Review: Plinius 8200 Amplifier

Category: Amplifiers

"In Search of the Holy Grail"

Finding the "right" audio components to suit one's ear seems to be a never-ending quest. Being satisfied with my system’s front end, particularly vinyl playback, I have turned my attention to amplification. I don't have the money for high-end separates, so have been auditioning integrated amps that fit my budget.

Because I'm a Brit (but residing in the US), I've had a bit of a bias towards British products (Linn, Naim, NAD, Tannoy, Spendor, ATC, etc.). And until now, it was indeed Linn LP12, NAD C370 integrated, NAD C521i cdp, and Tannoy Mx4. The Tannoys, less than one year old, are now sitting in the basement having been replaced by much superior 15 year old Cabasse. Being happy with the Linn and the Cabasse, I turned my attention to replacing the NAD. In all fairness, I must say that the NAD could have served me well for several years. It is inexpensive and packs a sonic wallop that exceeds its price tag. Nonetheless, it suffers a little in bass and quite a bit in the midrange.

Before finally deciding on an integrated amp, I did try separates (mostly borrowed from a good friend) including tubes (Rogue, Berning, and others), solid state (Audio Analogue, Quad, Naim), hybrid (Blue Circle), and others. Nice as tubes might be, I became overwhelmed by a firestorm of disparate opinions about tube-rolling, tube biasing, etc. I was freaked out and decided to stick with solid state! Rather than justify my ultimate choice, I’d rather give my opinion about its characteristics. I ended up getting a Plinius 8200 MKII.

The Plinius is, physically, a beast. No bigger that any other solid state integrated amp, it is pretty hefty, coming in at almost 14kg. Its features are readily accessible elsewhere (e.g.,, so I won’t take up space repeating them here. How it sounds is more relevant.

I listen mostly to classical music and, after acquiring it about a month ago, my initial reaction was that the sound was muddied and inarticulate. Symphonic music in particular was a sonic mess, with little staging and a general cacophony of poorly distinguished instruments. Bass was harsh and treble was dark. I should say that this was a used model, so I assumed it had already been burned in. Wrong! One of my test recordings is Barbara Bonney’s "Fairest Isle," particularly the first track, "Come Again." With the NAD/Cabasse, Bonney's voice was ethereal and light, with each of her inhalations sounding natural and clean. When I tried this disc initially, I was shocked at the darkness of her tone. What did strike me positively were the tight and "honest" bass and the clarity of the midrange.

Yet, I felt disappointed, especially after listening to other classical and rock CDs (e.g., Dylan’s "Love and Theft") and LPs (esp. Brubeck's "Time Out"). In each case, the treble did not seem lacking, rather it was almost sepia-toned rather that Technicolor. In truth, I didn't play much music for over a week, although all the equipment was on 24/7.

Well, all that changed yesterday afternoon and evening. I am recovering from a raging flu and have been forced to sit around a lot (not that it takes much convincing!). I thought, well hell, let’s give some discs a spin.

Before getting into the nitty gritty, here are the reference recordings I listened to (and in this order):

1. Barbara Bonney: "Fairest Isle" (early English songs by Dowland, Purcell, others). Decca 289 46 132-2 (2001)
2. Tierney Sutton: "Unsung Heroes." Telarc Jazz CD-83477 (2000)
3. Angela Gheorghiu: "Verdi Heroines." Decca 289 466 952-2 (2000)
4. Bach: "Toccatas and Fugues." Christopher Herrick, organ. Hyperion CDA 66434 (1990)
5. Rameau: "Cantates Profanes" & "Pieces en Consert." Virgin Veritas 7243 5 61540 (1994)
6. Faure: "Sonatas for Violin and Piano." Isabelle Faust (v) and Florent Boffard (p). Harmonia Mundi HMC 901741 (2002)
7. Mussorgsky: "Pictures From An Exhibition." Mikhail Pletnev (piano). Virgin Classics 0777 759112 6 (1991)
8. Brahms: "Violin Concerto." Hilary Hahn (v), Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Marriner. Sony SK 89649 (2001)
9. Dave Brubeck Qt: "Time Out. LP (original issue).
10. Bob Dylan: "Love and Theft." LP and CD.

CD Playback:
I put on the first track of "Fairest Isle" and swept away right from the start! The purity of the voice, the imaging, the presence, were all I had ever dreamed of. There was still something of the darkness that had bothered me initially, but it was so dramatically reduced. I started wondering if I was comparing what might be an artificially bright NAD unit to a Plinius that was more "true." In other words, a hint of darkness around the soprano’s voice might be more natural and the way the music was captured.

To find out, I turned to Tierney Sutton who, in my mind, is one of the finest female vocalists around. The first few bars of "Remember Me" sent chills down my spine. The finesses of her voice and of her ensemble was something I had never heard before. Trey Henry’s bass and Ray Brinker’s drums were simply stunning, not in their skill, but in the presentation. With my eyes closed, I could almost reach out and feel the band. "Joy Spring" and "Con Alma" were particularly revealing and effortless to listen to. The percussive elements were rendered in such clarity and detail that I sat and listened in awe. And Sutton's voice, always a marvel to me, was as clear and natural as if she were in the room. At times, her voice is a little breathy and dark (intentionally so), but it was never unnaturally reproduced, overly dark, or otherwise colored. It is jazz, after all. In short, my initial reaction to Barbara Bonney's voice could be chalked up to the recording (but more on that later).

To get a feel for some heavyweight orchestral and vocal works, I turned to Angela Gheorghiu's "Verdi Heroines." I'm not a big Gheorghiu fan, but this is one hell of a disc, thanks to a crack production crew and Riccardo Chailly's baton. The voice, as with Sutton's was recorded impeccably and some subtleties of breath control and timbre were clear for the first time. And, as this was the first disc with full-blown orchestra, I was delighted to hear a "real" orchestra in "real" space. Every section seemed in its right place. I do have some issues with over-miked classical recordings, and this is one instance. Rather than being "blended" naturally, this newer generation of engineers has a thing for "turning up the volume," so to speak, on whatever section of the orchestra is supposed to be featured. This can lead to some artificially loud passages by cellos or violas, for instance; more so than one would hear live. That's a pet peeve for another time! Back to the music: Gheorghiu's disc was wonderful.

After all that, I still have some treble issues, which I'll come back to later. Having not given the bass a run for its money, out came Christopher Herrick's recording of Bach. This CD includes that all-too-familiar "Toccata and Fugue in D min.," but which nonetheless is a good test of a system's capabilities. Here, the organ was faithfully reproduced, although not as well engineered as I would have hoped for. The foot pedals, in particular, were lacking in depth. However, the more beautiful "Toccata and Fugue in F maj." (an unheralded masterpiece) was so dynamic as to be a shocking contrast. It was all there! The upper registers, the subtle changes as Herrick changed stops, the footwork…just incredibly sweet and deep. The bass vibrated the floor and the highs rattled the crystal. Lest you think I was fooled by "amount," rather than "quality" of sound, let me reassure you! I have listened to live organ music for years, and even took organ lessons as a youth, so I think I know what I was hearing. I couldn't stop listening, and just let the CD play right through. After reading the liner notes, the reason the second Toccata is better is, I think, due to the fact that it was recorded on a different date.

Well, there's more to keyboard than organ. There's harpsichord, clavecin, piano….. I'm a big fan of Christophe Rousset and Sophie Yates, two incredibly talented harpsichordists. However, I turned instead to a recording of Jean-Philippe Rameau with Willem Jansen at the clavecin (along with l'Ensemble Baroque de Limoges). Harpsichord, if not recorded well (e.g., a recent recording of Orlando Gibbons by Linn of all companies!) is really hard to listen to. It can be tinny, strident, piercing, or even dull. Kudos to both Virgin for an exquisite recording and to Plinius for such faithful and crystalline playback. What a revelation! After listening to this recording via NAD, Berning, Quad, Naim, Audio Analogue, and others too numerous to mention, I thought of it as being a nice recording of exquisite music. What I heard last night was an excellent recording of exquisite music.

Rameau put me in the mood for some chamber works, and after only a few seconds of perusing the CD collection, Faure's sonatas jumped out at me. I'm a devotee of chamber music, but only a recent convert to Faure's (love his "Requiem," however). As with other CDs I listened to, the midrange and bass were flawless. The higher registers of both the piano and violin were a little shaded, but again only subtly. The third movement of Faure's Sonata No. 1 (Op. 13) was particularly delightful with respect to musicianship and revealing in terms of the clarity. The violin, in particular showed off its deeper registers wonderfully.

Wanting to hear a little more piano, solo this time, I took out what is, in my opinion, the definitive recording of Mussorgsky’s "Pictures" (written originally for piano, as you know). By the way, I can't stand Ravel’s orchestration nor most other pianists' attempts to plumb the depths of this astonishing work. I have heard Pletnev in recital and Know what his is capable of (in a word, magic). I swear on a stack of bibles and on a stack of my used Kleenex that recorded piano has never sounded so immediate, true, and vibrant. The fading of notes into the distance, the pedaling, the lower registers...these were all conveyed with a sense of truth and musicality.

So, after listening to "Pictures," it was getting late, but I wasn't done yet. Just one more CD, please?! I just had to hear Hilary Hahn's Brahms. Now, here's where things started to get interesting. Sony has done a great deal to make the violin "forward" sounding. This, unfortunately, is not unusual in the classical recording world. The labels want their "stars" to shine, I suppose, but sometimes they are miked so far forward as to be grating. Although I had come to admire this recording (not the best version, to be sure, but what a great young talent), my opinion was mostly based on a seemingly well-balanced and integrated recording of the orchestra. Wrong! Back to pet peeve: if there is any example of over over-miking a soloist and various sections of the orchestra, this is it!

It's back to the old Heifitz, Chicago Symphony, Reiner (RCA) recording and the Joshua Bell version with the Cleveland Orchestra (Decca) from now on! Tasmin Little with the Royal Liverpool Phil. (EMI) is pretty damn good, too. Sorry for that aside.

Vinyl Playback:
Now, it must be bedtime. Nah….. How about a little Brubeck or Freddie Hubbard to test out the phono section? OK. Previously, I had been running my Linn through either an EAR 834P or Blue Circle BC-23 into the NAD. I have recently sold the EAR (can’t have everything!) and kept the BC. So, I listened to Brubeck first with the BC plugged into one of the tape inputs (there is no designated AUX on the Plinius). I've been doing this for some weeks, but never have been fully satisfied. However, things again seemed to have improved. Everything about this recording (realizing its vintage, etc.) is "right." Brubeck's pianism, Desmond's sax work, whats-his-names percussion (esp. cymbal work) is beautifully rendered. I then violated one rule of some vinyl-heads by playing side 1 again (I don't care about this overheating the vinyl thing), but this time directly into the Plinius' phono section.

Under-awed is all I can say. It was somewhat muddied. I had hoped that I could streamline my system by concluding that my BC was redundant. No such hope. I'm not sure how to describe it, but vinyl via the Plinius seemed thick and slow. Just to be sure, I put on the vinyl of Bob Dylan's recent "Love and Theft" and had the same reaction. Excellent (but not superb) with the BC, only very good with the Plinius. On the Dylan, the song "Mississippi" is complex, with so much going on. The cymbals, particularly their fading into the distance is clear with the CD version and on the LP with the BC. With the Plinius, there seemed to be details missing. This is most noticeable in the midrange and highs, which was completely unexpected given CD playback and the reputation of Plinius' phono stages (the affordable Jarrah and the unaffordable M14).

Some General Comments:
In re-reading this review (what a frikkin' chore!), I notice that I rarely referred directly to "Plinius." This is, I believe, a consequence of having spent a delightful evening listening to music, not to a playback system. I never fatigued. In fact, I had anticipated listening to selected tracks from various CDs and LPs. Instead, what I did (with the exception of the Verdi arias) was listen straight through. I couldn't get enough. Yeah, OK, I was also bummed by the Green Bay Packers – Atlanta Falcons playoff game and needed a distraction! In truth, the Plinius is an awesome piece of equipment.

Overall Strengths:
Without a doubt, Plinius excels in reproducing mids and bass. I have read other reviews and comments, mostly glowing, about this unit. However, I have also read some criticisms of the bass as being "boomy." I have no such reaction at all. To the contrary, I find the bass to be remarkably clear, well-defined, and deep. I can only attribute this bass issue as being related to either setup or to some other system components of other reviewers.

The soundstaging of the Plinius is also remarkable. Orchestral sections and individual instruments in a jazz band are well-defined, both musically and spatially. And solo instrument are portrayed realistically.

The phono section was a disappointment, but not so much as to be a big issue. If I did not have a separate phono stage with which to compare, I might have reached a different conclusion (no comparisons are definitive!). However, I am going to give it another chance and see if it might be the location of the BC vs. the Plinius in my rack, the Mana wall shelf settling in, or some other factor(s).

My initial reaction about an element of darkness to the female voice has been largely resolved. I say "largely," because I'm still curious about is still there to some extent. Here's one hypothesis, and I would love some feedback from readers of this extended Sunday morning drivel: Even a higher-pitched voice (be it female or male) has some lower register to it, generated simply by harmonics. The same is true with stringed instruments and with piano: plucking, bowing, or hammering a string will set up harmonic tones from other strings and from the body of the instrument itself. Is it possible that other amplifiers (such as my otherwise trusty NAD and others) simply fail to reproduce this faithfully? In other words, is the Plinius picking up all of this and giving (to me) a false impression of dark overtones? Or, am I concocting an excuse to "forgive" the Plinius?!

If money were no object, yes I would keep it. I would be tempted by Plinius separates, but I hope I would save the money and buy some wine futures, CDs and LPs!

Associated gear
NAD 521i (cdp)
Cabasse speakers
van den Hul hybrid interconnects
Blue Circle BC-23 phono stage
Linn LP12/Ittock

See my System for details

Similar products
NAD C370
Audio Analogue Puccini SE
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9d5ede41 0932 4059 8181 125e44af3c65cpdunn99
Very nice review. I too have the Plinius amp but an Upgraded 8150 to 8200 Mk1. I concur with most of your findings. May I ask what power cord you are using on your Plinius ? The reason why is the Plinius is very sensitive to power cords. The stock cord especially needs to be replaced.I have found excellent results with the Shunyata Python and NBS Statement. The Plinius loves both of these but each does things as a whole that you need to compare and choose but you should see a remarkable improvement with either one.
Cpdunn99, I made sure to click on this review when I saw your name next to it, and you do not disappoint! Nice article and effort. So, did you conclude that the week of leaving the unit turned on was a crucial factor? I have read in TAS that this piece should be continuously powered up, and similar comments about Plinius' amps in the forums here. I am almost sure that part of your initial reaction was due to the NAD's having thinned-out the sound by comparision - my old NAD gear sure did that. I don't have any experience with the 8200 in particular or Plinius in general, but I would certainly second Sherod's recommendation based on my experience of SS electronics and PC's. I have found a good aftermarket PC (and I don't have anything in the league of Sherod's) can definitely help lift away a slight 'hooded' quality and let the sound open up more fully, as well as reduce grain and more clearly deliniate the soundstage and imaging. The little and cheap AudioPrism QuietLines can also be of (much smaller) help when plugged in at the wall. As for the phonostage performance, I wonder what your cart is and what the loading differences may be between the units in question (or maybe it also just needs some signal run through it for a while to break in if the previous owner didn't use it much). Overall, my experience has always been that better electronics with beefier power supplies will more fully deliver the music's lower portions, so I would say place your trust in the Plinius' presentation and proceed from there concerning wires etc. And oh, the guy's name is Joe Morello. Enjoy!
Sherod, Thanks for your feedback and suggestions. I am using the stock PC. Yes, I should look into others, but I'm not willing to spend gobs of money on ones.

Thanks for your observations. Your description of "hooded quality" is right on! What a great term! I will definitely follow up on the PCs. As for the NAD "thinning out" the sound....that is precisely what I was aiming at. Thanks for saying it so succinctly. I am using a WireMold power strip (the same model recommended by NAIM).

As for having it turned on constantly...yes, I'm quite certain that it needed more that the recommended 24 hrs. of warmup to really shine. I leave everything powered up (or on standby) 24/7.

I'm using a Goldring Excel VX cartridge (see my System setup) which is medium output (0.5mv). The gain on my Blue Circle is at 61db. The input sensitivity of the Plinius phono section is 1.5mV for low gain phono and 0.75mV for high gain phono. This may be where the issue lies.

I missed something: who is Joe Morello?
I realize the two power cords I recommended are a little overkill.You might contact and arrange to test in your system a couple of their cords that are available. They have a return policy for cords that don't work out for also has a 30 day return policy as wel as others, but you will see a big improvement in a power cord upgrade. Get a cord that is at least 10 guage.Once you find the right power cord, it will be like you stepped up to the Plinius separates. Yes, the power cord makes that big of a difference on the Plinius.Believe me. I've done some serious, lengthy comparisons on my Plinius amp.And with my new Meadowlark Osprey, they especially show the differences.
JM is "what's-his-name" with the "beautifully rendered" cymbal work on Brubeck! Yeah, I would really consider .5mv to be closer to a low-output MC, and the gain on your BC sounds more appropriate for this. There's also bound to be some difference, maybe quite large, between the input loading impedances of the two phonostages, which can rather dramatically alter the sound character. If you are still interested in streamlining the ol' equipment rack, you might want to contact Plinius about these issues - it's quite possible that a couple of resistor changes on the phonoboard could yield more optimal gain and loading settings for your cart, but of course there can be no guarantees that you will ever prefer it to your BC unit. As far as PC's go, there tend to be many reasonably priced used alternatives floating around Audiogon most all the time; you should be able to try out one or even a few with minimal risk of net loss just to see if that helps out, without committing to dropping a bundle right away. (I myself have found that in the low-$100's range used, the Shunyata Sidewinder [10-guage, original purpleish-pink version] lends a livelier and more sharply defined presentation to my VTL amps, but there are many other choices.)
That's good, Zaikesman! I will contact Plinius, as you suggest.

As for "whats-his-name".....duh!! Of course! Silly me!
cpdunn99--great review. I have some experience with this amp and find your description of its initial sound to be very close to what I heard, and very insightful.

I'd like to know what you have to say about this amp a month from now. I mean no disrespect (gawd, you sound like a great person, I'd like to meet you), but my experience in this hobby has been that drawing conclusions about a component on the basis of one night of musical ecstasy often leaves me feeling foolish down the road. Your flu may have been a factor, or the weather, or who knows what, but let's see if you still love the Plinius after living with it for a while, or if your early, less positive impressions start to nudge back into your assessment. Let us know, will you?
Thanks, Drubin, for your comments and suggestion to update my impressions after continued listening. I'll say something about that in a moment, but first I'm wondering what YOUR impressions are after some listening?

It's only been 10 days since I posted the review. Yet, my positive reaction has been further enhanced. Damn it...I don't want to go to bed at night and don't want to go to work! I've been toying with the idea of some tweaks (new PCs, speaker cables, etc.) to gain a tad more "brightness;" however, I'm so much enjoying the music that I really don't want to interrupt things by contorting myself into terrifying shapes trying to swap out cables, etc. So, another 10 days of bliss.

Sure, I'll keep you posted! And you are right: there are other variables that factor into a listening experience, particularly such an "epiphany."
Cpdunn99, I just did a comparison of several power cords on my Plinius 8200 and the Acoustic Zen Tsunami won hands down. If you're looking for that extra sparkle and realism for your Plinius, I think the Tsunami is your ticket. You can find a good used Mk.I for around $190.00-$200.00. The newer MkII version I hear has some refined improvements,but this hasn't been out very long, so used ones aren't as available. Keep us posted on your findings.

Great! Thanks for the recommendation! I have been trying out an HT ProAc 11 that is $379. I can definitely hear an improvement over the stock PC, but not $379 worth. So, a less expensive AZ sounds like the ticket.
I have not heard the Harmonic Tech cord but I've read that the Tsunami is better for people who have compared the two. Again, system matching is important. You might want to give the HT cord some more time to further break in with the amp. Leave it cooking 24/7 with a CD playing continously for another few days. Then you should be able to make a fairer comparison.Search also the threads for Harmonic Tech for more info.
The HT was supposedly already burned in, but I don't know for how long (probably fewer than 40 hr). I will try to give it more time and do as you suggest. Thanks a lot for your other suggestions via e-mail!

I have installed an Acoustic Zen Tsunami pc, per the recommendation of Sherod and others. This has definitely reduced the noise question about it, and taken some haze out of the overall soundscape. I also have some new (but used) speaker cables (AQ Argent) that are awaiting new and larger spades (speaker end). Will report on that at another time.

For those who wonder if my impressions have changed or not, they HAVE NOT! I am late for work every day now because I stay up all night, not listening to my system, but listening to music. I haven't paid my bills in weeks, washed dishes, vacuumed....

This Plinius is a real treat!
Chris, I know you'll treasure it even more as you're using it for a pillow when you wind up sleeping in the park... ;^)

You're not far from the truth!! With alimony and taxes to worry about, it could very well end up there! At least the Plinius runs warm!
Good to hear the Tsunami is working out for you. There are better cords but you'll have to pay much more for the improvement. I still have the Tsunami on my Plinius, but I'm getting an itch to upgrade already. I've been thinking about the Shunyata Anaconda or one of the Elrods. I currently have the new Sonoran Plateau power cord on my Sony 9000ES and it is sounding very musical. If you'd save me a bench to sleep on in the park, I'd appreciate it. At least we'll have our Plinius amps to keep us warm. Just make sure the park has dedicated outlets near the benches.Happy listening.

I've got a couple of spaces staked out on lower Wacker Drive that might fit the bill! I'll see about getting some hospital-grade outlets installed.

What about the BMI pc's (Whale, Eel, etc)? Any experience with them?
I have no experiences with the BMI products. I am currently playing around with a Sonoran Plateau power cord on my Plinius and Sony 9000ES.I'm switching back and forth every few days to see what sounds best.The Plinius seems to be more sensitive to power cords than previous amps I've had.This Kiwi amp is a strange but wonderfully musical sounding bird.
It sure IS a wonderful beast! I just got an Arcam cd player yesterday (used Alpha 9). Man, the Plinius/Arcam combination is a fine one!

I just bought a Plinius 8200MKII and fired it up about 2 hours ago. It is very nice indeed and I will save my comments til it is broken in etc. however I thought you might like to know that Vince at Plinius recommended I try this PC - in a 10 ft length only.

at a cost of only about $70 it might be nice.

I will reply in the future with my feelings about the amp, I will say since I am 'downgrading" to this amp it is reasonably close in sound to the old one (see system).


I can't wait to hear what you think! I found that it took about 2 weeks for it to really show its stuff. Too bad you have to downgrade, or are you building a second system?

I'd be really interested in your impressions of vinyl playback. I presume you'll be using the Plinius' phono section (which I find underpowered for my Linn Arkiv).

Thanks for the PC recommendation. I'll look into it...probably the same one Vince mentioned to me some time ago (but never followed up on...gulp).


I can not believe it has been over 3 months since I posted last but I now have experience with my 8200 MKII with my old speakers (Maggie 1.6) and my new ones Reynaud Trente.

First of all I think it took a full month to break in, in the last week everything in the frequency range smoothed out and became more neutral.

When I had the Maggies I felt it was not as good a match as with my Reynauds, the amp never had enough power to sound convincing, the bass in particular was lacking in control compared to my SA 100 MKIII. When pushed, the sound became washed out in a typical manner and was not controlled. I tend to agree with someone on Agon who mentioned he thought the 8200 MKII could not drive difficult loads, my findings seem to bear this out.

On the positive side the Plinius seems to be a very good match with the (easy to drive) Reynauds. Midrange tones in particular are a real pleasure to listen to, I know this is an area that my speakers are supposed to excell and this amp is letting it all thru. I am listening to a record of Charlie Byrd on acoustic guitar and when he strums sharply the sound seems to get bigger in a satisfying way, much like I think a live performance does, showing off the dynamics of the amp and speakers. I think the high end is equally rich in tone and detail with cymbols that 'splash' and have many different hues. The bass is very nice too with a lot of detail and is pretty defined, not up there with my old Rogue/Plinius combo but pretty good. I agree somewhat with the people that say the 8200 MKII bass is flabby, I would never use that harsh a word but I feel it is lacking the ultimate punch and tightness. I do feel this shows up more than most amps would because with the Plinius you are hearing the lower bass sound to begin with, something I feel a lot of amps just do not give you.

I know this review is kind of rambling and not well structured but the bottom line for me is that I have always liked and owned tube amps and pre amps and have recently considered a VAC Avatar or something similar but without hearing one in my home I do not know if I would prefer it to the Plinius. I am not talking about the Plinius being more extended or reliable, I mean I wonder if it may have better tone and nuance in the mids (as well as imaging) which is great as well.

Also I do not want to forget the phono stage, which I have read is nothing special but it seems to be very nice, and my turntable seems to be about the same amount better than my CD player and tuner as it was when I had the Rogue 99M which is supposed to have a great phono stage. I do not think this one is as good as the Rogue's but I can just put a record on and enjoy it without yearning for something else, it is very detailed and airy and like the amp itself there is no harshness at all just great music.

happy listening


Time does fly, doesn't it?! Interesting comments and well-stated. I agree completely that the 8200 does a great job driving more efficient speakers. My Cabasse are very efficient, which is one reason the 8200 does well, as would tubes, were I to go that route.

It's a shame you had to get rid of the SA 100 MKIII and sort of step down to the integrated.

I agree, for the most part, about the bass. I, too, would never call it flabby, but do agree that because it reveals more than some other integrated amps, it also reveals some slight deficiencies, if that makes sense.

I wish I could give the phono section another run for it's money, but my cartridge has too low an ouput, it seems, for the Plinius to really handle it. I suspect your Grado is more in line with what it was designed for.

Anyway, I'm glad you posted your comments. All in all, it seems positive. People moving "up" to an 8200 would likely have a different nuance to a review than someone moving "down," wouldn't you think?

I agree Christopher,

Moving 'down' to the Plinius I do miss some of the things I may not have noticed if I had not owned the separates.

In rereading my review I see I did not mention the superb qualities I get from my stereo with the 8200 MKII which is IMO more neutral than my old setup (Rogue 99M and Plinius SA100 MKIII) and has better tone.

Qualities like air being forced thru an oboe or other horn instrument are very obvious and horn instruments or keyboards have a resonance and sometimes pressureize the room too. These are qualities that to me convey the real thing and involve me in the music.

In part I think my comments are swayed by my new speakers which are superb and just get better and better. If you find yourself in the market for a new speaker try the Reynaud Trentes, I agree with the glowing comments I have read about them.

I will definitely keep a look out (ear open?) for the Reynaud's. Thanks for the comments about the Plinius and the recommendation on the speakers! Sounds like a great match.