This is the first integrated I have owned with a passive preamp on board. Probably similar to the Portal Panache integrated amplifier that is all the rage now. Have not had the opportunity to audition the Panache so I can't make a conclusion to the sonic difference between the two.
The Acurus DIA 100 is very well made,and the controls have the solid feel and action one would expect from a $1,000.00 integrated amp. Tiffany plated RCA jacks on the back, with fixed power cord. On/Off switch with green pilot light to show it is on.
The amplifier produces 100 Watts RMS into 8 ohms and 150 Watts RMS into 4 ohms with no more than 0.09 THD.
Input Impedance - 10K ohms
Input Sensitivity - 200 millvolts for full output
Volume Gain at Full Volume - 43 dB
Frequency Response - 20Hz-20,000Hz +/-.25 dB
Signal to Noise Ratio - 100 dB, A weighted
Damping Factor - >300
Tape Outputs - 2
Has 6 inputs:
Owners manual is quite really basic. Describing use and inputs and thats about it. It is as no frills as the product itself.
The controls from left to right are volume,balance,input selector and record selector. Nice touch on the record selector can listen to one source,while listening to the other.
Mondial Designs parent of Acurus spent 6 months in R & D with this design and another 6 months in the prototype stage before this went to market. This attention to detail shows admirably and the Acurus DIA 100 is a pure joy to listen to. The DIA stands for "Direct Input Amplifier". The preamp section is passive and does not add any coloration of its own to the sonic signature. The Acurus DIA 100 has one of the blackest backgrounds I have never heard. The music just appears magically.There is zero background noise.
Without question this can be the heart of any entry level high end system and one does not have to make any excuses for it as well. I find that for the most part Acurus did make any compromises in the DIA 100. For an integrated amp and I have owned several this is by far the best I have owned or heard.
Audition several CDs Rock,Jazz and Classical with the DIA 100 and found it to be a very accurate instrument indeed. It was never over bright and the bass was right on and defined. Found that whatever the music called for the Acurus DIA 100 delivered with a soild musical rendering. Even the slightest nuances and octaves were faithfully reproduced with amazing verve. I just can't find fault with the musical presentation of the DIA 100. I am totally impressed.
Sold for a $1,000.00 new and for the money in 1995 in my opinion was a steal. In the used secondary market,although I do not know why one would part with a DIA 100 it is a outright steal at about $400.00 used. I know of no other integrated power amp(except for possibly Portal Panache)that can even compete in this arena.
So if you are starting your high end adventure or a season veteran such as myself,been at this since 1957, the Acurus DIA 100 is a pure joy to use day in day out. The Acurus DIA 100 is pure bang for the dollar spent.
The Acurus DIA should be connected to good upstream components. The better the CD Player,Tuner,Speakers,Interconnects the better the Acurus DIA 100 will respond. Don't cheat yourself in this area. After all with the fixed power cord and being an integrated you won't drive yourself nuts with upgraded power cord and amp to preamp interconnects. On Interconnects I use Musical Concepts and have found them to be exemplary and they dont cost you the proverbial arm and leg.
While the Acurus DIA 100 looks like an unassuming black box with four control knobs, rest assured that Acurus put the money inside and produced in my opinion on of the most musical components I have heard in an integrated amp.
Mondial Designs,Acurus and their engineers and designers have reason to feel proud of this accomplishment. For they have produced an instant audio classic. Well done Acurus.
Luxman Turntable,Nad Tuner,Denon CD Player,Musical Concepts Interconnects.