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Tubes Asylum: REVIEW: Audio Innovations Series 500 Integrated Amplifier (Tube) by Bassman

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REVIEW: Audio Innovations Series 500 Integrated Amplifier (Tube)

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Model: Series 500
Category: Integrated Amplifier (Tube)
Suggested Retail Price: unknown
Description: Integrated, class A, push-pull, all tube amplifier with phono preamp
Manufacturer URL: Not Available
Manufacturer URL: Not Available

Review by Bassman on December 18, 2002 at 05:00:45
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for the Series 500

This is an integrated, class A, ultralinear, push-pull, all tube amplifier with phono preamp, 2x25 Watts.
I have had it for a couple of months now, and I bought it used (from my brother, who have had it in the closet for a couple of years).
When I bought it, it was all stock, very little used.
It had a problem with scratchy pots and red glowing tubes.
I changed tubes to Svetlana 4xEL34 and Ruby Tubes 2x6922 and 3xECC83 and cleaned all pots and switches and also the tube sockets.
Now it sounded much more detailed and precise and red glowing tubes are no more.
I have also lowered the filament voltage to 6.3V with some resistors, and bypassed the balance pot.
Compared to my SS Marantz KI 66 SI amp, this amp is more liquid, not harsh at all, but I can hear more details nevertheless. It has a fuller, more potent sound with no overcontrasted edges. It sounds "natural".
It shows it´s best side, when played at "live" volume, that is not to quiet. Then it really shines.
The phono preamp is very good and quiet(no hum) and I enjoy my LP´s much more now, in fact I prefer listening to them than to cd, which also sounds very good.
The only problems I have with it is that it gets hot after 4-5 hours and that was about the time it took to produce the red glowing tubes before, so now I switch off and let it cool down then.
The other "problem" is the volume pot is so sensitive, I never turn it beyond 8 o´clock, but that may be because of sensitive speakers?
Otherwise I´m very happy with it and so is my wife.

Product Weakness: Very crowded chassis, difficult to repair/change. Gets hot.
The lowest bass is rolled off a bit.
Product Strengths: It´s like a cup of hot chocolate, smooth and warm.
Fullbodied and detailed.

Associated Equipment for this Review:
Amplifier: Marantz KI 66 SI 2x80 Watts
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): none
Sources (CDP/Turntable): Ariston RD40 with Rega RB300 and Goldring Eroica. CD: Arcam Alpha7
Speakers: JPW 910 floorstanders
Cables/Interconnects: DIY CAT5 speaker cable, Van den Hul interconnect
Music Used (Genre/Selections): Pop, jazz, classical
Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner

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Topic - REVIEW: Audio Innovations Series 500 Integrated Amplifier (Tube) - Bassman 05:00:45 12/18/02 ( 6)