Audio Equipment Reviews – Power Amplifiers / Integrated Amps

Click on ‘READ MORE’ text to go to full review.


Art Audio Carissa Signature Review

Art Audio Carissa Signature Review

The Carissa delivers 16w/channel from a pair of 845 tubes, and they are 16 glorious watts the like of which I haven’t heard in my system since playing with some old Jadis gear many moons ago. That’s not to say the Carissa sounded anything like the Jadis JA30

read more

Reviews of Power Amplifiers

Note from Ed.

I’ve owned and reviewed many different power amps over the 40+ years in this hobby, including solid-state, tube amps, and Class-D amps.

Obviously, the key to getting the most from an amp is to ensure it’s matched with a compatible load type. It’s no good using a low-powered tube amp on a power-hungry pair of speakers, then remarking on the lack of dynamic ability in the amp, or its capacity to drive a speaker to realistic volumes. That said, some amps, tube types, in particular, appear to have driving ability beyond their rated power specifications, in such cases, it can be fun to run a modestly powered tube amp with a speaker whose efficiency ought to demand more power, particularly if the tube amp clips gracefully and doesn’t begin to sound harsh at higher levels. At the time of writing these notes, I have a pair of Allnic Audio A6000 monoblocks which are driving a fairly difficult load in the Piega C40 (4 ohm, 89dB). The sound from this combo is quite wonderful, so it would be unfair to dismiss the 300b amp and its modest 60watt/channel output as being incompatible with the Piega’s load profile.

Conversely, many years ago I ran a pair of stacked Oris 150 horns, boasting a 105dB sensitivity. I tried all manner of low-powered amps on the horns but they never really came alive until I clobbered them with 200 digital watts from a Lyngdorf TDAi 2200 integrated amp! Go figure.

So have fun with amp/speaker matching, but always remember that a low-powered amp on an inefficient speaker can be a quick and easy way to damage your speaker’s drivers – so be careful!




Recent Reviews & Posts

Aperion Audio Dual Firing AMT Ribbon Super Tweeter Review

Around a decade or so ago I used super tweeters on a stacked Oris 150 horn system with good results. The speaker system came to me with the Fostex T900A tweeters already installed, so I had nothing to do other than enjoy the benefits of their extended HF output.  Over...

Ultrasonic Record Cleaning

Here's my two penneth on recent vinyl washing experiences, with a bit of context. I've around 3000 LPs, perhaps two-thirds or more are still in a storage unit in Wisconsin waiting for me to get back there from VA to pick them up. There's a lot of other audio stuff in...

Basis Audio Debut Gold Standard Turntable Review

I've gone through a few different turntables in the past year or two, including two different Dr. Feickert Volares, an Origin Live Resolution, a Dr. Feickert Woodpecker, a Wilson Benesch Full Circle, and now, the Basis Audio Debut Gold Standard. The Basis Audio...


Speakers – planars, electrostats, horns and dynamic/cone loudspeakers.

Amps – Single-ended triode vacuum tube designs, push-pull amplifiers and even solid state amps with the latest designs in digital.

Sources – CD Players, external DAC’s, Turntables, Streaming.

Cables – DIY audio cables and tweaks.

Submit a review or share your experience – we’re always looking for equipment reviews, so if you have something to say about a component, recording, concert or anything pertaining to the world of music or high-end audio, we’d love to hear from you!