Electrocompaniet ECI 3 Amplifier

Electrocompaniet has existed for quite a while and while this amp definitely does not date from the first times of the firm, it is hardly a spring chicken. It is a notably big animal, deep and broad, which can be only partially accounted for from the employment of through-hole parts which take up much more room compared to surface-mount ones used for instance Cyrus and by Arcam. But Astin Trew, moreover, uses through-hole, plus valves and much more attributes than the ECI-3. The truth is it is not difficult to determine ways in which this amp may happen to be made several inches more shallow, hence the size is definitely a design choice.

The mains transformer virtually vanishes in such space, but it is helped by very ample amounts of smoothing capacitance and chunky. Input choice is performed with relays and there is volume control that was conventional, but it is not linked to your knob. This is a pain plus it is definitely not faster when compared to a single-turn knob, but Electrocompaniet has got it about right plus it is not difficult to 'nudge' the volume down and up in tiny increments. A blue LED, which will be observable through the front panel, monitoring the volume control's setting mechanically shows setting.

Input signals run to six, among which is balanced, while preamp outputs, the latter join dual recording output signals.


Opinion split among our listening panellists somewhat although there was more praise than blame with this amp. The most important reason behind this was undoubtedly a tiny amount of brightness in contrast to all the versions in the group. The brightness was found by the next listener but it did not appear to trouble him deeply one way or the other.

So if we discount the opinions of the person for whom this amp was a small trial, it appears there's plenty of penetration and detail to appreciate in the ECI-3. There is also great bass, maybe not not the most indulgent, but exact, clear and rhythmically driving and definitely the most drawn-out.

Imaging is intriguing, outstanding laterally with an extremely high level of precision compressed when it comes to depth - when listening sighted to the amp, I felt the same.

Maybe, more than any others in this group this amp appears to make its greatest impression something that one can not very well create in a quickfire evaluation that is comparative. Most likely, this can be purely to the reality that with a few hour's listening, one becomes comfortable using the brightness and this dominant feature is perceived to be powerful and quite beguiling with detail. It is sensible then, to listen to get an extended span to essentially value if the brightness gets less or more clear, before judging this amp!

Electrocompaniet ECI 3 Amplifier photo