Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'preamp'.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


    • Private HiFi Classifieds
    • Music For Sale
    • Classifieds - Non Hifi Related
    • Ebay Links
    • Spirit of the Wam
    • Sold Items
    • 2 Channel
    • DIY
    • Owners Clubs and Forums
    • Headphones
    • Home Cinema and Audio Visual
    • Computer based HiFi
    • Tech Corner
    • NEW WAM SHOW OCTOBER 1-3 2021
    • WAM Bake Offs
    • WAM Shows Archive
    • Genres
    • Recorded Music
    • Gigs and Concerts
    • Product Reviews by members
    • My Set Up At Home
    • Trade News, Reviews, Advice & Discussions
    • Trade Classifieds
    • New Products and HiFi Start Ups
    • Our Public Bar
    • Photography
    • Sports
    • Cars, Bikes & In-Car Entertainment
    • Food & Drink
    • Books, TV & Films
    • Acceptable Use Policy
  • Linn Owners Club and Forum's Troubleshooting
  • Linn Owners Club and Forum's Initial Linn Owners Welcome To Wam Thread
  • Linn Owners Club and Forum's Discussions About Old Linn Forum
  • Linn Owners Club and Forum's Hi-Fi Separates and Components
  • Linn Owners Club and Forum's Turntables & Record Players: Linn Sondek LP12
  • Linn Owners Club and Forum's Network Music Players & Music Streamers
  • EAR (Esoteric Audio Research) Owners Club and Forum's Topics
  • Michell Owners Club and Forum's Michell Engineering products
  • PMC Owners Club and Forum's PMC Louspeakers

Product Groups

  • Private Members & Megastore Subscriptions
  • Trade Members & Megastore Subscriptions
  • Wigwam Shop
    • Polo Shirts
    • Fleeces
    • T Shirts
  • The Scalford Hifi Show Tickets
  • Harrogate Home HiFi Show Tickets


  • Hifi News
  • Hifi Reviews
  • Luxman DA200 & M200 DAC/Pre/Power combination

Marker Groups

There are no results to display.

Find results in...

Find results that contain...

Date Created

  • Start


Last Updated

  • Start


Filter by number of...


  • Start




Real Name

Turn Table

Tone Arm & Cartridge

SUT / Phono Stage

Digital Source 1

Digital Source 2


Integrated Amp


Power Amp/s

My Speakers


Trade Status

  1. Wanted excellent sounding valve preamp It it has a MM Phono stage then even better. What do you have tucked away in the deepest depths of your cupboards? Thanks Dave
  2. I am listing this piece of kit for a good friend, happy to vouch for it as a piece of kit and him as a person, genuine reason for sale. Anthem STR Preamplifier with room correction accessories. Excellent “as new” condition, fully boxed with all manuals and accessories etc. This is a real high end piece of kit and offered here at £2,500 ono, which is fair chunk off the new price. Collection from Oldham, Greater Manchester but happy to allow the buyer to arrange their own courier at their own risk and expense.
  3. My fantastic Puresound L300 valve preamp is back for sale. Has new Gold Lion 300b fitted. All other valves were replaced recently. £2500 collected from SE London or can be posted.
  4. Hii I'll start this thread by saying that it's alway intimating to post on this fine site, not because of any particular people, but simply because I know how far my knowledge goes (enough to to make a dangerously expensive mistake). Before I go any further, my rig is as follows: speaker - proac d20r (chord epic cabling) amp - Roksan Caspian m2 (sons power amp) dac - rega dac r streamer - 2012 macmini (audiravana) (all digital sources using optical) transporter - Trichord genesis (modded pioneer (rarely used, drunk ebay purchase) deck - Linn LP 12, ittok mk2, circus, dynavector 20x2 phono - trichord m2 + psu (not never connected) got funny hum (not sure why, ground seems fine) Now, here's the issue, my hifi mind is thinking now would be a good time to think, and I stress 'think' about upgrading my amp, not necessarily replace. I'd like more headroom (if even the right term) before clipping and hopefully a more open stage. I stress that I do not crank the system up, what's the point, when i've spent x thousands on a system for clarity, detail and staging. It would, however, be nice to have a little more wattage and by extension cleaner current, potentially resulting in higher volume before clipping. I've had some form of hifi since about the age of 15 and now 45. I'm not super wealthy, I have a middling job, so every upgrade has to count, I cannot just say: 'oh well, i gave it a go, better luck next time'. I have to save/sacrifice to get decent gear (however, well worth it. I cannot believe what people who have never been exposed to hifi actually listen to, they think spotify is great and the only thing that comes to my mind is a number: 1411.2, at minimum - I could be an arsehole, lol). I also have another issue, I am a disabled person. I cannot walk, have no dexterity and can use only one hand, therefore I need friends/personal assistants to help up set up things. Now, you're probably wondering: 'why is he telling me this?' I'm saying this because finance is not my only concern, research is, to ensure I get it right first time (or however much this is possible). I have never used pre/power set up and no idea where to start As the heading indicates I have no experience of pre and power amp setups and this is where my questions begin, and they will be basic: what are advantages of pre/power, in layman's terms? what do I need to consider if looking for power amp (based on roksan/speakers)? have you any suggestions of an amp upgrade path based on stated system? what might be good options if replacing amp (have looked at these, but happy to show, as don't have enough knowledge yet to pull trigger: https://tinyurl.com/6f5u7j8c and https://tinyurl.com/5cs323pd) I'd like to start with the caspian m2 power amp to increase my knowledge, and if any of you have one (preferably silver), I'd be happy to talk (full disclosure I wouldn't offer more than about £850, as seems the going rate, anything more than £900 taking the piss (obviously secondhand)) If this isn't an option i'd happily take some advice. I have a feeling Naim combinations might be my next step, but could be wrong? The last thing i want to say is, i want an amp, not an amp/dac/phono, or god know what else, I'd like every penny to go into amplification. My absolute ceiling is £3000 and preferably a lot less.
  5. For sale is my Croft 25 Line Preamplifier. Bought from Audio Flair, owned from new and in excellent condition. The volume pots I custom requested to use the older solid variety as I prefer the aesthetics. Additionally I had Adrian Parsons of Audio Flair reduce the gain the gain to zero, making it more appropriate with the Quad 909 I used it with. Also had great results upstream of Event Opals. The Croft has the original JJ valve however I used another one so this one has had little use. Looking for £420. Kent https://flic.kr/p/2kvBVZ9 https://flic.kr/p/2kvyiN9 https://flic.kr/p/2kvCsNu https://flic.kr/p/2kvyiLA https://flic.kr/p/2kvBWst
  6. Looking to buy some nice SS preamp. Have valve Puresound L300 at the moment and think it is fantastic, but after acquiring jbl speakers was thinking about good solid state preamp and what it would bring to the table. Chord Electronics, Ayre, Benchmark or similar. Preferably with black face plate and remote. Budget £1-3k could stretch a little bit more for something very special.
  7. For Sale Linn Klimax Kontrol/1 Pre-amplifier with Dynamik Power Supply & Dual Mono configuration. In excellent condition, no marks or other blemishes on it. Will be packed in original Linn box & inserts. Includes power cable & Linn remote control. Looking for £2200 plus P&P.
  8. Hi all, I’m looking for a Classé CP-800 preamp. If you have one you’d like to sell, please let me know! Thanks, Andrew
  9. Some of you may have noticed I've manned up and bought my first ever tube amplifier; it will live in my Kendal man cave and drive my Posselt Albatrosses. No, I haven't quite worked out how to handle non-hifi friends staying there who I don't want to touch it but my fallback is a sign saying "don't think about it"... I've only listened to the Mactone for an hour or two in non-ideal circumstances (outbuilding, sloping roof, stupid listening position) but it is a lovely sounding as well as lovely looking thing. I had the fabulous Sugden A21a on beforehand and the Mactone just did more of everything. Stand-in pre is the Sugden. I'm leaning towards a tube rather than solid state pre, with the notable exception of the MFA TVC passive. For aesthetic reasons only some of you will appreciate, black preferred to silver but don't let that constrain you too much. Preamp shortlist based on a mysterious combo of price, reviews where available, brand rep (?), connectivity (I need 4 ideally 5 inputs), looks and witchcraft. Several from one dealer who has a reputation for being pricey but does allow/encouage home demo/return and has stock others don't (Emporium): I want the thread to be about the preamps. List as of today: Mactone XX330 Canary Audio C800 Audio Research LS26 Music First Audio Classic V2 copper Mactone: just the same brand! silver, this one Definitive Audio tweaked. Canary Audio: love the separate PSU, 120-step relay attenuator, remote control, black. What's not to like? Audio Research LS26: more mainstream, far better known than the two above. The safe bet tube pre? Remote, black, stunning balanced connectivity. I know this will get more "votes"... Music First Audio Classic V2. The transparent one. Nick has kindly offered to lend me his silver-wound one though I would buy copper. Black available. No remote (unless you pay out ££). Over to you, as I know you like spending other people's money. Let's narrow it down a bit though, for the purposes of research: Min 4, ideally 5 inputs Mainly interested in tube You probably have the best SS pre in the world, I know, but that's not the exam question Comments and suggestions based on personal experience would be most helpful £2500 upper limit I know whatever figure I put here someone will say "if you can stretch..." Mainly black Je vous attends avec anticipation, Nigel
  10. Looking for a black Parasound JC2 BP (so with AE bypass). Would collect so only from the UK. Thank you
  11. For sale: Burmester Classic Line Preamp. Handmade in Germany. Meticulously cared for. All packaging, remote, manual & power cord. Purchased approximately 3 years ago from main dealer Jordan Acoustics. In mint condition, no discernible marks or scratches. Collection preferred. £3450 ovno. RRP: £7700. More photos on request. DSC_hfwig.pdf
  12. I have decided to part with my Abrahamsen amplification. Bought in December 2015, it has served me for a few years, until I moved onto a completely different type of amplifier. The amplification consists of an Abrahamsen V3.0 UP Preamplifier and one V4.0 UP stereo Power Amplifier. I am not selling them separately. Pictures of the equipment can be seen here. The pics are old, but the amps look like new, with nary a scratch. For those that do not know, Per Abrahamsen was one of the founders of Electrocompaniet, a company that he left in 2004, and that was acquired by West Control in 2007. He then founded Abrahamsen where he continued to design amplifiers based on the same principles. So these amps look very much like Electrocompaniet gear, and sound like Electrocompaniet gear as well. IIRC the preamp is very similar to a EC 4.6 preamp, and the power amp to a AW-220. The amplifiers come in their original packaging with all the original accessories, except power cords (which I immediately replaced). I will throw in an XLR balanced connection with Van den Hul cable to connect the two separates. These are the "UP", i.e. upgraded, versions, with larger capacitance reservoir, higher bias current, faster diodes than the regular versions. I originally paid them 12080 NOK, i.e. almost 1200 EUR at the time. I am asking for 650 EUR plus shipping to anywhere in Europe. It is a great opportunity to listen to the legendary Electrocompaniet sound at a fraction of the price of Electrocompaniet, even used.
  13. Award winning streamer/dac/preamp. In quartz silver. Has Qx Dac upgrade - can play 24/192 files. Upgraded to latest model with qobuz and tidal built-in. Has digital out so can be used as a source in addition to dac/preamp. Comes with n-remote or can be used with Cadence app on smartphone Excellent condition. Fantastic sound - only selling as gone down active route. Owned from new in smoke, pet and child free home. Have original packaging, manual etc. £1400 ono- reduced to £1300 ono
  14. Naim 82 Pre-amp. Excellent condition. Recently serviced. Buyer can collect from Eastbourne or pay for postage. See attached photos. Any questions please get in touch.
  15. Opera Consonance Cyber 222 Mk2 preamp RRP £1995 I have thoroughly enjoyed owning this superb pre-amplifier and found it an extremely dynamic performer with a particularly lucid midband and a fluid, airy treble. I spent some time tube rolling to get the best results and settled on a quartet of TAD 6SN7 which I found much more neutral and balanced than vintage tubes. The GZ34 rectifier however is a very rare NOS Toshiba that I found much more dynamic than both the vintage Mullards and TAD that I tried in this position. This is the 240V export version of the MK2 which is said to be a clear improvement on the original amp, with superior bass depth and transparency; also with a higher quality volume control which offers very precise and wide ranging control. An attractive brushed metal finish, two box design with separate power supply and umbilical cable. LED display and full remote control made from solid aluminium billet using Philips RC5 commands which work with most cd players. Very good cosmetic condition which I would rate at 8/10 - a couple of minor marks to the pre and a mark on the PSU. A new TAD GZ34 is included as a spare. You just need to supply an IEC mains cable. This is a current model that is supported by the UK distributor AA Acoustics and has the benefit of a full professional service in June 2016 - there is a sticker on the back to confirm. Price is £700 but will listen to offers. ppl gift, bank transfer or cash on collection from Highgate, London N6. I have the original double box shipping carton and will ship at cost - insured UPS delivery is approx £35. Specification: Frequency response: 2Hz-150KHz(-1B) Signal-to-noise ratio: 90dB Distortion: Less than 0.05%(70Hz/7KHz 4:1) Consumption: 40W Input Sources: 5 selectable inputs switched by gold plated relays Input Terminals:Gold plated phono/RCA unbalanced Output terminals: Gold plated phono/RCA unbalanced Vacuum tube: 6SN7x4 5AR4x1 Remote Control: RC-5 compatible IR system 36KHz modulation Dimensions: 8cm x 43cm x32cm (HxWxD) Weight:15Kg http://www.opera-consonance.com/products/cyber222.htm
  16. con Audio Passive Pre-Amp. Black with black chrome controls. Excellent Condition. 5 inputs Tape output Pre-Amp output Gold RCA sockets 229 gbp plus shipping at cost
  17. Folks, a cut and paste from my eBay advert where the price is £2750. Loads of watchers, some tyrekickers, some real interest, but the only actual offer so far is from a low-baller who I know wants to sell on because he's an unofficial eBay dealer. Open to sensible offers even on this lower price; you're a wammer, so I know you won't take the p1$$... £4,000 less than list price £6,750. ATC's flagship pre-amplifier, an ultra low distortion design with very wide bandwidth designed to bring ATC's studio experience into the home. Handbuilt in the UK. Perfect front end to ATC's own active speakers (I have the fantastic SCM40A's) or to any serious power amp. So good it has stayed in the line-up since it was introduced in 1996: how many other hifi items can you name which have been in production for 23 years?! This was one of the first produced. The main electrolytic capacitors were replaced in September so all should be good for another 20 years or more of listening pleasure. Fully working, minor cosmetic marks. Difficult to avoid reflections of tablecloth, velux etc - have taken photos inside and outside. Excellent front and rear panels. Minor marks to side panels. Two scratched areas to top surface, not visible unless installed as the topmost unit in a system. You can tell it was designed for tough studio use. Pre-amplifier only. No remote, no mains lead (though I can provide a lead if required). Will be well packed for free UK shipping. _______________ 2 balanced stereo inputs 1 balanced stereo output 6 phono stereo inputs Input Sensitivity: 235mV Balanced, 115mV Unbalanced Input Impedance: 5k/10k ohms Frequency Response: DC – >500KHz THD: >114dB Dimensions (HxWxD): 100x440x360 Weight (HxWxD): 9.5kg / 20.9lbs A key feature of the ATC SCA2 preamplifier is the total elimination of audio integrated circuits in the main signal path which is made possible through the introduction of no fewer than ten high performance discrete circuitry gain blocks. Furthermore, all amplifiers in the monitor chain are of similar type and built from discrete bipolar transistors and FETs. The input stage is a fully complimentary dual long tail pair arrangement which uses low-noise bipolar transistors with constant collector voltages provided by cascoded junction FETs. Output of the current mirrors is buffered by a pair of complimentary Sziklai Darlington transistors. To further minimize signal degradation, input circuitry including all sockets, selection relays and tape buffer is mounted directly onto a single PCB. In essence, the gain block within the ATC SCA2 preamplifier is a high output, low distortion amplifier with a very wide bandwidth which is easy to use in conventional feedback configuration because it has only one stage of gain (in other words, there is only one possible source of roll-off and phase shift at high frequency.) The result is remarkable audiophile product which, in both laboratory and subjective listening tests, clearly redefines the state of the art. Auditioning reveals an open, neutral, transparency the amplifier creating a solid soundstage which is both wide and deep. Voices are reproduced with uncanny realism being portrayed with natural warmth and articulation. Bass takes on a rich, superbly controlled solidity. Strings are reproduced with a fine degree of detail and texture, while brass is conveyed with attack and clarity. Percussion is handled with great speed and definition. As you'd expect from a design as highly specified as the ATC SCA2 preamplifier, dynamic range is outstanding. The SCA2 offers eight audio inputs - all of which are electronically buffered and selected by precision gas-filled gold-plated relays Clean stable power supplies result from local active decoupling of supply rails adjacent to each gain stage The distinctive case of the SCA2 is constructed from aerospace grade peened stainless steel. The 440mm (17%) wide front panel is edged with bead-blasted machined aluminium the fascia being finished in polished acrylic
  18. Bought from a fellow Wammer for a project that is now on hold. Comes with double box packaging and all accessories. Great sounding bit of kit in absolute mint condition. https://www.richersounds.com/cambridge-azur-851n-sil.html Prefer collection/Wam taxi from Exmouth in Devon but will post at buyers risk/cost. £845 + Postage Sold via ebay
  19. FOR SALE: Glenn Croft "Monday Night Special" valve preamp and power supply. UNIQUE!. A RARE OPPORTUNITY TO ACQUIRE A PIECE OF UK AUDIO HISTORY! This is a one-off, custom built amp by the great Glenn Croft for another giant of the UK audio industry, the turntable designer and founder of Nottingham Analogue, Tom Fletcher. Tom was not only a genius with turntables, but also a passionate music lover, and he used to share that passion with his friends during regular Monday night listening sessions. This amp was built for those sessions, hence the name. It features an enormous valve power supply which is attached to the amplifier unit by a fixed cable (see photos for detail). The result is one of the most exciting, musical and detailed preamps I've ever heard. The stereo imaging is remarkable and you will hear things in the music you've never heard before. Things to be aware of: There are only two functional inputs, despite having three pairs of RCA inputs. The amp was wired that way in order to preserve signal purity. Tom suggested only having one source connected up at any one time as this gave optimum sound quality. The inputs are: Phono stage for MM cartridge Line input The amp was tested and serviced last week by Glenn Croft himself and is in perfect condition. The case of the amp has a couple of small chips from a mishap with the cover alone. (The amp sounds better without the cover so I never had it on). Like any valve amp, the unit does require proper grounding within your system, but once this is achieved, it is extremely quiet. There is a little bit of static when turning the left volume pot, but other than that, the switches are all perfect. The power supply itself hums, which is what you would expect from a transformer of that size, but this is normal and does not transmit to the speakers. If you are into vinyl and valves, or have a really good CD player, and know how to set up a system, I've heard few things that make your records and CDs sound better without going well into 5 figures. I'm only selling because I need the space. As this amp is completely unique, it was very difficult to price. I asked Glenn what he thought would be reasonable and he said that he had no idea, but that were it to be produced today, it could well retail for up to £20,000! I'm asking £6,250, but I will consider any reasonable offers. I could only upload one pic, but I have several more, including of the inside of the amp, which I will happily email on request. Lastly, the delicacy and weight of the unit means it is absolutely COLLECTION ONLY. The two units are connected by an umbilicus which cannot be detached. I'm in Epsom. Please don't ask me any technical questions; I'm not an engineer and there is no manual with this, but if you're seriously interested and you have a technical concern, I'd be happy to pass it on to Glenn.
  20. SOLD Time to sell this lovely DAC/Pre-amp/Headphone amp. In addition to being a 192/24 and DSD 256 capable DAC, it is also a full function analogue pre-amp with balanced inputs and outputs. And it has balanced and single ended headphone outputs, and is an ideal partner for the likes of Sennheiser H600s and 800s. Digital Inputs - Coax, Optical, AES/EBU and USB, Bluetooth AptX, plus front USB port for phones/tablets Analog inputs - 1 pair RCA, 1 pair XLR Outputs - same as above. All the inputs & outputs are clearly marked on the back panel so can be seen on the photos. The remote control can switch inputs, control volume and dim or switch off the display which itself has various modes. All inputs can be individually set to unity gain - e.g. if you want to use it as a standalone DAC with another preamplifier Specs are here: https://www.oppodigital.com/headphone-amplifier-ha-1/ I have the manual and all original packaging. UK RRP was £1200, but they seem to be selling for more than that on ebay now so will post in the UK for £700. I have owned it from new, bought from a UK dealer.
  21. Simaudio Moon 350P PD Pre Amplifier with DAC and MM/MC and 2 x 400M monoblocks Bought these in august last year for £4850. Looking to recoup as much as i can, so offers around that. Also I want to try a Pass Labs power amp next so if you have something and want to talk about a trade I could be interested. Originally purchased from Loud and Clear in Glasgow by the previous owner. During his ownership one amp was subject to a slight discolouration from sunlight. This can been seen in the pic below. Full set of pictures: http://imagehost.cc/album/FBfo Original boxes and packaging are present. I'm based just over the boarder of north wales about 15 mins west of Chester, if you want to come an have a listen your welcome to do so. Amps must be demonstrated before sale - protects both buyer and seller. Collection or delivery within a reasonable distance. I am happy to deliver to pretty much anywhere within 2ish hours of here for fuel. But do also travel occasionally with work and if I’m passing anyway then I’m happy to drop for free.
  22. Selling my Modwright Instruments LS36.5 valve preamplifier with balanced XLR input/output. Current model in as new condition. Re-valved couple weeks ago (Sovtek rectifier and 2 Sovtek 6h30 valves). Comes in original double box with beautiful metal remote control, manual and hex key. Selling due to unplanned upgrade. £SOLD NO OFFERS PLEASE! Collection from SE London or posted at buyers cost and risk.
  23. Excellent DAC with the really extensive feature set. It's ideal as the main hub for your multimedia and TV as HDMI ARC is supported. Effectively, DAC is capable to capture HDMI output from your source and capture the audio stream only with HDMI (video) out forwarding to your TV set. That way, you could easily route HDMI audio from your source. It's a really great feature not commonly supported. Apart from HDMI support 2x analogue (front 3.5mm and rear RCA ports), optical, coaxial and USB inputs are supported. Also, DAC features balanced and single-ended outputs together with digital output (passthrough). Really great connectivity on offer. You will be hard-pressed to find any device with a similar feature set and sound quality at this price point. This was taken out of the original box for picture taking, but otherwise as new condition. There is still a screen protector in place and device packaging itself includes all original accessories intact. £215 with free UK shipping
  24. Guys, I have a problem and I need some help with diagnosis. This is the situation. Music plays fine, but when I increase or decrease the volume I get a sound coming from the left speaker. The same happens when there is no music playing and I adjust the volume then I get the same sound coming from the left speaker. It does not happen with the right speaker. The sound is a sort of grating and is similar to rubbing two pieces of cardboard together or rubbing cardboard on some rough concrete. It is not loud. As soon as I stop adjusting the volume the grating sound stops. It makes no difference whether I use the remote control or use the dial on the Pre-Amp. The Pre-Amp is an Ayon Eris (6H30 valves) with a motorised volume control - An Alps pot I think. The speakers are Triangle Magellan Cellos. I've had them from new for about 6 years. What are some things that could be causing this?
  25. Matrix Audio Quattro II One of the great benefits of reviewing audio for the Wam is you come across some really interesting products. The Audiovalve amplifier was a great find. Its sound was everything you would expect from a great valve amplifier and it had distinctive, steampunk styling. I also discovered the audio market has developed what I call ‘all-in-one’ front ends. They consist of a DAC, a preamplifier and a headphone amplifier all in one box. I reviewed two of these all-in-one boxes and the sound quality was a pleasant surprise. But the big problem was that although they sounded good they were expensive. Whilst spending multi-thousands on an all-in-one box is reasonable value what do you do if your budget is not over a thousand and you still want a good sound? Enter Matrix Audio. Matrix Audio is based in Xi'an, China. Xi'an is an ancient city that is several thousand years old. It used to be the capital of ancient China and was so for 13 dynasties. The team at Matrix Audio are all into music and electronic/digital products. The CEO and CTO (Mr. Yang) have funded an audio studio for more than 10 years and started the Matrix Electronic Technology Company about 5 years ago. Matrix has an extensive range of more than 10 different models in 3 series, the X series, the Mini-i series and the Quattro series. For my review I listened to the Quattro II. I built up an image of what the Quattro II would be like. It would have an amorphous high density plastic box, amorphous circuit components and would sound well….amorphous and bland. The Quatttro II is packaged in a white glossy cardboard box. The Quattro II is a small, half sized 205×232×49mm black box. BUT. It is made of metal. Not only that this is no bent metal box, it is a solid CNC machined, thick aluminium case. It is a weighty item for something so small. There are no lid screws, just some stainless, machined screws on the front of the case. It is also superbly black anodised. And the remote control is a neat small handset made of aluminium, not a plastic abomination from the spare parts box. Amorphous plastic box? Wrong. OK how about the components used? It has the ‘magic’ ESS Sabre ES9018S DAC chip inside. This chip has fantastic specifications and deals with a large number of sample rates. The Quattro II has six digital inputs and can handle numerous digital sampling rates. USB deals with everything up to 32 bit 384 kHz PCM. The Quattro II also plays DSD, DSD64, DSD128 and DSD 264 via DoP, dCS and ASIO (native). OK very versatile. The Quattro II uses very low noise op amps (LME49720 ultralow distortion) and boasts a noise specification of >120 db. Amorphous components? Wrong. The Quattro II’s inputs include AES, coaxialx2, opticalx2 and USB. The outputs are RCA and XLRs with two headphone outputs on the front. I did all the volume control and switching using the neat remote. So how about the sound? I started using the Quattro II with headphones. I used my Senheisser HD202 and the sound was not bad. In fact it was actually a lot better than I expected. It was clear and transparent and voices were very clear and all the words were easy to hear. I have lost count of the number of high end audio systems I have heard where you cannot clearly hear the words being sung. Most singers have a message to their songs whether it is sad, happy, angry or whatever. It should be obvious what they are singing. OK Bruce Springsteen is an exception. The Quattro II allows you to decipher the words easily. The Quattro II did not have that sharp, clean and ultimately sterile sound of other ESS Sabre chips. A great start. I used my Logitech Touch connected to the Quattro II with the Quattro II in preamp mode. I tried all the digital inputs and found USB gave the best sound quality and was the most versatile. The Quattro II had some issues with my Senheisser Momentums due to their low impedance (18ohms) but all the other headphones worked without problems. The overall sound was very good and if you wanted to use is as a headphone amplifier it would work well. But it would only be using a part of what it can do. OK over to the big system. I fed the Quattro II with an Auralic Aries and took the XLR outputs into my Nord Class D amp and on to my Audionote Es (silver wired). I used my collection of ‘test’ music (no bland jazz stuff) and the system gave a good account of itself. The sound was clear, neutral and had good dynamics. It was easy to hear the lyrics. The contrast between well recorded tracks and those great music tracks that are not so well recorded was easy to hear. I soon left the test tracks behind and just listened to music that interested me including the latest albums. This was fun. The bass attack and timing was very good and fast tracks kept that speed really well. No slowing down of the pace due to a fat, slow bass or thin bass with just a ‘pip’ in the background. No it did not capture that last bit of deep bass but give the little guy a break. The mid-range was clear and voices were easy to hear. The 3D soundstage had more width than depth but what depth was there was only slightly curtailed and would probably not be missed. To be honest I was just having great fun. This system performed well and only uses a few boxes rather than my normal collection that takes over the top end of the living room. Need to keep it away from the wife and that ultimate comment ‘what that little box does what those three big ugly boxes do?’ I could get picky but remember that every component in this system, including the cables, were at least 50% more expensive than the Quattro II. So over the next few days I was playing a lot of favourite music including opera where it was easy to hear the words even if I could not understand the language. Maria Callas sounded clear and easy on the ear as well as being suitably dramatic. Girl and guitar is the real forte of this set up. Big powerful rock and classical was played with real dynamics. OK the ultimate dynamics and emotional quotient was reduced but boy would it cost you a lot to realise it. So in summary, this little box is not an amorphous bland box. It uses CNC machined aluminium, with highly desirable audiophile components, it is easy to use and extremely versatile and the sound is good. The few areas where it does not shine is no great deal and I can see it being used in a system with active speakers or a separates system with better power amplifiers and speakers and still not be out of its depth. At the cost (£999) I am not sure there is a much competition and it is lot better than the amorphous boxes out there. An interesting company that is well focused. The Quattro II is great value for money. I also have their USB/SPdif for review next. Specifications: AES PCM 16-24Bit/44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192 kHz DSD DSD64(DoP, dCS) COAXIAL PCM 16-24Bit/44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192 kHz DSD DSD64(DoP, dCS) OPTICAL PCM 16-24Bit/44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192 kHz DSD DSD64(DoP, dCS) USB PCM 16-32Bit/44.1kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz 176.4 kHz, 192 kHz, 352.8 kHz, 384 kHz DSD DSD64 /DSD128(DoP, dCS) DSD64 /DSD128 / DSD256(ASIO Native) SNR >-122dB 20Hz-20kHz A-Weighting THD+N <0.0003% at 1kHz A-Weighting Frequency Response 20Hz-20kHz (+0.01dB/-0.02dB) Crosstalk >-120dB at 1kHz
  • Create New...