A remarkable amp and terrific value, BAT’s 55-watt tube model may not be as revealing as some, but it offers a high degree of harmonic, textural, rhythmic, and ambient information. Tonally, a bit warmer than neutral, with a gorgeous, well-balanced midrange, an easy, natural top end, and quite respectable weight in the bass. A 3-D soundstage and tight focus round out the virtues of this highly musical design.
Reviewed by SK with WG comment, Issue 153
A downsized version of Edge’s more costly amplifiers, the 100W G4 offers some of the same sonic attributes—the speed, extension, and control one expects from a high-end transistor amp without any associated brightness. It has the natural timbre and sonic realism we typically associate with tubes, coupled with startling transparency and holographic imaging. Pace, rhythm, and timing freaks will love this thing.
Reviewed by JH, AVgM, Issue 5
Have your sights set on a romantic tube stereo power amplifier? This 60Wpc design is it! Tonal emphasis is squarely on the lower midrange. Timbres and textures are slightly liquid and warm. The treble range is laid-back. Count on a mellow, relaxed presentation with an exceptionally low listener-fatigue factor and plenty of imaging magic.
Reviewed by DO, Issue 193
This 200Wpc hybrid amp is a remarkable performer. Its tube signature shines through clearly in the midrange, albeit slightly diluted by the solid-state output stage. Soundstage dimensionality is superior to that of conventional solid-state designs. It closely fulfils the promise of a hybrid design: Tube magic with plenty of bass crunch and drive in one nicely “gift-wrapped” chassis.
Reviewed by DO, Issue 188
Krell’s compact, narrow-profile, cool-running 150W monoblock is basically a scaled-down version of the Evolution Series amp with a tight, musically convincing bass and superb treble openness that place it on a par with Krell’s best. Further, it displays a dynamic liveliness and dexterity that verges on the uncanny. In the midrange, it was as grainless as any amp in SS’s experience. Perhaps faltering just a bit in terms of three-dimensionality and harmonic juiciness, for most applications it gives up little to the Big Boys.
Reviewed by SS, Issue 205
NuForce’s best Class D amp yet, the Ref 9 SE V.2 monoblock delivers the expected virtues (articulate, well-defined mids and deep tightly controlled bass), plus noticeably sweeter, more grain-free highs than previous NuForce designs. The SE V.2’s clarity, definition and control can bring certain speaker systems alive, but they can also make some speakers sound slightly “clinical.”
V2 reviewed by CM, Issue 188; V3 review forthcoming
This no-nonsense amplifier was designed to drive any loudspeaker impedance, particularly full-range electrostatics, which can have an impedance of less than an ohm in the top octave. The Magtech “sounds as if it had infinite power into anything with total stability,” said REG. The fully regulated power supply is unusual. The rated power output of 500W into 8 ohms and 900W into 4, coupled with its stability driving capacitive loads, makes it the perfect choice for electrostatics.
Reviewed by REG, Issue 210