New Mark Levinson Pre Amp for those who need the ultimate

I am not a number, I am …..
…………. A World Reference status Pre-Amplifier

Mark Levinson is close to releasing the much awaited successor to the famous two box design Pre Amplifier that ran successfully for a long time.

The new unit will have nothing in relation to the Nº 326S Pre-Amp which will continue as a more affordable but still excellent alternative.

The all new Nº52 is set to be their Pièce de résistance and has been designed from the ground up, or more importantly, from the ear out. Weighing in at around £30,000.00, it’s sure not to be an impulse Friday night late shopping item. However, ML are putting their heart and sole into making something that will offer an audiophile open window for the true Hi-Fi connoisseur.

With World beating build quality, looks and feel will be a tactile experience of the highest order, but the sonic capabilities will be the ones that set this unit apart.

ML no52

Their products have recently been receiving upgrades throughout the range, with the stunning
Nº 512 CD/SACD Player with its Dual Mono design finding many dedicated followers already. This will receive a partnering Integrated amplifier somewhere towards the end of the year, said to be based around one of the already successful power amps that are in production as dedicated units.

Amplifiers like the legendary Nº53 mono blocs have made ML an industry standard in high end audiophile reproduction, and the new pre-amp looks sure to boost their reputation even further.

Well post a full listening test as soon as we’ve had a chance to hear it.

In the mean time, people with a large spending allowance should book their demonstrations with us now. The rest of use, should set our looks to drool mode.

New Synthesis Roma series

In the wake of the new Synthesis Action series comes the no less desirable but more affordable Roma series.

Similar in size to the Actions, the new very handsome Roma 753AC and Roma 510AC integrated amplifiers offer excellent sound but unlike the Actions do not include the built in DAC, which is based upon the now famous Matrix valve DAC. This obviously makes for a very affordable product. £2995.00 and £2695.00 respectively.

The launch was very well received indeed by the trade and public alike when shown at the recent Sound & Vision show in Bristol. Demonstrated in a room with EBTB speakers, the room was frequently packed to the gunnels.

The Roma is available in two flavours, the 753AC and the 510AC. Keen observers will realise that 510 was actually the year of the formation of Rome - which I’m sure you all picked up on straight away! Using a compliment of four KT88/6550 valves, the 510AC doesn’t lack punch. Indeed power output is a very healthy 80Watts, making it very speaker friendly indeed. This also gives plenty of reserve control to stop the bass from becoming intrusive. Full specifications can be seen on the website here.

Roma510AC B

Although not show in the photos, it comes with a very nice grill (which we realise most people take off the moment they get home) with the Synthesis logo cut into it. Very stylish. There is also a choice of colours, the wood as shown (available in dark wood or light wood), and a high gloss black.

For those who have more efficient speakers, or who don’t require the out and out power associated with KT88 valves, the 753AC, comes fitted with a pair of familiar EL34’s per side. These still offer a more than ample 50Watts, but EL34’s of course have a different sound signature to KT’s. So the sound is perhaps slightly more lively, but still open and airy. Full specifications can be seen on the website here.

Roma753AC DW

Fit and finish for Synthesis products are reaching new levels that put them well ahead of the class and both units come with a remote for input selection and volume control.

As you may expect there is one set up in the dem room, so please come and treat yourself to a listen. You never know how the music will take you.

It's taken an age to arrive - but the wait was worth every second

There are many out there, and you could include us in this one, that thought the new Synthesis integrated amplifier would never arrive.

It was always “about to leave...” and “On the way....”, but, it never actually seemed to be HERE.

Well, as if by magic, in the last weeks of December, Santa came early, because our brand new Action series 100 arrived.

For those who don’t know why we were all so excited, we should tell you that this is a full 100 watt valve amplifier that incorporates inside the name famous Matrix Valve DAC.

This is such a substantial bit of kit that we thought we would spend the next three to four weeks getting used to it, running it in and any other expression you could think of, and would then give you a Worlds first full and exclusive review.

This is now complete and so to read the full review, please click “here”.

To download the full manufacturers brochure that covers both the A100 and its slightly less powerful sibling the A50 version, please click Here.


New Primare features innovative Design

Primare has launched a new I32 integrated amplifier which boasts a whole host of features.

Excellent sound quality and fine build quality aside, which you can take for granted with pretty much any Primare device, it comes with a unique optional sound board.


This board gives a number of very handy inputs. Notably 2 x Digital Coaxial inputs, 1 x Toslink optical digital input, 1 x USB input, 1 x SD memory data input with convertor to USB (optional), 1 x LAN input, 1 x Composite or SVideo output for iPod playback, Digital and Analogue audio for iPod/iPhone interface as well as a WiFi/DAB+ interface.

With this optional board in place the whole amplifier becomes more of a media handling centre than just a mere integrated amplifier. Primare have obviously put a lot of thought into this design.

With its great looks and excellent build aligned to excellent audio qualities and technical finery, this looks to be a truly integrated system in more than just the usual sense.


Synthesis launches moster valve amp

Synthesis is preparing the release of two new monster valve integrated amplifiers. The Metropolis 100i (and the later to be released 175i) are hugely powerful integrated valve amplifiers. The 100i, due immanently, features 8 x KT66 power valves, 2 x 12BH7 driver valves and 2 x ECC83/12AX7 input stage valves.

Screen shot 2011-01-29 at 13.45.15

The outcome of this is a massively powerful 100W with real World driving capabilities. Inputs for a DAC, Tuner, DVD, CD and an XLR offer more than enough for most people, with the addition of a Pre Out, for those who may wish to use it in a Home Cinema loop.

Interno tube 2

The 100i weighs in at a hefty 50 Kgs. So don’t expect to be lifting it up with one hand free to do the dusting.

Retro 3

The amplifier offers all of the subtleties and depth you would expect from this manufacturer of valve amp extraordinaire. However, what you also get is a vice like control over the lower bass notes that previously you just couldn’t expect from the lower powered range of Tube amps. You also therefore get the chance to use speakers that would not have been available to the lover of Valve sounds because of either speaker inefficiencies or driving problems. With the new Metropolis range this is not really an issue.

So, awesome control and bass reproduction aligned with fluid valve depth, detail and musicality. All boxes ticked we think.