Atoll Electronique IN50 Amplifiers

IN50

http://www.chez.com/atollelectronique/integre.html

User Reviews (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3  
E.L.R.   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 18, 2004]
Strength:

Wide bandwidth. Neutral. Smooth. Outstanding information retrieval. Good power.

Weakness:

Remote is extra. Limited facilities.

This review is for the Atoll IN50 integrated amplifier. A unique French design that seems to fill a product gap between the mass market Rotel and NAD integrateds and the much more expensive North American MacIntosh and Classe designs and the British equivalents. Recently I was on the search for a simple cost effective solid state integrated amplifier that didn't cost the earth, but had some real audiophile potential. I started with the less expensive Rotel and NAD integrateds, then moved up to the better quality Marantz, Rega and even Creek products. All had some good and bad points. Some had good sound, but poor build quality, or average sound and great build quality. It seems at this price range, it is difficult to get both. I was getting discouraged and started thinking of moving into a pre-power combo, when I was introduced to the Atoll range. Now Atoll has been around since the mid to late 1990's. I had heard of them, but never listened to them. In fact I was put off by a 2001 TNT Audio review which stated that the sound was great but the build quality sucked! Well how wrong this reviewer was. Maybe he had a pre-production sample. Because the integrated amplifier range I checked out was simply superb in build. The IN50 is the least expensive product in Atoll's range. But it still featured Alps volume control and switch gear, two pre-outs, 4 line level inputs, and a simply stunning aluminium face plate. The power rating is 50 watts per channel rising to 70 watts under a 4 ohm load. The rear of the amplifier is well constructed and features solid metal binding posts (no plastic here!), a rear mounted on/off switch, and detachable mains lead. The front panel has a standby power on switch - the amplifier is designed to be left on all the time. To keep things simple lets compare it directly with the Rotel RA1062. Similar price and power output. The Rotel build quality was ok but the Atoll trumped it in both style and construction. The tactile feel of the Atoll's volume and switching controls were a pleasure. The Rotel was again ok but felt a little cheap in comparison. The Rotel featured a remote which the Atoll didn't. But who cares when the controls feel so good to use. What about sound? Well the Rotel was pretty good. It surprised me in fact. Much more clarity than the NAD equivalents. Good bass and great stereo soundstage. Now the Atoll. I can't say honestly it was chalk and (French) cheese. But I can say the Atoll was a distinct and audible improvement on the Rotel. The soundstage opened right up with the Atoll, and little things you missed with the Rotel, became apparent with the little French guy. The Rotel sounded good to listen to, but the Atoll allowed you to listen much deeper into the recording. Each note was more defined and there was more space around the vocalists. Just an overall sense of completeness when listening to good recordings. And it's not all about brightness. Some amps do that. The manufacturers boost the mids and highs to give an artificial sense of detail and information retrieval. Unlike the others the Atoll is exceptionally smooth and natural in it's presentation while telling yon everything you need to know about the recording.. While the Rotel and other competitors, had more facilities, the Atoll IN50 sells itself to anyone half interested in accurate reproduction of their music. So I bought it. I've had it hooked up at home now for a few weeks through some respectable Klipsch KLF10's. If any amplifier is going to come undone, then this is the time with these speakers. No such luck. Drives then wonderfully and no hidden vices have popped up. Dare I say it? Almost tube like but with decent bass. By the way, I opened the amplifier up to look inside. Very nicely laid out, and very high quality components used in the construction. Looks like it was assembled by a Swiss (and not French) watchmaker! There's a strong argument that carefully designed relatively low output solid state amplifiers can give you the best sound. Look at the British DNM manufacturer for example. As soon as you factor in more power, then compromises have to be made, unless you want to spend big $$$$$$$. So there it is. Worth hunting down if you can You won't be disappointed.

Similar Products Used: Rotel. NAD. Creek.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Misha Margolis   Casual Listener [Sep 22, 2000]
Strength:

Live and somewhat warm sound. Strong! Good design!

Weakness:

No remote control

Nice aplifier. Works very well with Cabasse speakers. I tried them with Rotel amplifier and I didn't like the sound.
I also tried this aplifier with B&W speakers and I didn't
like the result either. So I guess it works well with
certain speakers. Very solid build quality! Very handsome
design. Well.. it doesn't have a remote!

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-3 of 3  

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