters of SACD, builds the best digital transports in the world but sometimes struggles to take full advantage of their technological lead because of output stages which are not quite up to the same standard as the rest of their designs.. Esoteric may not fully agree with this curt assessment but I doubt people familiar with the brand would call me far off the mark.Although Esoteric still builds the best digital transports today and still champions SACD, they have become far more than that.. Before you ask, I do use a class D amplifier as reference because I love how it sounds.. Its higher energy efficiency is a nice fringe benefit but was not the determinant in my choice.In an effort to minimize power draw, the A-03 offers a 'warm-up mode' that keeps the components critical to best performance at operating temperature when it only uses 220 watts.. From its circuit conception, the A-03 is rather conventional.. The power section parallels five push-pull transistors per side (ten transistors per channel) all biased in pure class A and jointly capable of delivering RMS output power of 100 watts into 4 ohms and 50 into 8.. With each A-03 amplifier running 10 pairs (20 transistors), that makes for rather bottomless current delivery.. As a double-mono concept, the A-03 features independent toroidal transformers for each channel, mounted to the side of the amplifier.. The back of the amplifier offers both RCA and XLR inputs although the design is single-ended similarly to the C-03 because Esoteric’s engineers determined that single-ended operation both sounded better and was quieter than balanced.

EAR has more than just a clever name. Their gear looks as good as it sounds. The 859 is a Class A tube amp with 13-watts per channel. Impressively, frequency response is 20-20kHz, +/- 0.5dB. We check it out in this full review.

Tim DeParavicini of Esoteric Audio Research is known as, among other things, as 'the wild man of audio', 'the best tube circuit designer alive' and a few less flattering names which – at the very least – attest to both the fear he instills in his opposition and the respect which even his rivals hold for him; I tell you this at the risk of winning Private Eye's Order of the Brown Nose.. In the past couple of years, he's wowed me with products from both ends of the price scale, the £26,000 Yoshino amplifier and the £300 EAR 834P phono amp.. But this is not the place to enter into a debate about the history of valve circuit design because Tim alone could wax furiously for, oh, six hours non-stop.. So Tim has chosen to put his money where his mouth is by placing in the public domain a fresh design, one which he also markets as a regular EAR model for those who would rather not build an amplifier from scratch.. But first, I should let Tim tell you, in his own words, about the Esoteric Audio Research 859 Enhanced Triode Mode SE Integrated Amplifier:. "After deciding that current production directly-heated triodes were more of ornamental value than anything you would want to use in a powerful single-ended amplifier, I turned to conventional tetrodes and pentodes.. I really wanted a triode as an output valve, so after much head-banging I came up with Enhanced Triode Mode operation.. Tests I conducted had the control grid (or Grid 1) connected to the cathode, with the audio signal fed into the valve via the screen grid (Grid 2).. (Quite rightly, Tim suggests that customers. acquire an EAR 843 for phono duties, but one of the line inputs has. been designated 'phono'.. What Tim's description doesn't tell you is that the 859 is a true. Class A design delivering 13W/channel, both channels driven and over a. power bandwidth of 20-20kHz, +/- 0.5dB.. The EAR 859 doesn't even. look like a conventional amp (tube or otherwise), and it's absolutely. minimalist right down to a lack of balance control.. So scary is the. EAR 859's prowess that I had to rethink a review of another triode. system selling for twice the price of the built-up EAR.

TESTED: Esoteric A-100 Stereo Power Amplifier -

The reason given for that is that the biasing process is complex and adjustment is required even after re-tubing with an Esoteric matched set of tubes.. Functionally, the A-100 may be configured as either an integrated amplifier for line-level inputs or as a basic stereo power amplifier via a switch on the back panel.. When switched for integrated amplifier operation, three unbalanced (RCA) inputs and one balanced (XLR) input may be selected, and these are routed through a high-quality 10k Ohm motorized volume control.. Transient speed for a tube amplifier is often a problem due to limited bandwidth, which results in an overly liquid and soft sound.. The A-100 amplifier breaks through the traditional barriers of tube amplification: low-distortion harmonic textures, transient speed, and resolution are integral to its reproduction of music.

The Ten Most Significant Amplifiers of All Time -

Several solid-state designs emerged in the 70s but it was the all tube D70 in 1983 that established forever the hallmark “high definition” sound of an Audio Research amplifier.. The Williamson Amplifier (1947-1949) Not the first tube amplifier with feedback nor the first with low distortion—Peter Walker had a feedback prototype in the late 1930s and Leak a hi-fi amp before Williamson—Williamson’s designs published in Wireless World in the late 1940s showed once and for all that low-distortion amplification was possible and practical.. Quad 303 Not the first transistor amplifier, but arguably the first to show that transistor amplifiers could sound as good as, or indeed better than, tube amplifiers.. Phase Linear Carver the man and the company would produce better amplifiers later and more powerful ones, too, but the Phase Linear 700 and the more popular 400 were the amplifiers that put high power on the map.. 6 Audio Research D series and Conrad Johnson Premiere series: Arguably, none of these were really all that interesting as circuit design in principle, but they put tube amplifiers back in the center of things in American High End in the 1970’s and ‘80’s, for better or worse.. McIntosh Tim de Paravicini has said that the only audio circuit apart from his own he wished he’d designed is McIntosh’s “Unity Coupled Circuit.” Of several obvious contenders, my choice is the MC275—introduced in 1961, designed by McIntosh co-founder Sidney Corderman—one of the first tube amps to sound truly neutral and offer high power (75 watts/channel, very high those days).. Phase Linear 400 Introduced in 1972, this 200Wpc stereo amplifier from the redoubtable Bob Carver was perhaps the first big solid-state amps to offer high power without the usual price tag in grainness and odd-order harmonic roughness.. Conrad-Johnson Premier Four It may seem capricious to bypass earlier c-j products, including its classic 55W MV60 stereo unit (which ushered the phrase “palpable presence” into the audiophile vocabulary) and the higher-powered and more highly regarded Premier One, for this relatively little-known 100-watter introduced in 1983, but I’m a sucker for EL34-based amps and this one was, IMO, the best of all time—astonishing soundstaging and imaging and an overall realism of tone color and texture that has rarely been equaled in a pentode tube amplifier.. Audio Research Corporation Reference 610T monoblocks The culmination of William Zane Johnson’s glorious career as an amplifier designer, the 600W+ 610T is the best ultra-high-powered pentode tube amplifier JV has yet heard—a paragon of neutrality, resolution, transparency, bloom, dimensionality, and seemingly limitless power from the bass to the treble.. It was designed by the man whose 550 pure-pentode design was the breakthrough and the basis for today’s best tubed designs.. Audio Research D-150T His huge stereo amplifier was, in its time, a breakthrough in tubed design, both in power output, and, in the more elusive aspects of reproducing a facsimile of a concert hall sound.. Conrad-Johnson Premier One This was the first high-powered tube amplifier designed by Lewis Johnson and it had a quality I had not encountered in a tubed unit before: authority.

Hearing amplifiers are great devices for people with hearing loss. They give such people the much-needed assistance in hearing conversations, listening to

Hearing amplifiers are great devices for people with hearing loss.. Check Price on Amazon Britzgo is a digital hearing amplifier that comes with a built-in digital chip and frequency control.. Check Price on Amazon For those looking for higher hearing performances, this hearing amplifier is exactly what you need.. This hearing amplifier is designed by audiologists using band digital processing to help amplify sound while reducing background noises.. The design of this hearing amplifier makes it practically lightweight and invisible behind the ears.. Check Price on Amazon Clearon is a comfortable hearing amplifier for both ears, and a top quality picks on our list.. Check Price on Amazon Designed by audiologists, the Banglijian is easy to use hearing amplifier with comfortable features that allow for ease wear on either ear.. Check Price on Amazon Lucid ENRICH PLUS is a ready to wear hearing amplifier with electronic hearing protection.. You don’t have to strain to hear what people say when these amazing hearing amplifiers can help.. These are the best hearing amplifiers on the market and good alternative to the more expensive hearing aid.

High quality integrated amplifiers are a hotbed of audiophile activity these days. Thanks to improved manufacturing techniques, and in the case of a c

Thanks to improved manufacturing techniques, and in the case of a company like Esoteric, their ability to call upon the same engineering team that builds $50k (each) digital audio components, the $7,500 F-07 integrated amplifier makes perfect sense.. Today’s bargain DAC’s offer a level of resolution that would have commanded a five-figure sum a decade ago, but the F-07s onboard DAC has a smoothness that you won’t find with a budget DAC.. Bypassing the internal DAC and phono illustrates just how good the internal bits are, yet shows off what a fantastic amplifier the F-07 is.. Moving to more dynamic music and giving the volume control a major twist clearly illustrates how much sheer oomph it offers, especially now paired with the Focal Sopra no.3 speakers, with a 91.5db/1-watt sensitivity rating.. While the majority of my test listening was done with the onboard DAC and phonostage, Esoteric’s Scott Sefton had to recall the DAC board, leaving the trusty Gryphon Kalliope ($32,000) DAC in its place.. Excellent as the audio performance of the F-07 is, the level of human engineering on this product is equally great; it’s an incredibly easy integrated to live with and use day to day.. The controls are well distributed on the front panel, with input and volume controls larger than the rest to command attention and secondary controls at the ready.. Having the privilege of listening to the world’s finest components daily, I must admit to looking at the F-07 after a full day of listening, asking myself, “could I just take this, a turntable and one good pair of speakers and call it a day?” The answer to that question is yes.. All of the components compliment each other and offer an equal level of performance, but the F-07 offers more in every way.

I don't get it. What is the soundstage people are talking about? I have been a long time speaker listener and I do enjoy  a good sound stage. However, modern recordings have a severe lack of sound stage. Some music like hip pop, there is barely a hint of a soundstage.   With headphone, I...

I really don't listen to much new music, although I have to admit soundstage hints are audible with speakers and headphones even on more mainstream music, although by that I don't mean electronics-synthesized music, but more acoustic recordings.. With headphone, I have never ever had any experience of any sound stage.. On the other hand, yes headphones do have a lot of inherent weaknesses compared to speakers and that's exacerbated by younger people who have to get into (serious) headphones for one reason or another before (serious) speakers (technically a lot of us started with head/earphones given we grow up in our parents' house first, etc) reading what people listening to music with soundstage say then expecting to hear it in badly recorded modern music (whether they think they hear it or actually do is up for debate).. With a NAD C545, the drum rolls don't only span from one side to the next, they actually have a 'crescent' shape - however as much as that may seem like what a real drum set is like around the drummer, the problem is it happens above and around my head on some of the CDs I tried.. But there is much more than just sound stage than music.. Headphones are certainly a different experience than speakers, but I wouldn't say that they are any less good.

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Hobby: Singing, Listening to music, Rafting, LARPing, Gardening, Quilting, Rappelling

Introduction: My name is Foster Heidenreich CPA, I am a delightful, quaint, glorious, quaint, faithful, enchanting, fine person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.