unknown Korneff 45 SEi Integrated Amplifiers

5/5 (1 Reviews)


Product Description

Tube integrated amplifier utilizing 45 output tubes at 2 watts per channel.


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User Reviews

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

Date Reviewed: October 28, 2009

Bottom Line:   
Several years ago I decided to try the magic of Single Ended Triodes (SET) amplifification. Since I had 90db efficient speakers I had to go for an amp that would have enough power to drive them. Thus I purchased an 845 tubes based integrated amp. It was a great performer, dynamic and with good bass and a wide and deep soundstage. Yet I was craving for more refinement. In the pursuit of audio Nirvana I since sold these multidriver three way speakers to give a try to single driver, backloaded horns (blh) with much greater efficiency. My current speaker system operating at 98db efficiency allowed me to experiment with low wattage, "flea powered" amps, to get deeper into that SET magic. I contacted John Kalinowski of KCS Custom Loudspeakers who makes my speakers, for a recommendation of what he would consider the best amp for the particular blh's I own. Enter the Korneff 45 SEi, built in Pittsburg by Jeff Korneff, is a no non-sense, uncompromising, no frills amp producing the most amazing 2 watts I've ever heard. Let me mention on passing that Jeff is a true gent, one of a dying breed. Talking to him is like taking a class in audiophilia. How many chances does one gets to talk with the amp's designer? That's certainly sugar on the top and a very valuable resource.
The amp is built like a tank, with all the internals being point to point circuitry and high end capacitors, resistors, transformers, etc. I can see that Jeff allocates the money spent building the amp where it counts, in the sound that comes out of the machine and you get to hear.
The sound is rich and intoxicating with well saturated tones. The midrange is addictive, with plenty of detail and air between the instruments. The soundstage is wide and deep and you get the feeling of being there with the performers. The highs are smooth and crisp. The bass is fast and very articulate. The best way I can describe it is that it feels like "a mean jab hitting your guts", quick and to the point. With my previous amp with 10 times more power, I had a 1500 watt , 18 inch cone sub aiding on the bass department. No sub need apply with the Korneff.
This is a very "liquid" and "transparent" amp that provides a level of refinement beyond of what I have the right to expect at this price point.
Bear in mind that it will require efficient speakers 95db or better to sing as it should. Searching through the forums I found plenty of testimonials of the amp's many virtues and no shortcomings whatsoever. It does seem to have a cultish following. I do have the feeling that I finally have arrived to truly high end sound.
Music enjoyment has gone from a great experience to a glorious one.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2010




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