Wednesday, January 05, 2005

A.N.T. Amber headphone amplifier

Link to my Head-Fi preview post

What Alex is trying to do is quite intriguing, and you can read more about it on his site, This amp is excellent for the money, although the strength of the pound makes it a bit of a mouthful for US buyers at the moment.

Despite the paucity of the visuals, an objective assessment reveals that technically speaking, it does whip some $600~$800 amps and it does have a rather nice tone as well, backed up by expansive soundstaging.

I haven't tried all of the competing amps. But giving a couple of examples, it certainly kicks dust in the Larocco Deluxe PPA's face and shows the Ray Samuels XP-7 a thing or two as well. Both of these (in fact all of the others I bought and tried) are better presented items, but if accuracy as well as a great sound is your overriding requirement, then the Amber will do a superb job.

The biggest problem of the ANT is sadly the visuals. Since audiophilia incorporates the aesthetic and geeky, if the gear doesn't look right then for many people it doesn't sound right. Unless you can be very objective then your opinions as a potential owner or even just a reviewer are highly likely to be swayed by the way something looks. It's easily the single biggest stumbling block towards wider acceptance of the ANT amps... but if you can get past it, it's a belter.

No comments: