Synthesis Amplifiers: One of High End's Best Kept Secrets?

Just stopping by to share my enthusiasm for my new Synthesis A100 Titan integrated amplifier. For the past few years, I have been on the hunt for the best integrated amp I could find in my price range. I've had a Line Magnetic 508ia, a Devialet, a Lyngdorf TDAI-3400, a Boulder 866, a Vitus RI-101 mk2, and a Vitus SIA-025 mk2 in the past four or five years. I enjoyed aspects of each of these amps, some related to sonics, some to functionality, and some to build quality. 

And yet, in each case, after several months, I found that I wasn't quite getting the sound I wanted--rich, three-dimensional. engaging, and dynamic without being fatiguing. Too often, I found myself picking the sonic picture apart, assessing this or that at the expense of pure musical enjoyment.

I finally decided to give up on my hunt for the "perfect" solid state solution and go back to tubes, which led me to audition the Synthesis A100 Titan, an amp that features an octet of KT66 tubes, a pair of 12AX7, a pair of 12BH7, and even an onboard DAC. I was intrigued by this amp, but found very, very little written about it in the audio forums (here and elsewhere), except the praise of a couple of folks.

I've had it about a month now, so while I cannot give a guarantee that it is my "lifetime amp" in light of my history of amp promiscuity, I can say with absolute assurance that I find this amp far more satisfying and exciting than any of the amps I've had through here over the past few years.

In short, I am just astonished by it. I had assumed that at the very least, the onboard DAC would be inferior to my Lampizator Baltic 3, which is just wonderful in every respect, but as I spend more time comparing, I am not even sure of that anymore. The onboard DAC is so good that I am now planning to try some different USB cables to see how much performance can be squeezed out of it. Very possibly, my excellent Lampi may soon be up for sale.

Just to be clear, this is no ad, and I have no affiliation whatsoever with any dealer or distributor. I just can't believe how good this amp is, and how relatively unheralded it is. So I am heralding. The Titan is a pure pleasure to listen through every night, and a magical match with my Fyne speakers. The presentation is utterly immersive, and spellbinding. I am no longer picking the sound apart. There's no need.

If you are in the market, I highly recommend an audition.





You have owned some highly regarded non tubed amplifiers, Vitus/Boulder/Lyngdorf.  Yet in a sense I'm not surprised by your return to a tube amplifier.  It's quite apparent that you are very pleased with the Synthesis -Fyne pairing.  I am happy for you. Congratulations!!!


I had the A40 in my system for a long time and absolutely loved it, the A100 was out of my price range at the time. The DAC model is the same in both and is amazing. I just upgraded to  Synthesis Roma 98 DC mono blocks and the Roma 117DC pre-amp and my system has gone to another level. Luigi builds some fantastic equipment. 

The new amp and linestage are terrific sounding components.  Like the A100s, a local dealer has had quite a few "shocking" trade-ins of very expensive gear for these items based on the sound.  Off hand, I cannot think of commercial, non-custom made amps that I prefer over the separates or the A100.  Synthesis has some very upscale, extremely large amps in the "Metropolis" line that I've heard which are very good amps.  Yes, these are even better, particularly if one needs a lot of power, but, I like the more compact form of the new separates, the A100 and the A40.  They have a cheaper integrated with built in DAC and phono stage that is no slouch too, but, I like the above-mentioned gear because they are built into large enough chassis that make long-term damage from heat less of an issue.

Very cool Chris. You have a terrific set of ears and I for appreciate your candor and well written thoughts. Enjoy!

You all sound like happy customers. They must be pretty great amos to impress your experienced ears so much. Congrats! They're nice to look at too.