The 70W (40W in triode mode) PrimaLuna Dialogue Seven monoblock employs a unique output stage—two discrete amplifier channels are paralleled at the loudspeaker terminals. This technique preserves the purity of a low-powered design while imbuing the amplifier with higher current capability. “No tube amplifier I’ve auditioned comes close to its performance for anywhere near its modest price,” said Jim Hannon.
Reviewed by JH, Issue 199
This 120Wpc Class AB tube amp offers a sound that emphasizes the natural warmth of the midrange and upper bass, and produces musically natural upper-octave energy without losing the highs you hear in live music. Detail is natural, centerfill is excellent, and imaging is realistic in size.
Reviewed by AHC, Issue 208
If you like the concept of an amplifier that is compact, efficient, powerful, transparent, musical, and extremely reliable, the Bel Canto Ref 1000 Mk II amplifier could be the last amplifier you’ll ever need. While it may not warm up an overly sterile-sounding system like a classic tube amplifier, it certainly won’t subtract any harmonic warmth.
Reviewed by SS, Issue 193
“To my ears,” said reviewer Dick Olsher, “the KWA 150 represents a smashing success, combining the musicality of tubes with the punch, power delivery, and bass reach of transistors. Factor in the performance and looks of this amp relative to its asking price and the result is a fantastic value.”
Reviewed by DO, Issue 199
Atma-Sphere’s uniquely simple, 60Wpc, Class A, all-tube OTL (output transformer-less) design offers a rare and exhilarating glimpse into the music few others can duplicate. This triode-based classic also possesses outstanding neutrality, clarity, definition, soundstaging, and unfettered dynamics. Relatively sensitive speakers with an impedance of 8 ohms or higher are recommended for best bass performance.
Reviewed by SK, Issue 184
The compact SPM 1050 delivers 200Wpc and is all but unflappable when pushed hard. Indeed, it likes it that way. It has terrific control and grip over speakers, delivers explosive dynamics as well as nuance, and is coherent across the band. Cool under fire, the 1050 never sounds forced or exaggerated.
Reviewed by WG, Issue 196
Aesthetix’ first foray into power amps is an unqualified success. The amp has great resolution and reflexes, making it a snap to follow interwoven melodic and rhythmic lines. The Atlas creates a mushroom cloud of air around each instrument, and a deep, convincing sense of space. Tonally, the amp is on the sweet side in a way that is consonant with real music. Slightly less dynamically incisive than AT’s reference amp, the Atlas is a sheer joy—both sonically and musically.
Reviewed by AT, Issue 196