Sonic Frontiers Power 1 Amplifiers

Power 1

55 Watt Tube Power Amplifier

User Reviews (11)

Showing 1-10 of 11  
Greg McLean   Audiophile [Jul 22, 2000]
Strength:

even tonal balance over entire frequency spectrum, cosmetically easy to take, standby output circuit muting for those of us who like to change cables while amp is still powered up. Accesible biasing!

Weakness:

Unlike the Power 2 or Power 3 monoblocks, internal soldering needs to be done for 4, 8 ohm taps

I thought I would offer you something here in English....

The Power 1 is at home with any type of load. Does not appear to run out of steam with 85db and up speaker designs or demanding loads. It has a number of facilities which make it easy for the end user to enjoy tube sound.

Typically speaking, this amp does not have the "Classic" tube sound you would expect from say Conrad-Johnson, Cary, etc. It is more "neutral" and "lean" in overall terms. This may be unattractive to some tube-o-philes, yet I have come to appreciate it's lack of "classic tube amp" editorializing on music over the past 2 months. It is sweet, open, grainless and does not seem to favour any one particular frequency. The music appears to flow unfettered by sonic impurities. For those of you looking for good Canadian value, the Sonic is hard to beat new or used. Build quality is first rate as is fit and finish. NOS tubes, ie. Genelex KT88, and Siemens 7308/E188CC will take this amp to the top of it's ability. While listening, I find myself less interested in mechanics and critique, and more interested in just "putting on another disc"........

Is it the best I've heard?.... No; but given it's impressive facilities, appearance, musicality, and ease of operation, I would consider it to represent stable value.

Based on all the aforementioned, I feel 4-4.5 stars would be it's overall rating, reserving 5 for the very best.

Similar Products Used: Copland CTA-505, Audio Research VT-50
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Vladimir Calflower   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 08, 2001]
Strength:

neutrality, sturdiness, reliability; i can hear the musicians to cough beyond the loudspeakers. this is hi-end;
tell to me.

Weakness:

long burn-in time; approx. from christmas to easter to sound right.

This is a very good product made by a serious handcraft; but for my tastes i hear too many cough in my system, i think that will buy an amplifon audio system.

Similar Products Used: arcam delta 90.2, classè cap 151, anthem amp1, copland csa14, krell kav150, albarry 1008, pass aleph 3, pass aleph 5, copland cta 504, classe ca 150 , classe cap 100, bryston st4, counterpoint nps200, goldentube se 40, arcam delta 290, magnum classeA
OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
David Bowman   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 02, 2001]
Strength:

Build/Parts Quality, Imaging, Smoothness

Weakness:

None so far

I am using the Power 1 in a bi-amp configuration. I used it briefly to drive my speakers by itself and was impressed with its performance, but opted to lighten its load. With the stock tubes, I found its imaging and high frequency response to be very pleasing. The midband wasn't bad, but seemed a slightly compressed. I switched the input/driver tubes to Siemens E88CC and everything has opened up nicely. This amp delivers more than I expected. For the first time, I can hear not only precise width, but also depth in a performance. Strings, vocals and wind instruments actually sound realistic for the first time in my room. I expect to change output tubes to some Svetlana KT88 soon and am hoping for additional improvements. For the money, you simply can not go wrong with this amp. Highly Recommended!

Associated Equipment:

Sony SCD 777ES
BAT VK-30
Aragon 8008BB
Paradigm Reference 100.2

Similar Products Used: First Tube Amp
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Paul   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 22, 2001]
Strength:

Bass, Accuracy, Appearance

Weakness:

Runs HOT

This Amp has excellent bass unlike any tube amp I've listened to so far. This amp is high performance and definately twice as good (at twice the price) as the similar products I listed above. The difference in bass, power, clarity and speed are imediately apparent ie: the amp kicks a$$ like solid state but also has great tube qualities.
The only drawback to this amp is the large amount of heat generated and the retubing cost.
It looks good with a high quality industrial appearance.

According to the the rating system, 5 stars is for giant killer so I will go with 4 stars for 'great deal' for value and 'very good product' over all. You get what you pay for here.

Similar Products Used: SFS-40, Anthem amp1
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Allan Gamboa B   an Audiophile [Aug 07, 1999]

Power 1, es uno de los mejores amplificadores de tubos a precio por debajo de $3,000.00, con mas dinero, la decision estaria entre Audio Researsh VT100 MK II, o Power 2 (prefiero el primero). el power 1 es de 55w, sin embargo manejan apropiadamente mis Martin Logan CLS IIz, de modo que no tendrian problema practicamente con ningun otro tipo de parlante. Luego de 30 minutos de calentamiento, el power 1 da muestras de su excelente capacidad en cuanto a: clarida y definicion, similares a un amp. de estado solido, dulzura y calor del tubo sin llegar a ser "empalagosos", su potencialidad mejora con el uso de bases Ultra de Shun Mook, de forma considerable, mayor profundida, dinamica, soundstage y sensacion holografica al escuchar musica. La calidad de los materiales utilizados en este aparato son notorios, de una belleza media de estilo antiguo de presentacion. La ejecutoria de este aparto tambien se ve muy comprometida por el tipo de pre a utilizar,siendo la eleccion segura el Sonic Frontier Line 1 (Obviamente 2 tambien). Considero que si usted tiene un cuarto pequeño de audicion, puede estar y esta pensando comprar un power 1, entonces lo puede hacer con tranquiliad. Comentarios al respecto e intercambio de tips, por favor escrir. Saludos desde

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
john   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 26, 2001]
Strength:

Sweet natural highs, nuetral overall natural sound, deep extended bass, great sound staging, imaging, awesome! Build quality amazing.

Weakness:

none.

There is not a single negative thing you can say. This amp is amazing for the money, The more you listen the more you realize just how fortunate you are for having finally found the perfect amp, especially for the money!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Lyla   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 29, 2001]
Strength:

Warm, detailed, fast and rythmic.

Weakness:

None

Never hard on ears, plenty of power, smooth and musical. Very dependable, sounds great all the time.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
tj   Audiophile [Mar 29, 2001]
Strength:

Natural neutral sound, deep bass, sweet highs, clean well focused mids. Beautiful satisfying sound.

Weakness:

None

Its all covered in strengths above. You can't beat this amp for the money, not tubes and not with solid state.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
tj   Audiophile [Mar 29, 2001]
Strength:

Natural neutral sound, deep bass, sweet highs, clean well focused mids. Beautiful satisfying sound.

Weakness:

None

Its all covered in strengths above. You can't beat this amp for the money, not tubes and not with solid state.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
matt brill   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 16, 2000]
Strength:

neutrality, tonal balance, looks

Weakness:

none yet

i recently purchased this amp with the guidance of kevin deal at upscale audio. i absolutely love it. i believe the power 1 to be the best bargin that i have come across. it is very neutral and very well balanced. the soundstaging is great with the instruments just hanging in the air. it has absolutely no problem driving my tannoy speakers at high levels. i just ordered the Ei kt90 to replace the stck 6550. i would suggest audiotioning the power 1 to anyone looking for an amp.

Similar Products Used: rogue audio 88
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 11  

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