I did the test my self :)
Belles SA100, Belles SA30, Belles Aria
We were two people listening for on day on Peak Consult Diablo XE.
In a couple of weeks Ill get my Jeanne D´arc back from a service - then we will test on them.
VT01 - SA30
VT01 - SA100
VT01 - SA100/SA30 bi amp
Aria as pre - SA30
Aria as pre - SA100
All amp are superbe amps - but they present the music in each way - still with the Belles sound as a bottom line
Aria as preamp vs VT01. The sound very close. In a blind test i think most people would not hear the difference.
The SA30 has the high end class A sound. No lack of dynamic as many other class A amplifier and everything you throw trough it it handles with control and a calm presentation. It plays all music and draw you emotionally into the music played - so in my collection and setup it´s preferable / suits best when you are sitting down and are listening to music and want the music under you skin want the feeling and emotions of the music. Imaging and 3d depth is superbe. It plays very loud but we always had the feeling that we could play louder.
The SA100 Class A/B is another beast. Its punchy and rhythmic. It made all my units in the speaker dance at same volume levels compared to the SA30. It also plays all music but it invites to play louder and louder and let you foot tap the floor. Here you get the feeling that you actually play loud when you play loud - the feeling that you want to crank the volume up stops when volume on the VT01 is on 1´o clock. Og the Sa30 we could play the volume a 4 o´clock and still got the feeling it can do louder. With a DB meter they play at same levels on 1 0´clock. In my collection and setup it´s preferable / suits best when I want to play loud. It also draws you into the music - but its in another way than the SA30.
Sound, dynamics, imaging, 3d depth are superbe on both amplifiers. Presentation are different. Its Class A vs Class A/B.
With the SA100 we want to hear rhythmic music all the time and crank the volume up. With the SA30 we want to hear the more emotional music like Jazz, trios, classical, vocals and so on.
They both play all music well - but side to side it gets very clear how they present the music. And the presentation suits different types of music. Its not as the sa100 cant do jazz - it does jazz superbe, but the SA30 gives you the last shivering on the skin. Its not as the sa30 cant do rock - but the SA100 just makes you foot tap a bit more. I could live with them both - but having them both in my living room I dont wont to give one of them up.
Bi amping is possible with SA30 and SA100 together, but the SA100 present the music more punchy than the SA30 and the SA30 present the music more calm than the sa100. So bi amping is not a good match.
When using the sa100 on the basses they get to punchy / full so you get the feeling that they "drown" the midrange/treble.
When you use the sa30 on the basses - the midrange/treble from the SA100 gets a bit to punchy. So the way they present the music are not a good match on my speakers
My Diablo XE are made with an acoustic vent and a linear impedance curve from 10-20.000hz. Impedance are straight 4-6 Ohm all the way! Yes you read it right. The line is straight - state of the art. So my basses are very accurate and they are not boom boxes - they play what the amplifier throws into them. Maybe the bi amping will fit other speakers.
The Aria - Its awesome. Its not a better amp than the two others, but if you compare the price to the other two amps - Its more than awesome amplifer.
Its has the punchy presentation like the sa100 - the bas control is superbe. Its alot like the sa100 - It does 90% of all what the SA100 does. The way music is presented is - 80% SA100 and 20% SA30.
The Aria did my friend buy to his system - Peak Consult Empress.
Ill keep both the SA100 and SA30. They are changeable - depend on the mood when I am listening to music.