Bel Canto Design eVo2i 120-Watt Integrated Amplifier Amplifiers

4.5/5 (2 Reviews) MSRP : $2990.00

Product Description

eVo2i 120-Watt Integrated Amplifier
  • Two-channel digitally processed integrated amp
  • Gen II eVo amplifier technology
  • New preamp board using technology derived from PRe6 development
  • Cool-running circuitry
  • 90% efficient computer regulated ''Class D'' operation
  • Digital Power Process for precise audio signal regulation
  • 34-amp N-channel MOSFET transistors
  • Precision volume control
  • Audio-grade decoupling capacitors and resistors
  • Optimized signal paths
  • High-spec RCA jacks
  • Balanced inputs
  • Line-out RCA connections for subwoofer, bi-amping, or signal processor
  • Connections: one balanced XLR input, three RCA jack inputs, tape loop (RCA), line out (RCA), 1 Pair 5-Way Binding post / channel

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    Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

    User Reviews

    Overall Rating:5
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by Feanor a Audio Enthusiast

    Date Reviewed: October 28, 2004

    Bottom Line:   
    My unit eVo2i integrated amp, is the "Gen II" model. The price above is the US$ equivalent of what I paid in Canadian$.

    Prior to my upgrade to the eV02i, my core system consisted of:

    = Sony SCD-CE775 SACD/CD player
    = Apt Holman pre-amp
    = NAD C270 power amp
    = Magneplanar MMG speakers
    = PSB Subsonic 6 subwoofer
    = Nordost Flatline Gold MkII speaker cable
    = QED Qunex 2 interconnects, (mostly).

    I had recently replace my 25 year old Phase Linear 400 amp with the NAD and was enjoying the smoother, more transparent sound, though a less well controlled bass. I thought my next upgrade would be a new CD or SACD player, but I was disappointed with a sound of a couple of <$1000 units I heard. I had the opportunity to listen at home to a pair of Monarchy SM70 Pro power amps which I tried both as monoblocks and in stereo mode. I was astonished at the extent of improvement over the NAD -- more detail, more spatial information, and much tighter, more extended bass. (It's a credit to my old Apt Holman that it didn't not hinder the source sound on its way to the Monarchy's.)

    The Monarch SM70 Pros are great sounding, beautifully built amps, but at only 40 watts at 4 Ohms in stereo mode, I would have had to buy a pair to effortlessly drive the MMGs. Also, I was hankering for a new pre-amp with remote control. I figured a pair of Monarchy's plus new pre-amp would run me $3000+ which was over my budget.

    So I was glad to also have the chance to hear the Bel Canto eVo1i integrated. I was able to compare the Bel Canto directly with my NAD and also briefly with the Monarchy's. (Because the Bel Canto doesn't have "power-in" jacks, I drove the NAD and Monarchy's using the "pre-out" jacks on the Bel Canto for a fairer comparison.) The Bel improvement was of the same character as the Monarchy's, equal or a little better in all categories.

    But the improvement going from the entry-level NAD to the mid/high level Bel Canto was huge surprise to me. I can characterize the Bel Canto eVo2i as sounding extremely neutral, extended but sweet on the top end, ultra-transparent, precise imaging, and spatially revealing. But its not what I would call "warm", (like the NAD). I sweetened the high top end with Kimber PBJ interconnects, (which are relatively high capacitance, low impedance) -- with a different CD play this might have been unnecessary.

    As it was, many of my CDs that I thought had digital "hash" were revealed to have better spatial information and instrument harmonics than I had ever suspected. Hence I'm quite glad I decided to first update the amp rather than the source. Onthe other hand, I have a few CDs that I had thought were "musical" that now sound quite murky by comparison.

    I have rate the eVo2i as only a '4' for value. The unit is pretty expensive, and to be fair, I haven't had the opportunity to compare it directly with various other, well-regarded integrated amps are in the $1500-2500 range, such as the Creek 5250SE, the Naim 5i, Arcam A90, or Simaudio i-3. If he or she has the chance, I would recommend that a prospective purchaser audition as many of these others as possible. However I'd bet the Bel Canto eVo2i will be a front-runner for most people.

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    Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

    Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

    Product model year:   2004

    Price Paid:    $2600.00

    Purchased At:   Everest Audio

    Overall Rating:4
    Value Rating:4
    Submitted by DMolisher a AudioPhile

    Date Reviewed: August 23, 2004

    Bottom Line:   
    My unit was a used Gen I version; the Gen II is supposed to be even better (and hopefully corrects some of the minor flaws [see Weaknesses below] of my unit). My value rating is based on the list price; at my used price, it's certainly 5/5.

    This is a GREAT integrated amp. It easily outclasses anything below $1K, but I honestly didn't do a lot of comparisons with other units in its $3K price range, esp. since I only paid $1.5K. The digital features (see Strengths below) make it rather unique and appealing to me, in any case; and I have no complaints about the sound in my (bedroom) settting (with mini-monitors incapable of deep bass anyway), so I'm not the least bit interested in replacing this baby, regardless... Plus, I've never heard vibrophones reproduced so beautifully & realistically. The clarity of the bell-like midrange is very seductive!

    I actually did also audition the Bel Canto Evo2 Gen I power amp in my main system, and my only minor complaints there were a perceived lack of frequency extension in both the bass and very high treble regions, as well as a slight lack of pace (or quickness of transients), compared with my Simaudio Moon W-3 solid state power amp. I've read that the Gen II amps improve on these minor weaknesses, however, and I'm interested in trying one...

    Expand full review >>

    Used product for:   1 to 3 months

    Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

    Product model year:   2003

    Price Paid:    $1450.00

    Purchased At:   AudiogoN USED

    Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

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