AUDIOMAT Féstival

EXT30.03.2010

Power amplifiers

Philosophically speaking, how it is possible that the Audiomat listeners say that the voice of Frank Sinatra in Nice & Easy is perfectly realistic, undistorted and tonally correct? None of them have ever had a chance to hear it live! The same can be extended to the voices of Linda Ronstadt or Anna Netrebko, to name a few. When the Audiomat was replaced by a different amplifier the level of involvement of the listeners dropped.

100% reference

Funkce a forma

91%
Ergonomie
78%
Zvuk
92%
Zpracování

I would like to initiate you to an Audiomat´s flagship: a tubed combo - Audiomat Opus 2 preamplifier and a pair of Audiomat Festival power amplifiers, hence monoblocks.

The gear of Audiomat shows the typical combination of technical estetics and French charm. Just touch their cool toggle switches, try to lift up their amplifier or feel the heat coming out from their cockpits and you will know that it is something special. The marketing is surpressed: an excellent product will find its customer – this is the credo of the company.

The Opus 2 is a line preamplifier with balanced (XLR) and unbalanced (RCA) inputs and outputs. The internal circuitry is fully balanced with 4x6CG7 and 4x12B4 in its tube complement.

The Festivals are mono amplifiers (do not forget that you need two of them for stereo) virtually built to survive a nuclear catastrophe. They can generate as much as 155W in pure Class A into 4 ohms as well as rather substantial amount of heat that suffices to keep you warm in wintertime. The Festival uses 6CG7 and 12B4 tubes in its input stage and 8 tetrodes Svetlana KT88 for output.

Nízké frekvence

Váha
89
Výbušnost
86
Artikulace
87

Starting from the bottom end it is not so straightforward as it may seem – the Audiomat´s bass morphs with the material that is used. It is not earthshaking, rather well rounded and full. It is precise but not overly detailed. In fact, it is very understated, that is to say very well balanced with the rest of a music. Like in a real life.

If you reach for some well known bass-rich recordings like Pink Floyd or Dire Straits you will find out that the bass of the Audiomat knows how to be fast and deep, but this is not exceptional - even some lesser amplifiers can be pretty efficient in that sense. Once you start listening to reference jazz and classical recordings you will adore the Audiomat´s very fine scaling from the lowest octaves up to midbass. No problem with cranking up the volume a bit, the bass remains balanced and incisive without any domination or sounding bombastic.

Čistota rozlišení

Detail
88
Vzduch
88
Transparentnost
87

You can feel some of the thinnest veil over the brilliant transparency of a string section. But wait – once the supporting violins drift away only a fragile and silvery sound remains. Beautiful and uplifting it is.
Jazz cymbals are rich in tonal colors and when you get them right you can savor their vibrating bodies, like in Jacques Loussier Trio (The Bach Book) A violinist´s fingers travel the violin´s neck, you can hear the fingers tapping, strings vibrating and the violinist inhaling – this is where the highend excitement comes from. I could not sense any constraints to the sound of the violin neither I could identify any dynamic compression or softening in big clashes of symphonic cymbals (quite an agressive instrument it is in reality) that would otherwise indicate a presence of tubes. Add perfect soundstaging and it is clear that the listening became a very relaxed event with a cleanly aid out sound.

Tonální věrnost

Témbr
85
Dynamika
88
Časování
88

Whatever happens in mids becomes easily a backbone of any music. Here, the Audiomat excels. Listen, for instance, to well-known jazz compositions as they appeared on Best Audiophile Voices (JVC, XRCD). The voices of female vocalists dwell in similar frequency domains, however, a sonic detail is what makes individual singers interesting and easily distinguishable. Washes of strings leave no doubt about the members of a string quartet – the voices of violin, viola and cello are full of colors, velvety overtones and clear portrayal. I could almost say the brand of the strings that were used for this recording and the make of the instruments. I do not know if my guess is correct – there is no information in the booklet, but it is a revealing experience.

It is highly entertaining to listen to some of the most familiar recordings through the Audiomat. Again, the voices are good indication of any nastiness in the mids. If you do not get Fitzgerald & Armstrong duet right (Ella Fitzgerald - Louis Armstrong, Ella and Louis, SACD), you would hear it. A piece of cake for the Audiomat. Both the warm raspiness of Armstrong´s voice and almost brutal sound of his trumpet combine rough edge with soothing qualities right now in my living room.

Prostorovost

Trojrozměrnost
90
Šířka scény
90
Hloubka scény
91

I do not care about specifications a lot. I am happy that I could spent most of my life on stages with music and people as well as with famous conductors and artists. I learnt how to feel the music and instruments and reveal their pros and cons. And not only the music – there is a plenty of noise in a concert hall that is a necessary part of any live performance. Therefore I prefer those precious moments which draws you nearer to this reality than the sound that is made to impress you. That is why the Audiomat Opus 2 preamplifier and Festival monoblocks are wonderful partners on my musical journey.

Cena v době recenze:495 000,- Kč

Doporučení prodejci

Interaudio SK, Komárno, tel. +421 905 884 677

Připojené komponenty

  • Sources: EMM Labs TSD-1/DAC-2
  • Amplifiers:Audiomat Féstival, Audiomat Ópera 2
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: Nordost Valhalla
  • Loudspeakers: Triangle Magellan Cello SW2
  • Power conditioning: IsoTek Titan, Nordost Odin

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