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By Douglas HiFi
Item: Audio Research GSi75 Integrated Amp/DAC
Location: Douglas HiFi - 3/116 Mounts Bay Rd, Perth
Price: $25999 $18500
Item Condition: Ex-Shop Demo - Cosmetically As New w/Full Warranty and all Original Packaging and Accessories.
Reason for selling: Recently Discontinued Model
Payment Method: Cash, Paypal, Direct Deposit, Master, Visa
Shipping available Australia Wide
With its gorgeous artisan style the Audio Research GSi75 shows off a welded chassis, thick front plate and the combination of new and old ARC cues.
As the name suggests, the integrated is a (2x) 75W design, using the KT150s (first used in the GS150 power amp) and now featuring throughout Audio Research’s lines.
In addition to being a good quality integrated amplifier, the Audio Research GSi75 sports a very fine phono stage, an outstanding upsampling DAC, and even a very high performance headphone amp.
The physicality of the GSi75 is not something to be sniffed at either - It’s a large, sophisticated integrated amplifier for the modern music lover: it does everything you could think of, does it all well, and exudes a sense of absolute class in the process. It’s a tube amp for people who like the sound and the idea of tube amps, but don’t like all the fuss and bother they sometimes cause.
Insert, bias, play… it’s all made extremely simple. The onboard phono stage is quiet and dynamic, a perfect match for the rest of the amplifier.
Rather than just sounding nice – something many valve designs actively aim for – this one majors on insight and agility. It reveals the harmonic richness in the sound of a piano and renders it with a subtlety of dynamics... equally, when asked to rock out it does a wonderful job of dynamics and slam without ever sounding either harsh or soft and wooly.
The DAC – which can be set to upsample to 24-bit, 352.8/384kHz (depending on original sampling frequency) also supports DoP DSD replay – there is also ‘fast’ and ‘slow’ digital filters which help cope with the vagaries of modern (and especially online) digital sources. The DAC allows you to access whatever files you have on hand; 16-bit/44khz all the way up to 2x DSD, so you won’t be left out in the cold. There are a bevy of digital inputs as well; RCA, Toslink and USB all help make the GSi75 the hub of your digital music world.
There are also (3x) standard RCA Line Level inputs to complement the aforementioned Phono and DAC inputs.
We have all original packaging and remote control.
AudioResearch suggest that the tubes sound best after approx. 500 hours - It has been used for 482 hours so far
Type: Integrated tube amplifier
Valve complement: 2× 6H30 drivers, 4× KT150 power tubes
Analogue inputs: 3× RCA stereo
Phono stage: MM/MC, adjustable input voltage and impedance
Digital inputs: S/PDIF digital (coax RCA and Toslink), USB (driver required for Windows PC)
Sample rates supported: 44.1kHz to 192kHz, S/PDIF and USB 2.0 HS, DSD USB 2.0 HS
Input sensitivity: 0.55V RMS rated output. (32.5dB gain into 8 ohms.)
Input impedance: 52.5kΩ
Maximum input: 10 volts RMS
Power Output: 75 watts per channel continuous from 20Hz to 20kHz.
Frequency Response: 1Hz-70kHz (–-3dB, 1 watt)
THD+N: Typically 1.5% at 75 watts, .05% at 1 watt (1kHz)
Power Bandwidth: 12Hz to 70kHz (–3dB)
Overall negative feedback: 4dB
Output polartity: non-inverting
Output taps: 4Ω, 8Ω
Dimensions (W×H×D): 48.3×26.3×51.8cm
All Photos of Actual Item
By LWA Staff
Item: Arcam C49 Pre Amplifier & P49 Power Amplifier Package
Location: Len Wallis Audio HQ, 64 Burns Bay Road, Lane Cove NSW
Item Condition: Excellent "As New' Secondhand Condition
Shipping: We can ship anywhere in Australia, POA
Payment Method: Credit Cards, Cash, Paypal, Bank Transfer, ZipMoney
Extra Info: Superb 'as new' secondhand combination of Arcam C49 Pre-Amplifier (Still the current model) and C49 Power Amplifier sold by us in 2015 has all its original cartons / packaging.
Features include Fully flexible stereo amplifier range; Power amp can be configured for multiple modes; Class G amplification with 50W of class A operation; On board PSU for rSeries products
CR902 system remote control (A49, C49); Phono input configurable for line/MM (A49, C49)
Continuous power output (20Hz—20kHz at 0.2% THD), per channel with Two channels, 8Ω, 20Hz—20kHz - 200W
After hearing the 3010S2D, and having owned a 2010S and a 1010 I have maintained a passing interest in the Exposure line up of integrated amps. I have very fond memories of the 2010S, but those are fairly old memories now, and of an amp used in a different room with different speakers. So I don’t know for sure how well those memories will hold up.
As with the 3010S2D this unit was supplied by Andrew from Audiofix.
My memories of the 2010S are more about an amp with character than they are about technical capabilities or performance. The 2010, being a power amp with a passive volume control, comes across as a laid back, calm and comfortable piece of gear. The music has no sharp edges, no hardness or harshness, in fact if you were to describe it as “a bit soft sounding” they you would be pretty close. It isn’t an amp that excels at fast drum solos (although it isn’t half bad at those), it really specializes in slower passages.
It is fairly phlegmatic in its approach to musical reproduction, and that is just fine by me.
This review started out with me being fairly sure I knew what to expect, I’ve heard this amp before and while I hadn’t heard it in my current room or on my current system I have heard several other amps on both old and new systems and I knew where the 2010 lay within those other amps presentations. Lucky for me I was correct and the 2010 does sound very much as I expected it would, but as with any audio story there is so much more to it than that.
In the beginning I was listening to the 2010S2D using my traditional set up. YBA Heritage cd100 as source, Aurealis Dragon interconnects, generic old 10AWG speaker wire and Lenehan S2R speakers. And it was sounding pretty good. A bit soft in the top end (which I expected, and will explain shortly) but the mid range was very nice with possibly a little more resolution and detail on display than I recalled. Bass was nice and deep but for the most part it was kept on a short leash, very deep but very broad. Bass is used to set the mood and to back up the mid range, it isn’t the main feature so not punchy, and more polite than tight.
Then I tried the little Exposure out with my newly modded Sansui SP-300S stand mounts (with new crossovers) and found that they combined so much better with the amp than my Lenehans did. The Sansuis have a hard tweeter that gives more energy to the top end and that works in this case to counter the relaxed top end of the Exposure where as when the relaxed top end of the Exposure combined with the slightly softer top end of the Lenehans some of the top end details only came through when the volume was turned up higher than usual. So the Sansuis worked far better at low listening levels, better at normal listening levels and only just better at high listening levels.
However, in the past I’ve always used the Lenehans for my reviewing. Consistency is key in this game after all, so even though I was really enjoying the Sansuis I took them out of the system and put the Lenehans back in. Things went back to the way they were and I had an additional piece of info to offer up when it came time to write my review. All good there.
Then Terry stuck his nose into the review (to be fair to Terry, he didn’t do so deliberately, but he did ask me to do him a favour and that had a pretty serious impact on the review) and complicated matters further. Terry had just bought a cd player from Dan, Dan and I know each other and both live out in the Kingaroy-ish area. Since I’m meant to be heading down to Terry’s place in a week or two I’ve been asked to take the cd player along for the ride and deliver it. All well and good, no problems there.
Then Terry asks me for my opinion on the cd player (again to be fair to Terry, I don’t think he knew I was trying my damndest to get this 2010S2D review started this weekend) and I agreed because playing with new toys is what this hobby is all about. And because I’ve always wanted to hear this Consonance Droplet that people are talking about.
So earlier this morning I pull the Droplet out of its box and set it up on my vibration platform. Within 20 seconds I’m hearing that this puppy is clearly superior to my YBA and not just in a small way. It completely transformed the performance of the system and it really raised the performance of the Exposure as well. Instruments and vocals were clearer and the bass tightened up and deepened just a little further.
I believe a big part of this improvement comes from the Droplet having a very low output impedance. Remember my mention of that passive pre/volume control above? Well it shares that particular design with the ME240 and I’ve already found that the ME240 behaves far better when paired with a low output source (or when used with an impedance buffer in between it and the source). I believe that the YBA has a fairly high output impedance (read weak signal if you aren’t up to date on the whole impedance matching game) and the Droplet has a much lower one (read strong signal, so it can push through the passive volume pot without losing any strength or detail).
So, give the 2010 a stronger signal and it sounds like it has more resolution and detail. No real surprise there I guess but it is nice to know from experience rather than deduction.
The problem now is going to be going back to my YBA for all the nitty-gritty evaluating and awarding numbers to each category. That will not be an easy thing.
This promises to be a bit of a long and rambling review ladies and gents. Best settle in for a multiple post review put up over several weeks. I will do my best to make it thorough but it could turn out a bit on the long winded side. Just letting everyone know ahead of time.
By LWA Staff
Item: Arcam T32 DAB+ Tuner
Location: Len Wallis Audio HQ, 64 Burns Bay Road, Lane Cove
Item Condition: Excellent Secondhand Condition
Shipping: we can ship anywhere in Australia, POA
Payment Method: Credit Cards, Cash, Paypal, Bank Transfer, ZipMoney
Extra Info: As new condition with original packaging, accessories. Initially sold for $1,098. Bargain.
Arcam says: "T32 Radio Tuner uses state-of-the art technologies to deliver the very best sound quality from DAB+, FM & AM. A bespoke iPod interface is also included allowing full integration of compatible iPods with any high performance music system using the rDock or rLead."
This is actually a reply to another SN member's review of his Luxman 509X Int Amp.
After replying, I thought it would be nice to share it with other SN members. Just my thoughts on the three Luxman amps I have owned over the last few years.
I have been lucky enough in the last few years to have own the 550AX Class A as my first Luxman Int Amp, then due to a house move, needed more power, I got the 590AXII Class A, now living most of my time in Thailand, I am enjoying the 509X Class AB. I have also listened to the 507uX Class AB extensively.
My gear from the 550AX to 590AXII and 509X haven't changed - Macbook > JRiver or Roon App > Chord Hugo TT DAC (Cable = Audioquest Diamond USB from Mac to Hugo TT) > every Luxman Amp (Cables = MIT SL8 RCA interconnects) > Spendor D7 SPEAKERS (Cables MIT SL 9).
Quick rating of each amp:
1. 550AX Class A 20 watts pc. (Build - 8) - (Look - 10 - if you like the Retro style) - (Power/Drive - 8 - ONLY if you have a small room, efficient speakers & don't listen loud) - (Clarity/Details - 7) - (Quietness - 7) - (Soul/Emotion - 8)
2. 590AXII Class A 30 watts pc. (Build - 9) - (Look - 10 - if you like the Retro style) - (Power/Drive - 8 - ONLY if you have a small/medium room & efficient speakers) - (Clarity/Details - 8) - (Quietness - 8) - (Soul/Emotion - 9)
3. 509X Class AB 120 watts pc. (Build - 9.5) - (Look - 10 - if you like the Retro style) - (Power/Drive - 9.5 - Most room sizes and most speakers) - (Clarity/Details - 9.5) - (Quietness - 9.5) - (Soul/Emotion - 8)
Quick summary of each amp:
1. 550AX Class A 20 watts pc. Fantastic Class A Int Amp. Low power, which leads to other limitations. Only buy if you don't have enough money to buy the 590AXII for more Power and Soul/Emotion.
2. 590AXII Class A 30 watts pc. Great Class A Int Amp. Still low power for larger rooms. BUT simply amazing tones that ooze Soul and Emotion especially in vocals and acoustic music. Luxman Class A Masterpiece.
3. 509X Class AB 120 watts pc. Stunning Class AB Int Amp. Tons of power and punch. So quiet, so much details, so clean, etc. Only negative against the 590AXII - doesn't have that Luxman Class A Soul and Emotion. Against Class AB Amp in this price range, the 509X has very few to no rivals.
My "Ultimate" Amp:
*A Luxman because of the build quality, features and acceptable price. Compared to nearest & equal rival, Accuphase, Luxmans are a bargain.
*A Luxman Class A Int Amp for the tone, soul and emotions that they produce.
*A Luxman Class A 60 watts pc Int Amp!! - maybe impossible and imagine the heat!
Play more music!
To the 2 SN members who bought my 550AX and 590AXII, hope you are enjoying them.
Photos of 550AX, 590AXII and 509X