Antique Sound Lab AV-25 Amplifiers

AV-25

  • Wide-band frequency response
  • Push-pull circuitry
  • Tube-rectified power supply
  • Output tubes: 6L6 X 2

User Reviews (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2  
JimmyBlues   AudioPhile [Nov 17, 2010]

After my Dynakit Stereo 70 blew an electrolytic capacitor during the Winter of 2006/2007, I decided that it was time to invest in a new tube amplifier.

I didn't want to spend a fortune on one (which one can do easily on hi-end tube gear), yet wanted an amplifier which would give me the lush tube sound that I've come to enjoy over the years, while also offering reliability.

After doing some research, I narrowed my purchase down to the VTL 25 mini monoblocks, the Antique Sound Lab AV 25 monoblocks, and the Quicksilver Mini Mite monoblocks; all tube amplifiers.

The Quickie and VTL 25's had already established an excellent reputation for musicality in a low powered amplifier. So price became a prime consideration here.

Given that the VTL 25's were $500 more than the Quickies, I decided to purchase the Quicksilvers, and with the $500 savings, add another $200 and also get a pair of the ASL AV 25's.

For $200 more than the VTL 25's, I had two nice pairs of tube monoblocks.

As for the sound, I'd have to give the edge to the Quicksilver Mni Mites, as well as to the build quality.

However, that in no way should impugn the ASL 25. This is a neat little amplifier that is well built, affordably priced, and just happens to sound surprisingly good. The only drawback compared to the Quicksilver is that the version of the AV 25 that this author owns only accepts the 6L6 output tube, while the Quickies will allow you to tube roll at least six other types of tubes.

Moreover, while the ASL AV 25 must be manually biased each time the amps are put back into my system, the Mini Mite mono's are self biasing - a pleasure for sure.


That aside, the AV 25 continues to be a reliable and very good sounding amplifier after 4 years of light use (I have several other amplifiers), and one which I can gladly recommend to any penurious hi-fi enthusiast.


I paid $700 for the pair back in 2006, and that included the small cages as well as shipping from Canada to the United States.


It's nice to be able to afford quality tube gear without having to take out a second mortgage on one's home, and companies like Quicksilver and Antique Sound Labs have made this possible.


Enjoy The Music!

Jimmyblues...
.



OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
craigb   AudioPhile [Dec 02, 2008]
Strength:

Good sound for the money.

Weakness:

Questionable or non-existent QC - One unit has an on-again, off-again (mostly off) power LED, and a badly made face plate.

Having been a solid-stater all my life, when the opportunity to pick up a pair of these little guys as demo units came around, I couldn't resist the chance to dip my toe in the tube waters.

These slotted into my system to temporarily replace a 20-year old B&K ST-140. At first I expected a significant drop in apparent power output, but that didn't happen. While the sound quality is very nice - smooth and detailed with a decent soundstage, it wasn't a drastic change from the B&K. Most noticeably the sound gained a bit of bloom, probably from what I'm perceiving as a bump in the upper bass, at least compared to the old amp. This sonic signature works extremely well in the service of classical and sparsely-instrumented jazz. It adds a dimension that seemed to be missing before on all of these recordings, good and bad. It tends to sound a little bit on the boomy side, though, on rock and pop recordings.

All in all, though, for the price, it was definitely worth pursuing, and they piqued my interest in tubes enough for me to try my next experiment - a second-hand PrimaLuna Prologue 2.

Associated equipment -
VPI Scout with Sumiko BPS
Rega Planet 2000 through a ModWright-modded Channel Islands VDA-1 and VAC-1
Sony SCD-CE775 SACD player, modded by Matt Anker
Adcom GFP-710
Meadowlark Audio Kestrel IIs
Hsu Research VTF MK II subwoofer

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Craig Burgess   AudioPhile [Dec 01, 2008]
Strength:

Outstanding with classical and spare jazz recordings.

Weakness:

Questionable QC - one has a flickering LED, poorly made face plate.

Having previously owned only solid state equipment, I've been intrigued by tubes for a few years. I finally decided to take the plunge when these little monoblocks were offered as demo units from Audio Advisor. They slotted into my system to replace a 20-year old B&K ST-140, at least temporarily, as an experiment.

The sound quality is very nice - smooth and detailed, with a pretty decent soundstage, especially for such little guys. The two main surprises I've noticed relate to how it sounds compared to the B&K. On the one hand, the biggest share of the sound is not as different as I was expecting. I thought they might point out a marked "transistory" quality to the B&K, but they didn't. There's not much difference, if any, in terms of level of detail or focus, or in a relative presence or lack of grain between the two. On the other hand, the ASLs do sound remarkably warmer - a function I believe of a slightly more forward upper bass. On classical music this actually sounds more "right" to my ears than the B&K, which had a definitely "leaner" sound with these recordings. Jazz benefitted with the ASLs as well, as long as the recordings were relatively clean and spare. As soon as the production became more dense, especially with rock recordings, the warmth quickly became overpowering and a bit of a nuisance.

All in all, they made for an interesting experiment, and a logical jumping off point for my next tube excursion - a PrimaLuna Prologue 2 that's waiting in the wings.

Associated equipment:
Rega Planet 2000
Channel Islands DAC with upgraded power supply, both modded by ModWright
Sony CDS-CE775 SACD player, modded
VPI Scout with Sumiko BPS
Adcom GFP-710
Meadowlark Audio Kestrel IIs

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-2 of 2  

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