Perreaux Eloquence 150i
Ok it’s doesn’t spin the CD for you and does not have a built in tuner. But everything else is included.
It has a built in DAC. It has USB/Optical/AES/CO-AX
It has a MM and MC preamp built in
It has XLR and RCA inputs
It can be used as an amp or preamp or integrated
It can upsample all inputs – menu
You can set the gain of the phono – menu
The last preamp I had that was this configurable was the Mark Levinson Reference 32.
Enough now of the hype. How does the thing sound ?
Sweet. My first word that comes to mind. Sweet like in airy, enveloping, attention grabbing. The kind of sweet that makes you smile and slump into the listening position. You close your eyes and let the music take you over. This is the type of amp that will try and make bad recordings acceptable. It’s not a doctors scalpel. It doesn’t dissect music into little cubicles. It MAKES music.
It has plenty of bass. All this from 150w ? An here is the rub. The manufacturer lied. It’s far over 220W measured. When last did your VW Polo 1.4 reach 270km/h ? It is a VERY strong integrated amplifier. So most speakers submit to it and play under its control.
There are however speakers that make it loose a bit of composure. The Revel Salon Ultima II and The Tannoy Kingdom 18. And that is the only “unfair” criticism I could find. But these are monster speakers that prefer 350-500W of class A power. So maybe we were unfair to the little beast.
But a Watt Puppy 5, Kef Reference 203, Sonus Faber Amati, Tannoy D900, Revel Studio’s. They all played magnificently.
I love the midrange. It comes forward towards you. It stretches the soundstage. More than most solid State amplifiers. It starts to compete with good valve amplifiers here!
The bass is strong and tuneful. It has the textures and differentiation we expect from a very good solid State amplifier. You can clearly follow the bass guitarist playing his notes. It doesn’t drone on. It stops runaway woofers in its tracks. It overcomes the exuberant woofer movements easily.
The treble is extended, clear and a tad sweet. Sweet is a strange word for audio, but one can identify easily because sweet is sweet for any taste bud. And our ears differ so much. Grab Katie Melua. She sounds brilliant. Take Yello and crank it up. Again the finest detail jumps out at you, some notes float in the air in a way lots of good valve amplifiers does.
It is not a cheap amplifier. It is not expensive either. It is a High end amplifier with a very reasonable price. Its competition is more expensive. Its competition doesn’t sound better though. I would dare to say this is an audiophile bargain.
Now we wait for its bigger brother the 250i. Cannot wait!
I was not always a fan of integrated amplifiers. This Integrated bent me a little to its will. It had everything I needed. It left me with so many options. I could configure it as needed. Even use it as a pre-amplifier for the Prism 350p.
I cannot recommend this more. There are few competitors out there with this value.
EMM Labs CDSA driven via USB from PC via JRiver. SACD and CD also used as source
Audio Research Reference 5
Kef Reference 203/2, Wilson Watt/Puppy, SDA Acoustics
Van den Hul Mountain, Transparent Reference XL
A New Zealand (Swiss) Army knife!
Does everything BRILLIANTLY…