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  1. Item : Primare A34.2 stereo power amp. Location: Melbourne Price: $1,350 $1,200 Item Condition: excellent, unmarked with original packaging, etc. Reason for selling: no longer required. Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, bank transfer. Paypal. Extra Info: 150Wpc into 8 ohms stereo mode, 550W into 8 ohms bridged mono mode. Pictures:
  2. Item: Primare A34.2 stereo power amp, black Location: Melbourne Price: $1,450 Item Condition: excellent, unmarked with original packaging. Reason for selling: no longer required Payment Method: Pickup - Cash, bank transfer Extra Info: 150Wpc into 8 ohms stereo mode, 550W into 8 ohms bridged mono mode. Pictures:
  3. Well it’s been a long time in coming but it’s finally here. Part of the reason it took so long was that it’s difficult to start a project like this because that first amp is both evaluated and stipulated at the same time. So if I give amp number 1 a seven for its bass performance then I’m saying that it has very good bass performance and that every amp that follows will be compared to that level of bass that is now stipulated (ie: set in stone) as a seven. You could say that I’ve declared that level of bass as a seven rather than evaluated it as a seven. In a way you have to listen to several amps to get an idea of the level of variety you expect before that first amp can actually be evaluated. Anyway, I have managed to wrap my oblong noggin around the concept so here we go with the very first Power Amp entry. 1. Burson PP-160. This is an amp I quite enjoy listening to, I’ve described Burson gear in the past as sounding crisp, snappy and airy and this amp is no exception. I should probably add detailed to that list as the performance of this amp is very good. It is not an amp to puff up its chest and announce its presence so at times it does seem to be a bit lazy because when the music dies down the music really does die down, but when called on it gives an excellent performance with nicely extended, airy highs (with a very nice “twinkle†effect on the triangle and piano), snappy mids (with transients in between that are very pleasing to the ear) and nicely defined deep and clean bass. What’s more Burson gear tends to keep this sound across a wide range of components that it is paired with, I think it may be partly due to the fact that it has a very even representation of the entire frequency range (so it does not emphasize highs, mids or bass). The PP160 is a stereo power amp with 70 watts per channel into 8 ohms and only one RCA input. It does have a booster amp function so that a lowish (sub 25 watt) valve amp can be plugged into it via a pair of “speaker in†binding posts but mine has been disconnected internally so I can’t test that function out. Test Rig. The Burson was fed from a Consonance CD120 via LBP Parapiao ICs into a Burson PRE-160 and then via Ribbonflex ICs into the PP-160. Then via Ribbontek speaker cables into my Lenehan S2Rs on their matched stands. Power was fed to all source and preamp components via a Consonance PS1 power filter board and to the PP-160 via a PS3 power board. Detail Highlights. Highs: Nice twinkle on triangle and piano, less air than there was when used with the Osborns. 7.5 Mids: Good snap, not as crisp as on the Osborns, excellent transients and nice airy space in between each instrument. 7.0 Bass: Deep and clear with distinct impact, depth and decay evident on drum strikes. 7.5 Vocals: Accurate and clear with female vocals clear in top end. F: 7.0 M: 6.5 Average: 6.75 2D and 3D Soundstaging: 7.0 each, instruments nicely separated and placed within the stage. Overall Performance Integration: Doesn’t excite in the short term, but if you stick with it you come to realize just how capable this amp is. An excellent listening amp that does not over emphasize any one part of the performance. It took a swap to another amp to make me realize just how good this one actually is, an excellent listening amp but not really a party amp. I would describe it as subtly brilliant and I’m giving it an 8.0! Ability to Emote: 6.5 Let down by a slight dryness in the mids, it believes it is up to you to enjoy the music, not it to make you enjoy the music. Electric Guitar Test: 7.5 Very good, very accurate, if it just had a tiny bit of agro energy (and I mean a very, very small bit) it would be a 8.0. 80s Rock Test: Everything is as it should be, including the tape hiss in the background (which is a bit of a mixed blessing). 7.0 Total Score: 71.75 I think this was an excellent amp to start with, it sets the bar a bit high but why not, right? Pics will be added just as soon as I find the charger for the camera. Edit: And I did. At rest. And ready for action. And in the interest of full disclosure. I am a Burson fan, every piece of Burson gear I've heard has been what I would call "above average" in performance and very well built. I have made every effort to conduct this evaluation in a fair and impartial manner. Though not necessarily in a mature one. The chair in use was a recliner of acceptable comfort level with adjacent shelving that is frequently used as a drink stand. The air conditioner was not in use for the review and I suspect this is the reason that the ice in my Pepsi melted long before I was finished. My long haired cat was strangely absent for the review so it worked out well that the room heated up a little as my feet would have been a bit cold otherwise. Scale: 1 to 3 means a performance below par with one being somewhere in the vicinity of fingernails on a blackboard while a poorly tuned AM radio shrieks out static in the background and 3 being just bearable but still rather messy. 4 to 6 is average, listenable but nothing noteworthy, 4 being a bit messy or harsh and 6 being pretty good but nothing to write home about. 7 to 9 is better than you would expect them to be, with 7 being a good performance, 8 being an exceptional performance and 9 being the best you are ever likely to hear. And it is pretty damn unlikely that I will ever award a 10 because that would mean it is the best of the best of the best. (Add them all up for a final score out of 100, and remember from 30 to 60 you can go from an absolute stinker to an amp that is pretty good at what it does, anything above 60 is likely to be something worth investigating) Next up is a stalwart of the power amp industry, the Rotel RB1070 which have on loan from ellrots.
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