The Prisma 350 arrived and was promptly take out of its box to be investigated. The packaging was very good to excellent. Made to withstand a long journey.
The amplifier was not your typical drool-worthy work of metal art. It was solid, simple and elegant. Very elegant. It felt good to the touch and not overly big either. No sharp edges or unsightly heatsinks protruding from it.
It was rather heavy though, hinting at some serious power inside.
The back of the amplifier had everything one could wish for in a power amplifier. Balanced and Single ended, Good speaker terminals. 12V trigger and earth float.
We set up the amplifier with my trusty Hovland HP100 and the EMMLabs CD Player/DOC. The moment the first notes came through our attention was peaked. “What is this ?” A most pleasant sound. Pleasant for the lack of immediate audiophile cliches.
Wow Mr Perreaux, aren’t you a SS amplifier ? Well sort of. It does sport an abundance of MOSFET transistors. It is fast and decisive. But never the slightest harshness. For a treble shy person like me it was notes from Heaven.
The fine detail is all there, it doesn’t start throwing things away to please the listener, it just doesn’t try and impress you with artificial detail. There is a sweetness, almost valve like character to the trebles.
The mid-range is more like SS. Also fast, warm off neutral and in balance with the upper registers. It doesn’t come sit right in from of you like the top valve amplifiers, and it doesn’t hide. Female vocals are good, male vocals are amazing in texture. Guitar, Sax and drums sound so good.
The bass is something the Perreaux is proud of. Tuneful and never rumbling. The control is there. Drums, Synth and Organ will not run away with your speakers. It goes very deep,
Now where does this Perreaux fit in with the “establishment”. I would say rather close to the very best! Suffice it to say I have heard a lot of Levinsons, McIntosh and Krell amplifiers sound worse. My own FPB700cx beats this upstart on power and bass, but that is it. My Plinius SR Reference matches the bass, competes in the mid-range but misses the spot in the upper registers.
This amplifier Ill put in my Class A list. Along with my Manley Reference amplifiers and Krell FPB700cx.
It is a pity its footprint in our country is so small. Yes its expensive at almost $8000, but not overly so. there are a lot of 150W amplifiers far beyond the $10k mark now.
It has enough power to drive 95% of the speakers out there to terminating levels. 600W into 4Ohm, 80A current delivery per channel. Rather sufficient I would say.
Well done Perreaux on a stunning amplifier.
EMM Labs CDSA driven via USB from PC via JRiver. SACD and CD also used as source
Tannoy Kingdom 18’s & Kef Reference 203/2
Audio Research Reference 5
Van den Hul Mountain, Transparent Reference XL
Power Amplifiers are about power delivery and not so much about looks and style. This power amplifier is a quite beauty, not a ramp model.
But the way it delivers its power, fast, articulate and precise.
One of the best solid-state amplifiers I have heard since the Krell FPB700cx