Arcam A18 Amplifier

True, every now and again a part in the British firm might fail to excite the fires, unless 'preoccupied' is a fire, but their success-to-miss rate is quite striking.

With 50W per channel, this signifies Arcam's notion of an entry level machine, but, when it comes to pricing, and truly operation, the A18 is quite definitely a reduced mid-market competition.

The A18 is not untidy, but the FMJ appearance is not any longer as new as it once was. About in the company end, there are the typical RCA inputs adequate binding places, two tape loops, a pre-outside, and, I am very happy to report, a suitable earthing post for the vinyl cartridge. Sure enough there is a moving magnet phono preamp. You can find additionally balance and tone controls, which are not obtrusive when it comes to signal degradation.

That is good, although I favor an actual potentiometer with physical limits on its spinning, especially as the amp resting once was caught by me. I picked a midrange volume setting and pressed 'Play', whereupon the CD and no number of pressing knob whirling made a difference. The error has not recurred since that episode in the two weeks. Maybe this strange behavior is restricted to my review sample, which, regardless, appears to have learned its lesson.

Loudspeakers without any sense of humour better test the mettle of an amplifier. My Magnat All Ribbon 10Ps - three-way, large, German standmounts with 10 inch woofer drivers - were willing to oblige. The Magnat's presented an integrated amp rated at significantly less than half their maximum constant input signal power with something of a challenge.

While the numbers did not quite add up, the A18 gave little indication of loosening their hold and took the Magnats securely. Compared to my more ripped Plinius incorporated, it was clear it could not get things going quite as fast, the lower registers were in nature, and volume amounts that are attainable were voluminous. However, the reality that these were the noticeable relative shortcomings, given the standard, was quite an accomplishment.

Its largest feeling was in relation to quality, not quantity, where the Arcam made. Its sound was even tempered and down-to-earth, free of colouration. It scored well when it comes to pacing and it kept everything at extremely low and high volumes. I had been likewise impressed by the way the amp echo in order to express a powerful awareness of performance space and carried reverberation.

Thus achieved is the A18 that it fools into anticipating the reviewer would not be unfair in the cost. I used to be reminded of the amp's comparatively modest nature just in those moments all of US look forward to in the sudden calmness prior to the drums thunder a few tracks as well as the guitars - or brass section, depending on your own proclivities - attempt to raise the deceased.

The verdict

To sum up, this can be a great method to enter high fidelity stereo, a clear front runner in its price category, and plenty of amp for the cash. It is elastic, plays nicely, above all, it stays true to the music, and, even at its limits, it is not self-conscious of hard loudspeaker loads.

Arcam A18 Amplifier photo