Audio Innovations Series 500 Integrated Amplifiers

4.65/5 (23 Reviews) MSRP : $1600.00


Product Description

25 Watt Integrated Amp


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Reviews 1 - 5 (23 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Glyn Lea-Jones a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 19, 2016

Bottom Line:   
It appears that there have been no reviews or comments on the Audio Innovations Series 500 for many years now so I thought I'd add this.

I have owned a Series 500 for over 15 years now. Before that a series 400. Over the time I have owned the amplifier it has been mainly trouble free. I have had a few issues with the low quality selector switches and volume pot but these were replaced with high quality alternatives.

Recently my 500 has undergone some pretty major upgrades. All internal capacitors have been replaced using NOS Blackgate or Mundorf alternatives. Much of the internal wiring swapped out along with the removal of the balance pot and unused inputs such as tape etc.
Valves are NOS Mullard & Telefunken.

Running in this configuration my amplifier is truly stunning and will outclass anything you care to stand it alongside within it price range. They can be purchased secondhand these days for around £500 in the UK. I suppose realistically I've maybe spent another £700.00 on the service upgrades in addition to the NOS valves. I consider this absolute value for money.

The 500 series was always a good amplifier as standard but was held back by poor quality volume pots, switch gear and valves. Modernising the internal components overcomes the ageing effect and lifts it's performance level to way beyond anything it ever achieved when originally manufactured.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995



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

Date Reviewed: August 12, 2003

Bottom Line:   
Beautiful, glare free, detailed treble, detailed mid range and tight, accurate, tuneful bass.

The performance of this amp does diminish with age and it should be serviced at least every 5 years - although that mostly entails revalving, which you can do yourself.

I haven't heard a better sounding amp in this price range. The Sugden A28 comes close. Input switches and volume/balance pots are not of the highest quality and when the time comes for an extensive service it is a good idea to replace them. I don't know much about valves, but I'm told by Boarder Patrol that the standard ones can be improved on considerably.

The amp has been in daily use since 1988 and has broken down once. Fixed and serviced promptly by the makers - now sadly defunct. In the process of upgrading other components over the years, I have listened to may amps, some much more expensive and have never wanted to part with my 500. It may not have any big strengths but it does everything well and has a knack of just disappering, leaving only the music.

In its 15th year (with two services in the interim), the addition of a higher quality front end (Naim CD5 with Hi Cap) has exposed slight raggedness in the top end, some lack of bass control and a sligh L/R imbalance. As I write this, it's at Boarder Patrol being refurbished to 1996 spec, having the volume pot changed, and they'de talked me into an external power supply.

In a week's time I will likely be set for another 15 years.

Although rated at 25W, this amp has balls. And it looks beautiful. Highly recommended if in good working order. Don't be put off by the way some valve amps sound. This one is a belter.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $999.00

Purchased At:   Tonbridge Audio Cons



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

Date Reviewed: November 1, 2002

Bottom Line:   
this is my first valve amp and i think i hit it lucky,i have a pair of kef 105s purchased of another friend for £200 and used a pair of quad transistor mono blocks
sounded good but then purchased the ai 500
could not belive the differance in sound,extended bass and a stereo image and transparence like i had never heard,betterd when a invested in some qed silver speaker cable.love it!!!
intrested in any mods?

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1995

Price Paid:    $400.00

Purchased At:   Off a friend.



Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by ed mulkens a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 11, 2002

Bottom Line:   
every one likes a different sound

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   de jong systems



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

Date Reviewed: August 31, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Just a followup to my review below.

I have since added a Borderpatrol power, changed the coupling caps to auricaps, and the cathode electrolytics to Blackgates. The sound is truly remarkable. I've compared it to amps in the $3-$5000 range with outstanding results.

Before the changes this amps weaknesses were its mushy bass and its inability to remain articulate during complex passages. No longer. Now the bass is tight and textured, imaging is holographic, and the amp is infinitely more musical.

My recommendation for somebody who doesn't have the cash to pay for the Borderpatrol(amazing!) is to change the cathode electrolytics to Blackgates. It's cheap, and in my case it provided the next biggest improvement.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995




Reviews 1 - 5 (23 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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