I had a very interesting afternoon at the Synthesis dealer in my area. He is someone who believes that amps make a huge difference such that systems with “modest” speakers can sound spectacular with the right amplifier. To prove his point, he had tiny ProAc Tablettes being powered by a Synthesis NYC (part of the Metropolitan series; 4 KT 120’s per channel). It was quite shocking how good was the sound coming from these tiny speakers—rich, powerful, room filling, and punchy. While no one would actually go with such a match, it certainly proved that most speakers will deliver far more than one can imagine when given the chance.
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.
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That's a good point and one of the reasons why I'm shopping for a high watt/current amp to try on the speakers I have now before deciding on switching them out.
- 34 posts total