Antique Sound Lab AQ1003 Stereo Push pull Integrated Amplifiers

AQ1003 Stereo Push pull

- Detachable Power cord.
- Heavy duty gold plate 5 ways speaker post Output Terminal.
- Shining steel Chassis Finish.
- Front Panel Finish (Aluminum /Gold /Silver or Black Anodizing).

User Reviews (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4  
Marcos   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 07, 2004]
Strength:

Good build quality at the price point. Allows you to get into tubes at a solid-state price.

Weakness:

Unit was harsh with stock EL34's, but improved significantly with a tube change.

This is my first venture into tubes so i'm hardly an expert. I will tell you that the unit is very solid and heavy, weighing almost 50 pounds, so make sure you have a strong shelf. The build quality looks good and I found no apparant flaws. The unit came from AA with JJ 12AU7s and ASL EL34s, which I believe to be Chinese. To be honest, I found the unit to have very weak bass and a harsh midrange, especially on female vocals such as Nora Jones and on Dave Brubeck's piano on Take Five. I was intent on returning it (thank goodness for the AA 30 day return policy)but the unit still had a sweetness on instruments like acoustic guitar that was very seductive, so I decided to invest $60 and pick up some Russian SED EL34s, just to see if it was a tube thing. Man, I was totally knocked out at the difference. Even after one day's burn-in, the amp sounded twice as sweet and the bass took on impact rivalling solid-state. I still expect significant improvements after the unit burns in properly, but I am very optimistic.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
lynnm   AudioPhile [Aug 20, 2003]
Strength:

Lots of power. Great Looks (subjective I know!)

Weakness:

No phono stage - Luddites Live!!

The price quoted is in U$ my cost was C$1050 +/- The amp is well built and is cosmetically pleasing. I have used it with very high efficiency speakers since new ( Klipsch KLF30's 102db/1 metre and thence Klipschorns 104db/1 meter. Not suprisingly the AQ drove/drives them to extreme levels. The AQ1003DT is one hell of a nice amp and unless one were attempting to drive exceptionally inefficient speakers it has power and dynamic headroom aplenty. You can easily pay a lot more and get a lot less.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
macone   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 24, 2003]
Strength:

A whole bunch of words come to mind,but lets just say SWEET.To get this kind of quality in solid state you would have to spend thousands more.

Weakness:

This will probably not be my last amp,but it is teaching my ears what good music is supposed to sound like.As for weaknesses...U gotta be kidding,eh?

Price paid above is in Canadian dollars,so in US money retails for about 700,making it a tremendous value. This is my first run at tube sound.I did alot of research,here and in the shops,before settling on this unit.My interest in tubes started with a Cambridge integrated,a solid state amp that perported to be one of the most "tube-like" sounding amp around.I liked the warmth and lack of brightness,but like many,was fearful of giving up wattage in moving to tubes.My fears were totally unfounded....this thing has lots of guts.I was also worried about bass response....ditto on the outcome there too.Another reluctance was the "fiddle factor"....my knowledge of tubes was limited,but I did remember that folks into tubes in the 60's spent alot of time with bias meters,swapping out tubes,and generally fooling around with the electronics of their amps....another ditto..this amp has an integrated bias meter,and adjustment posts for each output tube(a breeze,being close to "set-and-go").It was at this point that I realized that real bottleheads kinda get into the messing around as part of the fun of it all.I have in fact traded a couple sets of tubes already,finding that there are differences between manufaturers,some pronounced,some too subtle for me to justify.Rest assured,the tubes it comes with are more than adequate(tho I did settle on JJ outputs). To the sound....Real real sweet.None of that high end brightness that sends ya to bed with a headache every night.The frequencies are all there,just not as piercing or in-yer-face...lets call it "natural".Midrange performance is smoooooth as silk..no grain,no sibilance added.Bass response is quite amazing...maybe not with the slam of solid state,but just like the highs,it's all there.Most impressive is the detail,providing an image that is focused,with plenty of space between musicians...soundstage is wide,deep and very involving.(this also an effect of the speakers I ,finally,matched to it.) I thought I would miss having a remote.Well, a couple nights in I didn't miss it at all....tends to make you listen more closely somehow not having one.Thought I would miss any other controls too,like tone controls.Properly matched,they are never needed(and only get in the way of the signal). This amp will not drive yer Energy towers,or any other power hungry speaker.It needs to be matched to a pair of speakers with about 91db or more sensitivity,but the marketplace in this range is huge,with lots ot choose from. I think tube apmlifiers are a tad more sensitive to cables and interconnects,so budget with this in mind. Slap on a little Nora and be in heaven.(There is good reason she won recording of the year last night,but if yer running anything under $3000 in solid state,you just wouldn't understand why;) System>> ASL AQ 1003 Rotel RCD 971 cd player Triangle Titus speakers Athena ASP400 sub van Den Hul interconnects Prism bi-wire by Tara Labs PS Audio power cable Blue Circle BC86 power conditioner This system cost about $3500 canadian,all in...that's about 2 grand US.I have heard systems costing five or even ten times that amount,all solid state...and they don't come close to this.

Similar Products Used: Jolida,Synthesis (very pretty!,but a bit pricey),some used macs,a few others.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-4 of 4  

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