"... I don't know about you but the less-is-more ideal of audio signal manipulation -- the proverbial straight wire with gain myth, with the least amount of detours snaking themselves through multiple parts, inductor windings, circuit board junctions -- makes perfect sense to this would-be philosopher. Of course fancy ideals amount to naught if they don't translate in the real world of sensory perceptions and verifiable experience. Which they blatantly do though in this instance. For once.
A popular explanation for the purity of most single-ended triode amps is the latter's circuit simplicity. There's less stuff to muck up the signal. Is that the main reason for their particular sonics? Who knows. What I can tell you is that ultra wide bandwidth audibly translated as speed, clarity and resolution, the combined package of which could justifiably be termed immediacy or directness...
Looking back at our first 6 months of 2003 with its 40 hardware reviews total, the Audio Zone AMP-1 strikes me as the most exciting discovery yet - and there were quite a few bona fide hotties already. The AMP-1 is the one I'm most keen on turning fellow music lovers on to. It's got the mindblowing sonic merits and complete package perfection I'm now intent on getting across. Hopefully today's review accomplished that. In case things aren't clear yet, here goes the matching award. To be clear, it is not for originality and thus shared with Junji Kimura of 47Lab as its true spiritual progenitor, and with his Shigaraki 4717 in particular for sonics. AMP-1 eliminates the latter's multiple input choices but advances cosmetics and fit'n'finish, especially for US audiences accustomed to tank-like construction..."
"... As soon as I spun up my first disc, I knew that something special was afoot. Music playback was transparent, incisive, visceral and fun. Snare drums exploded with a solid crack and the pitch definition and punch of bass notes enhanced the forward thrust of music. With this Canadian combo, music flowed like water over Niagara Falls. Leading edge attack and the decay of each note were exceptional and the illusion of a live performance was uncanny. I'm sure this was a result of lightening fast rise-times and incredibly short signal paths. Heck, said pathway is less than 5 inches long, the feedback loop less than a half inch! How's that for preserving signal purity and wickedly fast transients? Like the Unison Research Unico with Underwood HiFi's Level-2 Mod, the AMP-2 also had bodacious image density; a fat rich sound that wasn't the slightest bit slow or bloated. The AMP-2/PRE-T1 did not sound like traditional solid state at all. There was no grain, no pinched highs, no slight truncation of air and space, nothing that would suggest the presence of silicon. On the other hand, this trio did not sound euphonic like some tube amps either. No spreading of thick treacle here. If Zen Buddhists designed audio gear, it would sound like the AMP-2/PRE-T1 combo; pure, clear, focused with a near fanatical pursuit of spiritual enlightenment, or in this case, musical truth.