General Asylum: REVIEW: Magnum Audio Class A Integrated Amplifier (SS) by tmavr
General audio topics that don't fit into specific categories.
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This one is not a fancy looking amplifier, it does not have a remote controll and it is running hot (as any other Class A). But that's all the drawbacks that it has!
So lets start over with this review. Magnum decided in 1998 that they should begin producing the Class A amplifier. Some year later they also begun producing the second edition (SE) model.
The inputs should fit every need. There are 4 line inputs, 1 tape and one phono. A monitor is as usual included but there is also a selector for the recording output. There is a preamplifier output if you ever need one. You may also find a mute button and a balance dial.
The power amplifier is driven by a pair of seperate stabilized power supplies, one for each channel. The preamplifier features a similar couple of power supplies, which makes this amplifier weighting more than 15Kgr.
Class A amplifiers have always been considered to have superior sound when compared with ordinary amplifiers. And this is also true for magnum's implementation. The bass is warm, dynamic and absolutely controlled. In fact one could be tricked to think that there are valves inside this black monster. The mid range is apocalyptic, vocals -and especially female voices- are great. Treble is accurate and for those who have the right speakers the frequency is not limited to 20Khz.
Let's get a more 'personal' look of the amplifier. This amplifier likes demanding music, and it likes to play a bit louder -as always others in this price range-. It especially 'likes' Jazz music (try it with a track form Miles Davis) and it excels on classic rock (the likes of AC/DC or Eagles or Zeppelin). Environmental music like Pink Floyd sounds perfect! Modern music like MOBY sounds very powerful. The details that this amplifier produces are extraordinary; and it guarantees that you will find new musical details on tracks that you have heard thousand times before. The sound stage is very wide and deep on all kinds of music but you also have to combine it with good cables and speakers to get the most.
When considering a complete system with this amplifier, one should be prepared to experiment a bit. You need a good quality source or else you will not be able to explore its capabilities. Try put some more money in interconnects and cables because with this amplifier you will hear the difference! As for speakers... you would better try to match this amplifier with speakers that are priced more than the amplifier. Try getting speakers that can provide solid bass and clear treble up to 35Khz. If you (like me) like a bit more bass than usual go for floor standers. Finally, get some sensitive speakers.
As for tweaks... I will post some of them after I try them myself, up to then enjoy the music... and send me any feedback that you have.
I have compared this amplifier with Musical Fidelity XA2, Cairn 8xxx, Rotel 9xx, NAD 3xx and Audio Analogue Puccini (All models that are in the same price range). The combination of Magnum Class A's sound detail, control, dynamics and sound stage were not matched by any of those (at least in my ears).
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Topic - REVIEW: Magnum Audio Class A Integrated Amplifier (SS) Review by tmavr at Audio Asylum - tmavr 04:41:52 03/16/01 ( 0)