Ultimately though, for all it’s adaptability, the outstanding impression remains just how much impact, power and control is available from this small but perfectly formed amplifier. Particularly in bridged mode, the 140 actually sounds considerably more powerful than its rated output would suggest. Push the sound pressure level as high as you dare and prepare to be stunned. Listening to a pair of Mezzo 140 at full-tilt is the musical equivalent of being laid out by Kylie Minogue.
The Aspire Series
The full Aspire line-up consists of the DAC 64, the Blu transport, the One CD player, the Symphonic phono-stage, the Prima line-stage and both versions of the Mezzo amp. While a whole system wasn’t supplied, a pre-amp was provided and, even more than the Mezzo 140, the regular Aspire-sized Prima brought home the stunning build quality of these components. Each chassis is machined from a solid billet of aluminium, providing a level of structural integrity more typical of a bathyscaphe than an electronic component. One XLR and four RCA inputs (each individually adjustable for gain between 0.25 and 1.5) provide adequate connectivity for most systems, although the single XLR output suggests that a “family” implementation is the Prima’s principal raison d’etre. Dynamic and transparent, it offers a clear sonic as well as visual continuity with its partnering amps, which bodes well for the performance of complete Aspire systems.