Belles 350A Amplifiers

350A

The Belles 350A power amplifier is the perfect melding of art and science; a combination that seldom finds itself so beautifully balanced. It is one thing to engineer a product to be be built and reliable. It is another to design a thing to perform so beautifully that it stirs the soul. The Belles 350A power amplifier is one of those rare instances where art and science combine to create a soul stirring marvel of engineering.

The Belles 350A is built using the finest components available:
- gold-plated oxygen free copper binding posts
- gold-plated input connectors (inputs can accommodate balanced and unbalanced signals)
- oxygen free copper wire
- fiber glass printed circuit board material
- polypropylene capacitors
- 1% metal film resistors
- all power resistors are non-inductive ceramic

User Reviews (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2  
Thad Johnson   Audiophile [Dec 09, 2001]
Strength:

Effortless clarity across the full frequency spectrum, 3D soundstage, lots of air between instruments and voices

Weakness:

Have not experienced any yet

The Belles 350A excels at reproducing music with effortless clarity and no signature of it's own. I get the sense, at both soft and low volumes, that the music just flows from the soundstage between the walls of my living room, with no strain or harshness. There is plenty of air between the instruments -- each occupies its own individual space within the wide and deep soundstage. Voices can sound as though they are coming directly from a performers mouth. I didn't experience that level of detail with any of the other amps I auditioned, even the Mark Levinson 335.

I also auditioned the Belles 150A Hot Rod, and though the soundstage and air between instruments was very good, the midrange lacked 'thrust', it seemed a bit thin and lifeless (could be my hungry Carver ALIII+ speakers). With the Belles 350A, the full frequency range is served to the listener with delicate, controlled AND solid power. The Belles 350A is quick to respond to the dynamics of the musical piece, up and down. Timpani drums explode instantly, retain their drone momentarily and receed quickly. Piano is crisp and chord harmonics linger in the air, then slowly drift away. Vocals are clear and the subtlties of breath and vibrato are reproduced wonderfully.

I had auditioned the Mark Levinson 335 a month before I bought the Belles 350A, and though I liked it's soundstage and clarity, it did not overwhelm me for the price. The Belles 350A is less than half the price of the Mark Levinson, and gives me the same clarity, responsiveness and power.

I recommend the Belles 350A whole heartedly. Every well-recorded musical piece I have played, regardless of composition style, comes through clean and realistic.

My system:
Adcom 700 CD
Wire World Polaris III interconnects
Music Fidelity A3 Cr Preamp
Belles 350A amp
Carver ALIII+ speakers, biwired
Audioquest Midnight to woofers
Audioquest Indigo+ to ribbons

Similar Products Used: Carver 1.0t, Carver 1.5t, Music Fidelity A3 Cr, Belles 150A Hot Rod, Mark Levinson 335
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Thad Johnson   Audiophile [Dec 23, 2001]
Strength:

Effortless clarity across the full frequency spectrum, 3D soundstage, lots of air between instruments and voices

Weakness:

Have not experienced any yet

Please reference my previous review for a detailed description of my evaluation of the Belles 350A.

I am following up with this review for two reasons:

1) I forgot to mentionin my previous review that the Belles 350A requires at least 100 hours breakin time to really take the edge off the highs and round out the bass. My experience is that it even became clearer, with an expanded soundstage after 250-300 hours. It just keeps getting more refined...

2) I wanted to give the Belles 350A a 4.5 Overall Rating, and the only way I could do it was to submit two reviews. I feel it is a steal for the price, and my Value Rating is a 5.

Similar Products Used: Carver 1.0t, Carver 1.5t, Music Fidelity A3 Cr, Belles 150A Hot Rod, Mark Levinson 335
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-2 of 2  

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