Kora Explorer 150 SB Integrated Amplifiers

Explorer 150 SB

  • MOSFET output rated at 100Wpc
  • Front-panel controls
  • Vacuum tube illuminated

User Reviews (1)

Showing 1-1 of 1  
Escaladeur   AudioPhile [Jul 27, 2006]
Strength:

Super low price for this quality of sound. Transparency, definition, soundstage organization, dynamic shadings, rendition of music's emotion and texture. Out-of-this-world timbre accuracy.

Weakness:

volume control, remote (I use a universal so that doesn't matter)
The 150 CSC Reference has adressed both of these problems.

This integrated had a less-than-stellar review by Mikey Fremer in Stereophile magazine but if you reread the article carefully, you will note that he LOVED the sound - the only things he didn't like were ergonomics and the headphone jack problem. But the meat of an integrated is its sound and for that he gave it quite surprising compliments such as: "the 150SB managed to produce a compact, well organized, remarkably well-focused, three-dimensional soundstage with image specificity that an amplifier at ANY PRICE would be proud to deliver" and its pairing with the $44,000 Wilson MAXX2 "would hardly be a waste of speaker."

The Kora 150SB delivers a sound that is fairly unique. It has a level of transparency that has never been matched at this price point in my experience. It also has definition that would put many amps to shame. Its dynamics are not full scale (it isn't a huge integrated) but what it does do, it does so darn well you won't believe it. If you want a taste of hi-fi sound without the etched and cold feel, the you have to try this little Kora. I was floored when I first heard it (I now own the Kora Aries monoblocks as a result of this encounter).

So, I totally agree with Fremer's assessments - as much in fantastic sound as in poor ergonomics. The volume control is a little crude but the headphone jack problem was only with his pre-production unit. Otherwise, it looks great with its blue eye, orange tube and black glass look and the sparkly metallic paint on the case. Very very interesting amp for someone who wants a great sounding non-run-of-the-mill piece of hi-fi. Very highly recommended.

PS. This amp has been totally revised and is now called the 150 CSC Reference. It has addressed ALL the problems Fremer and Atkinson had with the SB: new volume control, new headphone amp, new preamp stage, total decoupling of the amp and preamp, etc. Should be clear winner (pun intended)!!

Customer Service

none needed

Similar Products Used: amps in my system: McIntosh, other Kora, Adcom, Classe, CJ, Krell, Cary and Audio Research
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-1 of 1  

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