Sometime earlier this year, I paid Avantgarde Acoustic a visit in the quiet town of Lautertal (near to Frankfurt) to view their brand new production facilities and showroom that took more than 2 years to build.
While it was very educational to see the assembly of these amazing horn speakers and to appreciate the finer points of their product design and the quality of the parts used, the highlight for me was listening to music in their beautiful showroom! The top model TRIO with triple-level Basshorns really, really needs to be heard to be believed!
To say they were impressive is a gross understatement and doesn’t do justice to the realism this huge speaker system can achieve with any music that goes through it. The dynamic contrast, transient attack and decay, the clarity and separation of details, bass depth impact, and wall to wall sound staging are all truly first class in my book!
Sure, not many music lovers can accommodate nor afford such an ambitious design but the good news is that Avantgarde make equally good horn systems that can fit into any normal home (even small ones :)), and still sound and look amazingly good!
Our annual hifi show MOD DAC 2-13 was held over the weekend (17-18 Aug.) at the raffles City Convention Centre, and we would like to thank all those who have supported us by attending the show and especially those who have given us feedback that we had probably the best sound of the show! Everything was unofficial of course, so there were no prizes for that :).
This year, we demoed the latest and most compact horn speaker from Avantgarde Acoustic, the UNO Fino and partnered with ANUK amplification. Digital source was handled by the AMR CD-777 tube CD player and vinyl was played through the TW Raven GT, Reed 3P and Transfiguration Proteus combination. Here are some photos taken at the show for the benefit of those who were unable to attend.
I’ve lived with all the versions of Silbatone’s iconic integrated amplifier, from the original JI-300 right up to the latest MKIII version that I’m listening to right now. As good as the first one was, the MKII version improved on it significantly and this latest version is by far their best one yet!
Using a single WE 300B output tube per channel in pure Class A single-ended mode, this MKIII version is now using all silver-foil output transformers, silver-foil capacitors and pure silver internal wiring from one of the best known manufacturers of pure silver cables. Together with a chassis that is built like a battleship, this amp is one that you will not soon forget!
On initial listening, the level of transparency is simply amazing, revealing details that normally would be barely audible in the background. The speed and bass control of this single-ended tube amplifier is also outstanding to say the least!
In fact, I would go so far as to say that it can challenge the best solid-state amps in those areas that are traditionally their strong points but without losing that all-important musical character that is so beloved of good 300B amplifiers. So much so that I can boldly declare that this is THE best 300B integrated amplifier that I have ever listened to, regardless of price!
Will it be the best for you? That is a question that only you can answer and you’ll know the answer after auditioning it in our showroom! The Silbatone JI-300 MKIII is currently on demo in our main soundroom with the magnificent Avantgarde DUO Mezzo horn speaker system.