Bel Canto Design eVo2i 120-Watt Integrated Amplifier Amplifiers

eVo2i 120-Watt Integrated Amplifier

eVo2i 120-Watt Integrated Amplifier

  • Two-channel digitally processed integrated amp
  • Gen II eVo amplifier technology
  • New preamp board using technology derived from PRe6 development
  • Cool-running circuitry
  • 90% efficient computer regulated ''Class D'' operation
  • Digital Power Process for precise audio signal regulation
  • 34-amp N-channel MOSFET transistors
  • Precision volume control
  • Audio-grade decoupling capacitors and resistors
  • Optimized signal paths
  • High-spec RCA jacks
  • Balanced inputs
  • Line-out RCA connections for subwoofer, bi-amping, or signal processor
  • Connections: one balanced XLR input, three RCA jack inputs, tape loop (RCA), line out (RCA), 1 Pair 5-Way Binding post / channel

  • User Reviews (2)

    Showing 1-2 of 2  
    Feanor   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 28, 2004]
    Strength:

    = Neutral, transparent, highly-resolved, and smooth across the audio spectrum. = Digital design of the power amp permits cool and efficient operation. = Sophisticated, flexible, easy to user controls and display. = Build quality befitting a component its price range. = Balance inputs for one source

    Weakness:

    = Only 4 inputs plus a tape loop. = No "power amp in" connectors.

    My unit eVo2i integrated amp, is the "Gen II" model. The price above is the US$ equivalent of what I paid in Canadian$. Prior to my upgrade to the eV02i, my core system consisted of: = Sony SCD-CE775 SACD/CD player = Apt Holman pre-amp = NAD C270 power amp = Magneplanar MMG speakers = PSB Subsonic 6 subwoofer = Nordost Flatline Gold MkII speaker cable = QED Qunex 2 interconnects, (mostly). I had recently replace my 25 year old Phase Linear 400 amp with the NAD and was enjoying the smoother, more transparent sound, though a less well controlled bass. I thought my next upgrade would be a new CD or SACD player, but I was disappointed with a sound of a couple of <$1000 units I heard. I had the opportunity to listen at home to a pair of Monarchy SM70 Pro power amps which I tried both as monoblocks and in stereo mode. I was astonished at the extent of improvement over the NAD -- more detail, more spatial information, and much tighter, more extended bass. (It's a credit to my old Apt Holman that it didn't not hinder the source sound on its way to the Monarchy's.) The Monarch SM70 Pros are great sounding, beautifully built amps, but at only 40 watts at 4 Ohms in stereo mode, I would have had to buy a pair to effortlessly drive the MMGs. Also, I was hankering for a new pre-amp with remote control. I figured a pair of Monarchy's plus new pre-amp would run me $3000+ which was over my budget. So I was glad to also have the chance to hear the Bel Canto eVo1i integrated. I was able to compare the Bel Canto directly with my NAD and also briefly with the Monarchy's. (Because the Bel Canto doesn't have "power-in" jacks, I drove the NAD and Monarchy's using the "pre-out" jacks on the Bel Canto for a fairer comparison.) The Bel improvement was of the same character as the Monarchy's, equal or a little better in all categories. But the improvement going from the entry-level NAD to the mid/high level Bel Canto was huge surprise to me. I can characterize the Bel Canto eVo2i as sounding extremely neutral, extended but sweet on the top end, ultra-transparent, precise imaging, and spatially revealing. But its not what I would call "warm", (like the NAD). I sweetened the high top end with Kimber PBJ interconnects, (which are relatively high capacitance, low impedance) -- with a different CD play this might have been unnecessary. As it was, many of my CDs that I thought had digital "hash" were revealed to have better spatial information and instrument harmonics than I had ever suspected. Hence I'm quite glad I decided to first update the amp rather than the source. Onthe other hand, I have a few CDs that I had thought were "musical" that now sound quite murky by comparison. I have rate the eVo2i as only a '4' for value. The unit is pretty expensive, and to be fair, I haven't had the opportunity to compare it directly with various other, well-regarded integrated amps are in the $1500-2500 range, such as the Creek 5250SE, the Naim 5i, Arcam A90, or Simaudio i-3. If he or she has the chance, I would recommend that a prospective purchaser audition as many of these others as possible. However I'd bet the Bel Canto eVo2i will be a front-runner for most people.

    Similar Products Used: Phase Linear 400; NAD C270; Monarchy SM70 Pro
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    DMolisher   AudioPhile [Aug 23, 2004]
    Strength:

    Awesome sound, esp. in the midrange; bell-like clarity with natural sustained decays. Very fine control over volume (0.5dB increments), esp. useful at low levels (in my bedroom system). Input naming and power-on volume settings.

    Weakness:

    Cheap stamped metal RCA inputs (Gen I). Display bugs: sometimes NO display when first powered on, though cycling power again usually fixes this; also, editing the input names has some very weird bugs on my unit, though I eventually got it to do what I wanted. BRIGHT LED comes on when the main dispaly is dimmed; I had to cover this with tape for my bedroom system.

    My unit was a used Gen I version; the Gen II is supposed to be even better (and hopefully corrects some of the minor flaws [see Weaknesses below] of my unit). My value rating is based on the list price; at my used price, it's certainly 5/5. This is a GREAT integrated amp. It easily outclasses anything below $1K, but I honestly didn't do a lot of comparisons with other units in its $3K price range, esp. since I only paid $1.5K. The digital features (see Strengths below) make it rather unique and appealing to me, in any case; and I have no complaints about the sound in my (bedroom) settting (with mini-monitors incapable of deep bass anyway), so I'm not the least bit interested in replacing this baby, regardless... Plus, I've never heard vibrophones reproduced so beautifully & realistically. The clarity of the bell-like midrange is very seductive! I actually did also audition the Bel Canto Evo2 Gen I power amp in my main system, and my only minor complaints there were a perceived lack of frequency extension in both the bass and very high treble regions, as well as a slight lack of pace (or quickness of transients), compared with my Simaudio Moon W-3 solid state power amp. I've read that the Gen II amps improve on these minor weaknesses, however, and I'm interested in trying one...

    Similar Products Used: Audio Refinement Complete (non-Alpha), NAD C320BEE, Simaudio Moon W-3, Anthem MCA-30, Chiro C-500, NAD T761, Audio Refinement Multi amps, ...
    OVERALL
    RATING
    4
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    Showing 1-2 of 2  

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