DAYENS // Integrated Amplifers / Ampino review

Ampino review by Mr. David Ford from UK

Dayens Ampino 25/40 watts Upgraded Version

I have been a Hifi Nut for over 40 years and, in that time, I have owned a wide range of equipment – some good some bad – but, over the years, I have learned enough to know when something is “just a bit special”! I have also grown out of being impressed by something that is very “hifi” in sound and concept – we are listening to music so our amps should sound musical.

I substituted the Ampino for a highish end valve amp and was amazed by the quality of sound produced. I have now run the amp for around 100 hours (the time that Zoran reckoned would be a good burn in period) and just enjoy it more and more each day. It has all of the attributes that would be at the top of anyone’s list when speccing out the ideal amp. All areas of the sound spectrum are dealt with in an even-handed manner – the bass is excellent – superbly musical and deep string and electric bass content, clear and insightful midrange and high hat cymbals, in particular, have that shimmer that only valve amps and very good solid state amps can achieve. The amp is dynamic without being, in the least, tiring, there is great insight into the detail and instrumental separation is excellent whilst still enabling the whole to “hang together”. If I were being really picky, I would say that the sound stage is not quite as wide as my valve amp but this takes away no enjoyment from the music.

I don’t know how the amp would fare with inefficient speakers – my speakers are rated at 96db for 1 watt so are pretty easy to drive. If it won’t drive yours there is always the Dayens Menuetto Amplifier with 40/60 watts p/c and only “a few dollars more”!

I should say that the Ampino is not being used with a source or speakers of a comparable price. I am using a Densen CD player although my Ipod setup, Ipod Classic (all music files in Apple Lossless format) through an Onkyo Media Dock (cracking item - one third the price of a Wadia and with the same digital output facility – very good value!) through a Musical Fidelity VDAC is probably representative of an ideal source for the Ampino. My speakers are American Audio Nirvana alnico concentrics which are high efficiency and just brilliant all-round speakers – very very musical. All mains cables are pretty “up there” in quality and interconnects and speaker cables are all solid silver.

The Ampino is now my main amp of choice and I am considering selling my valve amp – need I say more! The Ampino is a brilliant product and is excellent value – it rates up there with some very well reputed products which cost very very much more.

All the best

David Ford

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