Model: va80 SE-x Category: Integrated Amplifier (SS) Suggested Retail Price: $400-450 Description: 45W/ch minimalist integrated amplifier with phono stage, safety cut-out feature and polished chrome facia Manufacturer URL: Not Available Manufacturer URL: Not Available
Review by NotInventedHere (P) on July 23, 2002 at 14:19:46
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for the va80 SE-xSincerely, the best value in budget integrated amps I have seen or heard thus far. British company Cambridge Audio have long been at the forefront of value-for-money sound, but Aura (who I have not seen or heard anything from for a couple of years) have them beaten with this product. You probably will not find one in the USA but, if you're lucky, you may still find a new unit in England. I picked mine up for a song.
The look is sleek and elegant but may not be to everyone's taste. Sonically, the va80's is reminiscent of it's more powerful sibling but features only one set of binding posts. The overall sound is warm and pleasant. Bass is not huge, but it's tight and well controlled. Many modern budget amps sound harsh with 'in you face' treble, but the va80's high end is smooth yet clear. Seperation is pretty good and soundstaging is trully excellent. The phono stage is superb for such a relatively inexpensive amp.
This amp may not appear in the history books but is sure to give it's owners many years of pleasure. If you see a used va-100 (Evolution) that too is worth listening to.
Product Weakness: Bass could be 'bigger'. Looks are a matter of taste. Some will want sharper treble. Product Strengths: Balance, soundstage, phono stage, tight bass
Associated Equipment for this Review: Amplifier: Aura va80 SE-x Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): integrated Sources (CDP/Turntable): Rotel 945 CD-player, Audiolab deck Speakers: Tannoy Profile 633 plus Cables/Interconnects: Monster Interlink 400, Ixos Gamma and Sonic Link cables Music Used (Genre/Selections): Classical, Jazz, Techno, Rock Room Comments/Treatments: none Time Period/Length of Audition: 2 years Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner
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Topic - REVIEW: Aura va80 SE-x Integrated Amplifier (SS) - NotInventedHere 14:19:46 07/23/02 (0)
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