Review: Audio Note Conquest Tube amp

Category: Amplifiers

I just had to share my musical experiences with my Audio Note M3 pre and my new SET Conquest monoblocks (4 x 300b). Sorry if it's a bit emotional but that's how it makes me feel...
"I now have real music, real vocal, real flutes and violins, real guitars. I am listening to just that, the music, not a pile of electronic black boxes.

I was originally running the M3 pre through a big MF MossFett power amp, which I thought was ok, but even though I had plenty of volume and low end power, I got uncomfortable with it after an hour or so. Since the Conquest power amps arrived, I now know why.

The synergy with the pre-power combo is superb. I replaced the M3 valves, hooked up the system, and from the first note just sat down in disbelief!

Plus 4 days in and it is still improving, even smoother, even more realistic. I find I am playing it louder than with the old MF A370 and the big kef 107/2s. And the bass is

very close extension wise, but much better in speed and slap and realism. The mids and highs are in another league, Scarborough FC and Chelsea FC.

The projection of the sound stage is remarkable. I left it on the other day, and before I unlocked the front door I thought I heard someone singing in the kitchen, seriously!

Biggest change/upgrade is to orchestral, voice, wind instruments and organ music. But everything else is hugely smoother, with no fatigue at all.

The other weird thing, the difference between recordings (all music types) is greater than before. Good recording are very good, great recordings are really fantastic. And I can here traffic rumble on some orchestral passages which contain solo instrument or voice passages. Something I never heard before except through the Stax headphones. Plus the decay on cymbals...superb.

I realise now I was not playing a lot of my CDs. Not because I had got bored of the music, but because the sound on this one or that one was steely, too bright, too false. Now I can listen to any, and hear them for what they are, but with no fatigue or dashing for the volume control.

Sum up - 18 watts of pure heaven. Fantastically recommended.

Product Weakness: gets warm, needs plenty of ventilation, heavy.
Product Strengths: Low level detail, realism esp in vocal and piano, real music, no grain, superb bass for tubes, no fatique, plays many real world speakers, makes CD's closer to vinyl.

Associated gear
Amplifier: Conquest mono blocks
Preamplifier AN M3 tube pre
AN CD trans, AN Kit DAC 1.1
Zingali Overture 2s (horn hybrid)
Cables/Interconnects: AN Silver ANV

Similar products
Audio Silver Knights 300b, Audio Note Meishu, McIntosh 275
Great review!
Now you have to finish your set-up with a nice pair of AN speakers!

I know how you feel as I went from a Oto to the Meishu Phono.

If you can get all Sogon cable and AN speakers you will be just as shocked.
You didn't include what S/C you are using.

Analog with AN gear is something to behold and hear.

Great review and thanks for telling others about how great AN gear is.

AN-V is very good but AN-VX is quite a bit better with more extension and definition and the AN-VZ is indescribable, musical is the only word that can work...

Glory, I am jealous as I am 'slumming' with a Soro SE and dream of the Meishu.
Nice review. Good to hear that you are enjoying this quite special amp.

I am from the other side of the Audionote family. No, I don't mean the Japanese Audionote gear (Kondo). Rather, the Audionote line has some models which sound fuller (warmer) and some that are leaner and tipped more toward emphasizing treble detail and "air." I own a pair of Kageki amps (parallel 2a3) that are in the leaner camp vs. the warmer camp where the Conquest resides.

But, if someone offered me a Gaku-On in trade (warmer), I would take that, unless someone else was offering a Sogon (sounds similar to a Kageki, but more powerful).
Astro - I own a Meishu - what differences are noticable compared to the Conquest amps?

Nice review

I own a meishu, live since few monthes with Quests (friend's ones) and have a pair of Conquests.

The meishu is a very good amplifier, the best Quality/Price of AN. It's very closed of a set M3/Quests for half of the price. Really no reason to change.

Conquest are PSE and on some speakers the additional power is really and advantage. With rock music on my AN J, the conquest gives more dynamic and rythm to the music, more impact in bass range. With Quest/meishu it's more... "shy".

Concerning AN V and Vx i am also agree. I don't really like AN V and really appreciate Vx which give a lot for the price. First between DAC & Drive, then everywhere else. ;-)

For the rest i am an audio note lover and part of me is on the other side, the Kondo one ;-). M7, AN Vz, SPz, more music, more fluid, more natural... another world, a better one ;-)
Thanks Ougo - I exchanged some mails with Peter at Audio Note UK and he agrees on the fact of using 300B amps with my AG speakers, I also beleive that the Meishu is the best price/Performance ratio decision in their line.

I have not tried AN speakers at home, just heard some at the dealer show room - and was not that fantastic to my ears.

Thanks for you feedback

Hello Fernando, i checked your profile, beautiful system :)

Concerning the meishu i think that you have everything what you need with this amplifier. After you can improve it and upgrade components. Cooper condo, AN Vx cable, C Core transfo.

When i changed mine for an M7+Conquest, i hesitated with a silver signature model. No question, just pleasure. I choosed question ,-).

Concerning speakers, for a small room the AN J is a really good choice. I have a SE Silver model and with time you really appreciate the low level detail and the tonal variety.
A friend of me sold his avantgarde duo for a pair of AN E... he just tested it at home during several days.