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"Dynamics were powerful, yet subtle when required, and fast. The quietness Iíd already noted let me hear a lot of detail -- real detail, not the fake detail created by goosing up the high frequencies. Speaking of the highs, they were open and extended, with plenty of sparkle."
"Orchestral color was just gorgeous, with fully developed harmonics making the RLP sound rich and natural. I recently auditioned a DAC that made it difficult to distinguish between the solo violin and cello. The PRE550A had no such problem. Orchestral violins had a rich sheen, with abundant high-frequency extension."
To hear how the YBA reproduced a solo instrument, I cued up Ottmar Liebertís One Guitar (24/96 FLAC, Spiral Subwave/HDtracks). The detailed realism the YBA PRE550A retrieved from this high-resolution recording was amazing. It reproduced the sound of Liebertís guitar incredibly well -- not only the notes, but also the extraneous noises inevitably produced by a guitar being played by a master. Notes were harmonically complete, attacks and decays were extremely lifelike, and some of the initial transients were startling in their forcefulness"
"YBAís Passion PRE550A lived up to its French origin by producing unfailingly beautiful, realistic sound. Its extended highs were gorgeously smooth, with nary a bit of peakiness. The midrange was very detailed and harmonically rich -- little to grumble about there. Very highly recommended."
Link to FULL REVIEW
AUDIO ANALOGUE MAESTRO ANNIVERSARY DUAL-MONO INTEGRATED AMLIFIER
"Spoiler Alert: This integrated amp's sound is akin to an iron first in a silk glove."
"It was able to power the relatively inefficient Kharma Elegance dB7-S speakers with no problem whatsoever, with massive macro-dynamics swings, very powerful pitch stable and bottomless sounding bass, and at the same time could draw me into the music with whisperingly small shifts in microdynamics, and sparkling, detailed, and agile upper treble."
"This amp easily reproduced Van Morrison's distinctive voice (on "Astral Weeks"), to the point where I could easily imagine in my mind's ear him standing in front of the microphone in a padded sound booth in the studio."
"More importantly, the Maestro Anniversary sounded as transparent as any amplifier I've ever had in this system. It also acted as an as an almost perfect attenuator rather than an amplifier."
"Again, this is not an inexpensive amplifier; lots went into designing and building this sonic wolf in sheep's clothing. And yet it can be called affordable when comparing it to many other high-end integrated amplifiers."
After living with this converter and listening to it daily, I found that its major sonic feature of the aaDAC converter was its level of transparency to the source. Depending on which system it was used in, there were times when it was practically aurally invisible, inviting me to listen to any genre of music I chose.
Through the Audio Analogue aaDAC the sounds of every instrument and voice were made as separate as possible depending on the track and also spread out in a huge soundstage. Whether I was playing the physical SACD (Rolling Stones Beggars Banquet) or the file on my music server, the sound was just as good, letting me close my eyes and imagine I was a fly on the wall in that London studio.
I could easily take up half Enjoy the Music.com's server space talking about all the audiophile characteristics that this converter possessed, its infinitesimally small microdynamic shifts and explosive macrodynamic changes, it's delicate and extensive treble that possessed absolutely no digital artifacts I could hear, even on the crappiest 16-bit/44.1kHz CDs in my collection, and its' powerful, pitch specific, clean, and extensive base response.
The midrange was so transparent that it often made me feel as if in the audio chain there was no converter at all, and all I was left with was the music. But I don't think that should have to be discussed in the year 2020. Audio engineers should certainly have this part of the digital playback thing perfected by now, shouldn't they? Well, they don't.
Through the Audio Analogue aaDAC it's was as I was hanging above the orchestra listening to this Sibelius piece along with the microphones at the Barbican. During at least one section I'd hear the orchestra "do the wave" as the Northern Finnish winds swept through the barren landscape, Sibelius's scoring calling for the strings and woodwinds to travel across the orchestra right to left, left to right. Again, it was the mega-transparency of this converter, its midrange letting me hear not only what has been recorded, but somehow transposed into the real thing coming through my speakers and into my listening room.
Donizetti Anniversary Amplifier + Bellini Anniversary Linestage
AUDIO ANALOGUE - Review Excerpts
Much of the power ampís weight comes from its (2) two 1200VA transformers and, again, no global feedback is used in the amplification stages. As per the Bellini Anniversary, the circuitry is fully balanced and similar through-hole, military and audio-grade components are used throughout.
In many ways, this duo is exceptional.
The first thing likely to strike you is the remarkable midband lucidity, and the expansiveness of the soundstage.
These amps have an uncanny ability to place both instruments and vocalists in their own space without the presentation as a whole feeling crowded or compressed.
Whatís more, a virtual absence of background noise means that central performers stand out in stark relief, apparently on an otherwise empty stage, with musical accompaniment arranged carefully behind them.
This Anniversary pre/power also serves up an impeccable performance when it comes to the top-end - the sheer level of clarity and purity in the treble region is again, first-class, enabling you to hear the tinkle of a pin drop in even the busiest of mixes.
Cymbals in general possessed a delicious metallic sheen while more vigorous strikes on the metalwork arrived with real force before shimmering away into the distance. Equally, delicately struck hi-hats were as vivid-sounding as I have heard them, and not once did they disappear into the back of the mix.
Naturally, with the available power on tap from the Donizetti Anniversary, bass was prodigiously extended, solid and taut. Even better, it remained composed even with the amp wound up to thoroughly anti-social levels.
Where the Audio Analogue duo definitely came out on top was with its handling of recordings that varied in their quality. The Corrsí ĎOnly When I Sleepí from their 1997 album Talk On Corners [Atlantic Recordings 7567-83051-2] is something of a sonic mess, sounding steely at best and clearly mixed to make it radio-friendly. Yet never have I heard it sound better than when played via the Bellini and Donizetti Anniversary pre/power. The amps simply cut through the nastiness, managing to impart a sense of order to the proceedings and even bring a hint of purity to the ragged top end.
The Audio Analogue Bellini & Donizetti Anniversary offer a combination of magnificent sound quality with a brute-force styling that I thoroughly enjoyed. They typically make a great job of poor recordings, too.
We are most honored to announce the Italian masterpiece, Audio Analogue, is now available in the USA!
Featuring advanced circuit designs of ZERO Global Feedback and audiophile components to produce a transparent, shockingly dynamic sound with high resolution, a 3D soundstage and accurate harmonic tones for a lifelike musicality...and all wrapped in a sleek, contemporary chassis!
Designed & Handcrafted - 100% in Italy
The great strength of the Audio Analogue set Anniversary resides in its analytical capacity. It isolates each instrument, each voice and each in an ultra realistic sound scene on several levels.
More than different layers of information, the Audio Analogue set places each instrument precisely in space in the three dimensions. He treats each instrument with a real sensation of matter, thickness and sound volume. Readability is thus maximum with instruments coming to life in the listening room.
Speed is another advantage of Bellini and Donizetti. Small percussions and snaps of the finger are restored with a pin and a prick nuances contributing to their realism. On the saxophone, the harmonica or the violin, we take advantage of an impressive respect for timbre/tonality. We feel all the complexity and the material of the instrument, the sounds of mouth. Again, the instruments take shape before us, perfectly separated from each other.
Give them excellent recordings and the Audio Analogue Bellini and Donizetti will make the most of it. These devices play on complexity to extract each detail and recreate a sound scene with a width, height and depth of realism.
The Bellini and Donizetti form a high-end analog unit capable of bringing the music in its smallest nuances, from the bottom to the top of the spectrum, with a sensation of confounding presence of realism.
REVIEW: Donizetti x 2 (Mono) Amplifiers + Bellini Linestage