Antique Sound Lab AQ1003 Stereo Push pull Integrated Amplifiers

4.75/5 (4 Reviews)

Product Description

- Detachable Power cord.
- Heavy duty gold plate 5 ways speaker post Output Terminal.
- Shining steel Chassis Finish.
- Front Panel Finish (Aluminum /Gold /Silver or Black Anodizing).

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: September 14, 2004

Bottom Line:   
I am very pleased with this integrated tube amplifier, which is my first (relatively) high dollar stereo purchase. The tone is pleasing to me, and even non-musicians and non-stereo enthusiasts recognize that it sounds excellent and make comments to me about how nice it sounds just out of the blue. That, to me, says a lot.

I run the amp through some vintage Pioneer speakers and the sound compared to my old Kenwood SS amp is like night and day. I get dynamics, clarity, presence, and warmth, as well as solid low end even at low volumes, that I have never heard in any home system. Voices sound human. Strings resonate. Everything seems more balanced.

For the money, this was a great purchase. I am sure you can get more powerful amps or better sounding amps for twice the money or more, but I am satisfied with what I got vs what I paid for this amp. The performance astounds me. I am not a long-time stereo component buyer and I do not profess to have a golden ear, but I have been a musician all of my life and I listen to music almost all day long. The sound of this stereo impresses me.

Due to it's relatively low power, the amp will not drive many common speaker brands that require more power. I am told that one must match the amp to speakers of at least 87 db efficiency (another reviewer said 91 db).

I read that SET amplifiers have cleaner signal in the first few watts than this kind of design would have. So, if you use too efficient a speaker with an amp of the power of the 1003, you cannot turn the amp up to a level where it the S/N ratio is low and the music sounds right. My subjective experience has been that all tube amplifiers have a 'sweet spot' on the volume dial. While this amp has a big sweet spot, (it starts around 9:00 on the dial and ends around 3:00,) I don't know that it would sound as clear at very low volumes with very efficient speakers as a SET amp.

Therefore, you have to carefully match speakers within a narrow efficiency range (87 to 91 db, say) that can be driven with a relatively low power amp.

I am looking for speakers now, and I have had a bit of trouble matching my preferences for cost and performance with the speakers I have found in this power and sensitivity range. It is not hopeless, just a bit challenging.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Price Paid:    $850.00

Purchased At:   Uptown Audio, Roanok

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by Marcos a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 7, 2004

Bottom Line:   
This is my first venture into tubes so i'm hardly an expert. I will tell you that the unit is very solid and heavy, weighing almost 50 pounds, so make sure you have a strong shelf. The build quality looks good and I found no apparant flaws. The unit came from AA with JJ 12AU7s and ASL EL34s, which I believe to be Chinese. To be honest, I found the unit to have very weak bass and a harsh midrange, especially on female vocals such as Nora Jones and on Dave Brubeck's piano on Take Five. I was intent on returning it (thank goodness for the AA 30 day return policy)but the unit still had a sweetness on instruments like acoustic guitar that was very seductive, so I decided to invest $60 and pick up some Russian SED EL34s, just to see if it was a tube thing. Man, I was totally knocked out at the difference. Even after one day's burn-in, the amp sounded twice as sweet and the bass took on impact rivalling solid-state. I still expect significant improvements after the unit burns in properly, but I am very optimistic.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2004

Price Paid:    $998.00

Purchased At:   Audio Advisor

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

Date Reviewed: August 20, 2003

Bottom Line:   
The price quoted is in U$ my cost was C$1050 +/-

The amp is well built and is cosmetically pleasing. I have used it with very high efficiency speakers since new ( Klipsch KLF30's 102db/1 metre and thence Klipschorns 104db/1 meter.

Not suprisingly the AQ drove/drives them to extreme levels.

The AQ1003DT is one hell of a nice amp and unless one were attempting to drive exceptionally inefficient speakers it has power and dynamic headroom aplenty.

You can easily pay a lot more and get a lot less.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   The Audio Room - Cal

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by macone a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 24, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Price paid above is in Canadian dollars,so in US money retails for about 700,making it a tremendous value.
This is my first run at tube sound.I did alot of research,here and in the shops,before settling on this unit.My interest in tubes started with a Cambridge integrated,a solid state amp that perported to be one of the most "tube-like" sounding amp around.I liked the warmth and lack of brightness,but like many,was fearful of giving up wattage in moving to tubes.My fears were totally unfounded....this thing has lots of guts.I was also worried about bass response....ditto on the outcome there too.Another reluctance was the "fiddle factor" knowledge of tubes was limited,but I did remember that folks into tubes in the 60's spent alot of time with bias meters,swapping out tubes,and generally fooling around with the electronics of their amps....another ditto..this amp has an integrated bias meter,and adjustment posts for each output tube(a breeze,being close to "set-and-go").It was at this point that I realized that real bottleheads kinda get into the messing around as part of the fun of it all.I have in fact traded a couple sets of tubes already,finding that there are differences between manufaturers,some pronounced,some too subtle for me to justify.Rest assured,the tubes it comes with are more than adequate(tho I did settle on JJ outputs).
To the sound....Real real sweet.None of that high end brightness that sends ya to bed with a headache every night.The frequencies are all there,just not as piercing or in-yer-face...lets call it "natural".Midrange performance is smoooooth as grain,no sibilance added.Bass response is quite amazing...maybe not with the slam of solid state,but just like the highs,it's all there.Most impressive is the detail,providing an image that is focused,with plenty of space between musicians...soundstage is wide,deep and very involving.(this also an effect of the speakers I ,finally,matched to it.)
I thought I would miss having a remote.Well, a couple nights in I didn't miss it at all....tends to make you listen more closely somehow not having one.Thought I would miss any other controls too,like tone controls.Properly matched,they are never needed(and only get in the way of the signal).
This amp will not drive yer Energy towers,or any other power hungry speaker.It needs to be matched to a pair of speakers with about 91db or more sensitivity,but the marketplace in this range is huge,with lots ot choose from.
I think tube apmlifiers are a tad more sensitive to cables and interconnects,so budget with this in mind.
Slap on a little Nora and be in heaven.(There is good reason she won recording of the year last night,but if yer running anything under $3000 in solid state,you just wouldn't understand why;)
ASL AQ 1003
Rotel RCD 971 cd player
Triangle Titus speakers
Athena ASP400 sub
van Den Hul interconnects
Prism bi-wire by Tara Labs
PS Audio power cable
Blue Circle BC86 power conditioner
This system cost about $3500 canadian,all in...that's about 2 grand US.I have heard systems costing five or even ten times that amount,all solid state...and they don't come close to this.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $1100.00

Purchased At:   executive stereo tor

Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating