Plinius 8150i Integrated Amplifiers

4.85/5 (39 Reviews)


Product Description

2-channel Integrated Amplifier


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Reviews 1 - 5 (39 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ray Hunter a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 25, 2017

Bottom Line:   
I bought the 8150 second hand in 2013 from someone who had upgraded to a Perreaux Audiant (I live in NZ). But in their opinion there was no discernible sound quality difference between the two, they just wanted the digital input features of the Perreaux.

I already owned a pair of mk1 Epos ES14's and had always wanted to own a Plinius. After buying the 8150 I purchased an Audiolab 8200CD CD player and a Pro-ject Debut Carbon TT. I have been very happy with the sound quality. Amazing power, heft, dynamics, clarity, finesse, PRAT etc.

However some things always niggled me. It ran hot (as the 8150's do) but seemed to run hotter on the right-hand side, however this never seemed to affect the sound quality. Also there seemed to be an abnormal amount of audible buzzing when no music was playing, even at a reasonable sitting distance. I also felt it was not producing the "emotion" that I felt it should be capable of considering the 8150's reputation, and some albums (tracks) I listen to sounded a bit harsh?, but I concluded at the time that this was a fault of the CD player.

A few months ago I decided to get it serviced as it was coming up to 20 years old. I emailed Plinius but they did not reply to me, so I contacted an audio amplifier repair expert in my home town who had done repairs for me in the past. I knew he was retired but thought I would try my luck.

Well, I got lucky.

I found out that he repaired Plinius products for Plinius themselves, so he had an excellent knowledge of this model. He not only serviced it, but he upgraded it as well with modifications not even Plinius did.

It turns out that as this was a budget model from Plinius for people who cannot afford their flagship Class A amps etc they cut corners in the components they used, and it also had a design flaw that was never completely solved.

The main power supply capacitors were 8,500uf Marcons, a budget (non-audiophile) capacitor with a lower temperature rating of 85 degrees. They were down 10% on spec after 17 years of operation, so he replaced them with 10,000uf Elnas at 105 degrees temperature rating. He also added/replaced some other capacitors in the main amp with audiophile grade capacitors to improve the performance. He also had to re-solder every joint in the main amplifier section as it had been poorly soldered in the factory.

The voltage regulation for the pre-amplifier section was an interesting case. Apparently when the 8150 first came out the voltage regulators for the pre-amplifier were mounted flat on the pre-amp board with small heat-sinks. But these two components run REALLY HOT. So Plinius moved them off the board and mounted them on the right-hand heat-sink instead. The problem was they used to reside on the left-hand side of the board so the fly-leads to them became really long. The length caused instability of the power regulation, causing audio noise. That was also why the 8150 seemed to run hotter on the right-hand side. So instead he mounted the two transistors on their own heat-sink back on the left-hand side on posts off the main amplifier heat-sink with shortened fly-leads, straight to the board where they should be. He also added some more capacitors to the pre-amp to improve performance. He also fixed a previous repair mistake and reset the idle current.

How does it sound now? It's not an 8150 anymore, its something else.

The 8150 was really good before, but now it's amazing. I'd hazard to say I now have an integrated that rivals the latest Plinius models, except maybe for sheer power. The noticeable harshness I heard listening to some CD tracks has gone. The sound is softer with more detail, more musical, more emotional. It's like a veil has been removed that I was not aware was there. Dynamics are amazing with more punch. The buzzing sound I heard has just about gone and it no longer feels hotter on the right-hand side. This is how the 8150 should have been to begin with I reckon (although it would have cost more:).

I will not be parting with the 8150.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000



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

Date Reviewed: June 29, 2004

Bottom Line:   
I purchased this amp used from Audiogon after reviewing many amplifiers on line. I wanted to stay with an integrated amp for now and the Plinius seemed to be the best for me. This Plinius is an upgrade from my previous amp an Audio Refinement Complete. The Audio Refinement is an excellent amp for the money and I was very happy with it; I just got the upgrade bug. I live in a condo so at this time I would say the Plinius has more than enough power to drive my Vienna Acoustic Mozart speakers.

The first thing which struck me about the Plinius is how good it sounds at low, low volumes. The clarity is amazing, and the detail and separation of the instruments makes listening to familiar cd's a revelation. I did notice one peculiar but nice acoustical phenomona right away. When you are seated and listening to music the volume seems very loud, but when you stand up and walk a short distance away you realize it wasn't that loud. I don't know how to explain it other than the sound is so full and rich that maybe my ears perceive it as being loud? This is the first time I have ever experienced this phenomona.

A couple things about the amp, it came to me used and when I first hooked it up one channel was out. I had the sender make a claim with UPS. I then sent the amp for repairs to Advanced Audio the Plinius state side repair facility. Vince did an excellent job of repairing the damage and leaving the amp stock with no upgrades to make it an 8200 model. There was some circuit board damage to the phono section because a previous owner operated this amp with the ground loop disconnected. This can send DC through the ciruit board and what will happen is the DC will burn up the copper traces on the board. So if you have an amp with a noisy phono section this is might be what is wrong with the amp. The pre-amp needed repair as well. Is UPS capable of this kind of damage, I wonder? From what I understand the 8150 is the most coveted model of the series and actually has a higher resale value than the 8200's.

I have had the amp less than a week and I am sure it will sound better once a couple of the new transistors are broken in. I leave it on all the time and since it's inside a cabinet with a door I purchased a small fan to keep it cool. The construction is solid with high quality components throughout. In the past, I always kind of dismissed more expensive amplifiers believing them to be a waste of money. Boy was I wrong, this Plinius is several orders of magnitude superior to the Audio Refinement and the Audio Refinement is pretty nice. I think I now have an amp I can keep for a long, long, time.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $1050.00

Purchased At:   used



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by ttrulis510 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 15, 2002

Bottom Line:   
Very pleased with the overall sound of the amp. Full bodied without being bloated. Very natural. Never harsh, but very revealing. Great impact and speed.
Beautiful to look at and operate.
Has a the guts of a big amp but does not lack the finesse, either.
This amp is for anyone who wants to simplify their system, but not at the expense of the music. While it is not cheap, it beats the pants off of several other integrateds in the price range.
It ain't tubes, but it does not have a harsh transistor , or fuzzy mos-fet sound either. What it does have is a true "rightness" to the sound.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $1500.00

Purchased At:   Analog Shop



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by ben garland a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 15, 2002

Bottom Line:   
below is the review on my 8200 i also own a 8150 and i muust say i like the 8150 better as it has a warmer sound and actually better slam in the low end,therefore i am revising my scores on the 8150,this review is on the plinius 8200 (not a upgrades 8150i but a new 8200) the unit looks like the 8150 .actually sounds like a 8150 but does it perform like the 8150 or is it better?it does cost more and yes it does have more watts but is it better? well i owned a 8150 and a 8200 i sold the 8200 a few months ago, it is a great amp ,and it performs flawlessly while i owned it the bass was like my 8150 (quiet a slam) the highs were excellent ,i would recommend the 8200 to anybody i found the performance way above the dollar spent ,but for some reason it did not have the same tonal response as the 8150. i was told that plinius did not use the same parts in the power supply as used in the 8150,if this is true then i guess that would explain the sound differences,but let me say no matter which amp you choose the 8150 or the 8200 you will be more than happy as both sounded great,and both have enough power to drive any speaker,and both beat the pants off the krell,and other integrated amps of the $3000-$4000 price range

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $1800.00



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

Date Reviewed: May 31, 2001

Bottom Line:   
Recently upgraded from 8150 to 8200 and after intial burn-in I am overwhelmed with the richer sound. Better detail with extended highs and tight bass. Plenty of clean detail for an honest presentation. More realistic than before. Better imaging; I mean the instruments sound so clean and precise and real in the room. Better soundstage as well.

I listen to jazz, classical, alt-country, rock and find that voices seem cleaner and fuller, and a full scale orchestra seems vibrant and richly textured. True pleasure.

System:
Arcam Alpha 9
Dynaudio Contour Mk II
Harmonic Technology cables and interconnect
Custom Power Company Power Cord Model 11 for Plinius

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1999




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