Anybody remember Mirror Image Audio ?

Hey gang,

Here is a name from the long ago. Mirror Image Audio. I have run into a few of thier pieces in the Atl and was wondering if anybody remembered them or had any thoughts on them. I found 2 preapms and 2 mono block amps plus a stereo amp and a brochure. They were made in Lancaster, New York and look like they might be pretty special. Great specs but real ones too. Any thoughts or ideas would be helpful.
A guy I work was a part of that company. According to him they are great amps. I never heard his. He just sold it. Their amps were rated in horsepower instead of watts.

He's got some funny stories about going to shows and other little tidbits of the business. He told me they never pursued getting reviewed in TAS or Stereophile and that was their downfall. I've heard that from other vendors too. Evidently very hard to get them to review a new brand.

About the funniest one he's told was when they were demo'ing their gear to Jeff Rowland at a show. They had a audiophile vinyl pressing that was supposed to be played at 45 rpm and they accidentily played it at 33 rpm to Jeff Rowland. He said they didn't notice until after Jeff was gone and figure Jeff must have thought they were complete idiots!
Someone bought them out and they became Spittin' Image for a while
I bought it from used dealer last year. A rare find in Asia. Great amp but heard the company wind up long ago. What a shame. My .2P pre doesn't come with XLR input. Is this norm for Mirror Image ?
I never owned any mirror image audio products, but the best audio system I have personally ever heard (at the now defunct Excaliber audio shop in Alexandria, VA circa 1990) consisted of a Quicksilver preamplifier, Mirror Image monoblock amplifiers, and MartinLogan CLS electrostatic speakers. (I don't remember the turn table or cd player that was used.)

This system presented audio images that were beyond holographic in their nearly tangible, palpable reality, without being over-etched. The reality of the audio images was not only in the spatial domain, but also in the temporal domain including exquisite transient response and frequency extension without harshness, glare, or graininess.

Unfortunately, being a graduate student at the time, I could not afford any of the components, much less that whole system.
Wireless200 says that Mirror Image Audio never got reviewed in Stereophile.

This may not be true. J. Gordon Holt states in a another review dated Sep 3, 1987, available at, "As I mention in my report on the Mirror Image 1.1S power amp (also in this issue), the problem with a power amplifier is that you can't listen to it without using a loudspeaker." However, I cannot find the review referred to in this article on the Stereophile website.

Mirror Image also got a mention in a comparison with the Audio Research Corporation's (ARC's) M300 monoblock amps in Stereophile by J. Gordon Holt, Vol.10 No.9, Dec 26, 1987 (

In this article Holt states "Since a pair of M300s costs more than any other stereo amp (or pair) I have ever encountered, I cannot really compare them with "the competition." I can, however, compare them with some other costly units I've heard in recent months... The Krell KSA-100 is a trifle warm and rich, while the Mirror Image is somewhat laid-back, and the original Rowland Research Model Seven a bit more so. On bass performance, ... The Mirror Image 1.1S is slightly leaner and tighter than any of these three, the Rowland 7 just a trifle more so. Of the three, the M300 has the least sonic texturing, being about as liquidly transparent as any amp I have heard. It is followed very closely here by the Krell, Mirror Image, and Rowlands, while the Threshold, by comparison, is a bit dry.

At the high end, the M300 just doesn't warrant comment; it is, for all intents and purposes, perfect in that area. Of the others, the Krell, Rowland, and Mirror Image are all gorgeously sweet and open at the top, but by comparison with the M300, they sound more as if they have an extremely fine grain up there than being completely texture-free. (Until now, they had the best top of any amps I had heard.) ... All of the other amplifiers I mentioned cost substantially less than a pair of M300s. Is it really worth the difference? I would love to be able to say "No way!," but since I can't think of another amplifier that sounds better in so many areas, or even as good, regardless of cost, I can hardly argue with that cost."

Although buried in the article, J. Gordon Holt's comments in Stereophile indicating that a Mirror Image Audio amplifier was among the top four or five amplifiers he has heard, should have put Mirror Image on the map, so to speak. It would be interesting to know what J. Gordon Holt wrote in his review of the Mirror Image 1.1s mentioned above.

Interestingly, the Mirror Image 1.1s gets an unflattering mention in Stereophile by Lewis Lipnick (Dec 3, 1987) where he states in a review of B&W matrix 801 speakers "The Mirror Image was not even in the running, sounding unrefined, raw, and congested. Although I heard all of the above before through my Martin-Logan Monoliths, the differences between these three amplifiers became much more pronounced with the 801s." (

Lipnick fails to state in the article the preamp used with the Mirror Image amp. In another article on the Klyne SK-5A preamp, published Sep 3, 1987, J. Gordon Holt points out the importance of component matching stating "My point is that the Klyne SK-5A will almost certainly produce more musical naturalness from other systems (brighter in the upper mids and softer at the extreme top) than it did from mine, without any loss of the preamp's remarkable definition and soundstaging performance. (On the other hand, it meshed so poorly with my system when I substituted the Mirror Image 1.1 amplifier for the Thresholds that I didn't care to listen to that combination for more than a few minutes. The sound was thin, dead, and uninvolving.)" (

Perhaps it was not the lack of a review in Stereophile, but the mixed messages about Mirror Image amplifiers in Stereophile that contributed to Mirror Image Audio's downfall.
So I was wondering if I might be able to find a stray Mirror Image amp out there and found this thread.  It's interesting to see how things are perceived, especially so long after we sold the company.  I was half of Mirror Image Audio, there were no employees, just me and my partner.

All products, before we sold the company, were made in Northern Virginia.  Polyfusion purchased the name and designs.

It is true, the products were named by the equivalent horsepower rating.

We were reviewed in both The Absolute Sound and Stereophile, both were positive reviews.

I don't explicitly remember the speed problem on the vinyl playback with Jeff Rowland, but I do remember talking to him about bias current.  His amps ran cool because they had a low bias current and ran more class B than A because the measured THD was lower.  I said we found the same to be true but they amps sounded better with a higher bias current so our amps were biased further into class A.  I believe his amps were biased higher after that.  I don't recall feeling like a complete idiot at the time, but I have several times since.

We were bought out, but did not become Spittin' Image.  Thank God.

We made one preamp, not many units.  I have one but don't use it anymore except to rip records.  As I recall it has balanced outputs but not inputs.  Honestly, this is just me and my opinion, single ended is better than balanced unless you need balanced for noise rejection.

We were carried by Excalibur Audio in Alexandria, VA.  Great folks, I have many fond memories of times there and with the guys that made it great.  My partner and I had our first audio religious experience there.  We went to see what they had to offer.  We started Mirror Image Audio on an idea my partner had on how to make a better amp.  He was the circuit genius.  We met Kemper who took us up to a small room with full range Apogees, Krell amps and who knows what front end.  He played a cut off of Amanda McBroom's Growing Up In Hollywood Town and we knew we had to make it happen.

I agree, our amps can float an image beautifully.  They sound fantastic ad well.  I may be a bit biased.  Not class A though.  Maybe I should hold back before asking if anyone has one they want to let go of...

I did sit in on a few listening sessions with Lewis Lipnick and Andrew Litton.  For whatever reason,  Mr. Lipnick did not care for our product, unlike others in the room.  To each his own. 

I've gone in and out of audio for years.  Lately I'm in, thanks in part to seeing Kemper again, partly because it's time again.  It's hard to get anything done after I sit down to see how things sound. 
A quick follow up to my post from yesterday.  I should have clarified that the time period I was talking about was from inception to the sale of the company to Polyfusion.  They did have employees and were not located in Northern Virginia.

I do recall playing a disc at a show at the wrong speed, I don't remember if it was for Jeff or not, but I'm pretty sure they pointed it out while it was playing and we all had a good laugh.  We may also have felt like idiots.

The reviewer from the Absolute Sound bought the amp he reviewed.
I just came across an amp and preamp. However it looks like the preamp has balanced inputs and outputs.

Were they for sale?
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I think Mirror Image was located in Great Falls Virginia in the beginning. I had the 1.1SB since the 90’s purchasing it from AudioClassics as new old stock. I recently sold my power amplifier upgrading to something a little more expensive. I have always been interested in the .02 preamp and monoblocks. They made some great equipment!
I have used mirror image audio 1.1S+ and mirror image audio .2p with JBL 4344 from 1996 Korea. I only connection with CDP, but I need new DAC. Could you someone recommend DAC