Plinius SA-Reference Amplifiers

5/5 (3 Reviews)

Product Description

  • Input Impedance: 47k Ohms
  • Premium components
  • High frequency performance
  • Asymmetric approach to circuit design

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Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Nils-Jorgen Kjaernet a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 11, 2012

Bottom Line:   
Plinius SA-Reference is one of the best amplifiers you can buy for money. It have all you need of power to drive all speakers on the market. The sound is near the perfect, It's difficult to point out some missing or something that irritating. You can relax and listen to music for hours!
The only problem is heat production in warm summer days, but in the winter time here in Norway it will only compensate for an other heat oven in my listening room. It's heavy but that is also a quality stamp. In the inside it's a vel done design and the layout on the printed circuit boards with high quality components. The price you pay is low for this amplifier compared to other competitors, you get very much performance per dollar.
I can not give this amplifier any bad comments.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2010

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Daryl Mills a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: February 12, 2010

Bottom Line:   
It has been cconsidered as a negative attribute of this amp that they run too hot (in class A) and that they are too heavy. This I find is basically the mutterings of a fool and usually from a critic who knows litle about audio.
The weight is a plus for this product and it is a major reason to the stunning performance. This weight is needed to prevent vibrations and to assist in substances such as PloyCrystals to perform their job. In fact, if you campare the Reference to the earlier SA250's, you will see it has infact been trimmed down (on the construction side).
As for the temperature, it runs no where as hot as the big Krells do and not hot enough to burn yourself on. Class A biasing only goes only as far as 100W/chan after which it reverts back to AB.
The Reference is miles ahead of a lot of other solid state amps and runs in the big time with the Brystons, the Krells, Halcros and Chords.

An amp well worth teh audition.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2004

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Aurel00 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: June 1, 2005

Bottom Line:   
Dear friends,

As my english is far from perfect, I'll make it short.

I have been living with a Plinius SA-REFERENCE amplifier for a few weeks now. This amplifier is something incredible that can hardly be described by words. It's more of an art masterpiece than a standard piece of engineering. Yes, it is *extremely* impressive from the technical point of view (believe me, I am researcher in physics, familiar with space-qualified electronic devices). Yes, it is "built like a tank" and will last more than a lifetime. Yes, it will probably perform great on the test bench. Yes, it features huge power, low distortion, high bias operating mode, great-looking design, balanced and unbalanced inputs, etc.

But the most important is somewhere else : this amplifier is more than electronics, it is a musical instrument by itself ! Not that it modifies the sound or add its own coloration (I would hate this) : but its ability to create emotion is just incredible ! I would say that it sounds on vocals like the most refined SET amplifiers but with infinite power in addition. Its low frequency extension and control is just incredible ! Its treble is a marvel of delicacy and subtlety. You can listen to Pink Floyd or to Bach, to Patricia Barber or Glenn Gould, it will be a totally new feeling ! I have never experienced this before... I have listen to most of the high-end amplifiers available in my country and I would say that the SA-REF is more than better : it is alone in its class.

It is expensive. So is a German car or a Swiss watch. Is it expensive for what it is ? No, I don't think so. I you can afford, I am deeply convinced that you can get the BEST AMP IN THE WORLD (on all possible criteria) for a price which is far from being the highest.

Nothing is perfect. I know this as a physicist. But as far as I can judge from a technical and from an artistic viewpoint, the SA-REF is so close from being perfect that there is no need to go beyond. I am sure there will be other great amps on the market in the future. Even Plinius will probably replace it in a decade or so. But, for me, that's the end of the game : I have found the "ultimate" amplifier. I cannot distinguish between live music and music through the SA-REF, whatever the volume (up to frighteningly high sound pressures) and whatever the music style : why looking for anything more ?

Buying the SA-REF is the advice I would give to my best friend : you *cannot* be disappointed. Whatever you are looking for (power, refinement, control, bandwidth, imaging, soundstaging, etc.), you will find it. I am sorry, I am unable to find any drawback, even on the look of the amp which is really nice !

To conclude, let me add that even my wife and my parents who are not audiophiles noticed immediately the difference with the other amps I have tried in my system. This amplifier creates this rare "Wow" effect.

If you want to see pics of my SA-REF you can have a look at : (thread "Mon SA-REFERENCE !").

The SA-REF is more than a reference, it is a statement, a final answer to what I was looking for. Thank you Plinius people, your are magicians ( with a serious knowledge in electronics :-) ) !

I would like to add that most of what I said in this message is, in my opinion, true for the other Plinius gears (including the great integrated amps and the new CD player). At their price points, they are probably unbeatable. In my country, they have received fantastic reviews in audio magazines but, more important, they have also been praised by music journals (often called "nearly perfect products"). There is a Plinius

Best regards,


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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Reviews 1 - 3 (3 Reviews Total)

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