Great value. Good bass, dry, rough top end.
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Just happened to come across your thread. Sorry so late, and hoping you`ll see the response. I do not have enough comparative experience with components, but will try to give what little "Inf Op" I have. I did buy the Panache intg instead of the DIA 100. The choice was due to the reviews on the DIA, even though favorable, it was found to be bright sounding to some. The Panache was recently being made and sold brand new w/ a 5 yr warranty. I found the Panache to be bright sounding compared to an ADCOM 5400. I think this may be a typical characteristic of a passive preamp section. What I also found annoying, about the Panache, I had to turn the volume knob to 12o`clock for a room-filling level. When a DIA 150 was offered on this website (a rarity,approx 2 per yr), I did not pass on the opportunity. I found the DIA 150 to be better sounding: not bright, but warmer and with more authority. It did not take much turn for the volume to fill the room @9-10 o`clock.
The Acurus DIA 100 is a commonly reveiwed integrated, and it does have a favorable following. As for the DIA 150,the more recent and upgraded Acurus offering, the lack of reviews and opinions is a bit of a mystery.
Ahh, a rhetorical question! Does this merit an answer?
I suffer from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Any unnatural movement of my wrist can be annoying.
I have 3 preamps hooked-up, in the living room. I also have, and have used, 2 integrateds and a 40W reciever. I have auditioned some gear in the past.
With all I have tried and used, it only takes a little more than a 1/4 turn on the volume knob(9-10 o`clock) to reach a room-filling level. I have taken this to be the norm. To make notible adj. in volume, I just need to make a slight movement w/ the knob. All of this is what I have experienced, and got accustomed to. With the Panache,I have to move that volume knob a little further to get that notible difference in volume. I am not accustomed to doing this, therefore, I find it annoying.