Sumiko Primare l21 Integrated Amplifiers

3.75/5 (4 Reviews) MSRP : $1500.00

Product Description

Dual-Mono Design
JFET input - bi-polar output
2 x 75 W into 8 Ohm , 2 x 125 W into 4 Ohm
Frequency Response: 10 Hz - 100 kHz, -3 dB
Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 100 dB
Output impedance: <0,05
Weight: 13,5 kg

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Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by philoformigx a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: July 11, 2009

Bottom Line:   
I remember a period in '07 when i was wandering around the hifi stores looking for a pair of speakers for my unison research unico. I finally made my desicion but suddenly everything changed when I saw this beauty on the shelf. The astounding design caught my eye... and after a while it was the smooth and relaxed sound that caught my ears. I stayed 2 hours in the store just to listen, and the next day i decided to sell the unico and buy the l21. Of course I had to start again my 'speaker-odyssey'...!

The small Primare is a bargain. I know there are classy amps out there, especially if someone has thousands of $ to spend. I also know a couple of danish brands that offer -with less than 2000$- better ('meaty' in my opinion) bass. Good desicion for those who want to get a tree and lose the rest of the forest...
Primare's bass is dynamic, ebullient and more than enough for me. Even with prog rock loads like tool and osi or electronic and techno music, l21 does a great job.
Mids are sweet, highs are smooth, and the overall is a well-balanced and delicate sound with good soundstage. You can listen to your favourite (or any other kind of) music for many hours. You 'll never get tired and your ears will never bleed. Contrariwise!
I suggest to use this amp with a good pair of bookshelf speakers in a room up to 20 square meters. l21 has enough power to drive floorstanders but I've changed 3 pairs of speakers and audition with many more. I believe that the combo with bookshelf speakers is much better.

What I don't like... 1. The cheap remote. It doesn't match with the elegant looks of this amp (I can't imagine those who pay the double for the 30.2 and get this plastic thing for remote). Also had problems using it (sometimes by pressing volume + or - and the amp shuts down...or changes the line! ?nexplicable...).
2. It takes almost an hour to warm up (30 minutes from the -less ecologic- standby mode).
3. Primare distributors (I won't name the countries...)

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   2007

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by tantalised a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 4, 2009

Bottom Line:   
Great sounding amp, full tonal quality - though perhaps a bit too soft around the bass for rock songs.

Unfortunately, 5 days after buying the I21, one of the channels failed and only the I21played out of one speaker. Having said that, I can appreciate that the occassional electronic device can be faulty, particuarly at the lower price end.

Primare claimed the fault was caused by extenal factors and would not accept responsibility for warranty replacement. I'm reletavely experienced with audio equipment and so made sure that the speaker wires did not short. I note that I always unplug the I21 from the power source, when connecting leads. An electronics engineer said that one of the capacitors may have failed in the unit which led to the problem. The Primare rep would not return my phone calls and took up to a week to respond to my emails. i found customer care to be very poor.

Spending around US$1,600 I would have expected a reliable system. But when things went wrong,
I expected at least a reasonable level of customer support from Primare - both aspects were missing.

I'm sharing my experiences with you because I feel that customer care is just as important as the quality of the amplifier and i think that people should be aware when both or at least one of these very important aspects is missing.

Apart from that , at more than 13kg, I found the unit to be unecessarily very cumbersome and bulky - possibly unecessary when compared to competitors units at around the same money and quality. Also the remote came from a fdifferent factory in Thailand is made of all plastic and flimsy.

In summary , unless it was significantlt discounted, I would not run the risk with another Primare product.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2008

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by jason777 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 24, 2008

Bottom Line:   
brillant amp , great soundstage and tone and massivilly powerfull rated at 75 watts per channel but sounds much more than that .
this amp produses 135 watts rms both channels driven at 4 ohm with a huge 25 amps current delivery and superb build too ,very refiened sound you can listen to for hours on end

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $750.00

Purchased At:   sevenoakes

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Sir Digby Chicken-Cesar a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 7, 2008

Bottom Line:   
I've had this amp for 6 months now and the more I listen to it, the more I like it. It is rated at 75 watts per channel but has been lab tested at between 80-85. It also appears to deliver plenty of current, as dynamic swings don't seem to phase it and it worked well with a pair of 4 ohm speakers I used to have.

It strengths include accurate portrayal of tonal colours (guitars sound like guitars and brass sounds like brass) and it has a laidback, non-fatiguing, almost tube-like delivery. I've read reviews saying the sound stage could be better but, personally, I think it does really well in this department.

The caveats? While it's a matter of taste, the bass isn't thunderous and Krell-like. It's dynamic and all there but a slightly softer and less obtrusive than most. I still listen to some rock and like how the I21 delivers it. The more I listen to different systems, the greater my aversion to bloated bass.

One area that I feel I can pass on some useful advice, is to partner it carefully to your speakers. I originally paired the I21 with Australian Orpheus 3 speakers. These are great $2,000 speakers but I found that matching the I21 with 2 1/2 floorstanders resulted in the midrange being slightly harsh and forward. The same thing occurred when running them through Dali Ikon 6s, although the Elacs I demoed it with at the shop were a very good match. I now run them through 3 way Triangle Celius Esws and it sound absolutely terrific.

The other thing that comes up when people review this amp is the comparisons between it and it's "big brother" the I30.2. Make no mistake about it, the I30.2 is a fabulous amp and well worth every cent. If I could have afforded it, I probably would have bought it. But it's a bit unfair to make direct comparisons to an amp half it's price. Even it you do, the I21 matched carefully, will deliver most of what the I30.2 does. It doesn't have that much less power and, sure, the bass is more authoritative on the I30.2 but against other amps in it's class, it's right at the top of the pile.

And the I21, if you haven't noticed is beautiful looking amp.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2006

Price Paid:    $2200.00

Purchased At:   Lifestyle Store (Nor

Reviews 1 - 4 (4 Reviews Total)

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