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BlockAudio Line & Power Block and Mono Block

02.09.2017 // Dirk Sommer and Roland Dietl

The fact that power stations with a high damping factor have an easy game with speakers like “Kawero!” in terms of dynamic and bass accuracy, can be assumed – not though that the BlockAudios operate with such a joy of playing. At negative feedback and high damping factor, especially the tube-affine audiophiles easily suspect small deficits in the upper mid-range or high-frequency area. For this reason, I leave the levels unchanged and switch to Keith Jarret’s The Köln Concert, which alone to the rather low quality of the instrument, tends to seem strident and annoying when the chain is not a hundred percent in tune. But for the BlockAudios nothing negative can be said: Even at high volume the sound does not tip over but stays open, smooth and spacious. At many previous combinations the desire to turn down the volume came up already at low levels. However, not with the BlockAudios: Even when it gets loud, the tonal balance is perfect and in the treble there is not even the slightest roughness. The piano is large on stage, sometimes delicate and then full of strength: a sensual experience.

No test without going to the monastery, respectively the one from Noirlac with its reverberant refectory, in which Michael Godard likes to record with his colleagues: Of course with the BlockAudios too, the speaker during the ‘Improvisation’ of Patrice Heral cannot be located. A wide room opens in front of me in which drumbeats fade away into the distance. The illusion has best 3D quality. Even in the upper registers the percussion instruments are reproduced delicately and fine. At the end Arild Andersen’s ‘If You Look’ confirms that the treble range of the BlockAudios does not show the slightest trace of coolness or being too analytic. Here, fine art and attention to detail are combined beautifully with colourfulness and smoothness. No, I will not again express my tributes to the power of the drums!

The audio circuit board of one channel with the amplifier for the in-phase and inverted signal
The audio circuit board of one channel with the amplifier for the in-phase and inverted signal

Up to now I have only used the balanced inputs of the preamplifier to process either the signals of the converter or those of the balanced phono stage. Now I connect the signal from the turntable to the Cinch sockets of the phono input, and since a long time ago play the Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique as Stereo Laboratory reissue of the London Classics: The orchestra in widescreen format to me is a small sensation, the stage has depth and the dynamic is simply fantastic. What should Einstein’s The Turntable's Choice phono stage do better here? The two fully symmetric mono phono preamplifiers enchant with a delicate differentiation, an even deeper stage and more and warmer timbres, however they are listed with a price of almost 10,000 Euro. Nevertheless: The phono part of the BlockAudio dynamically acts even more striking.

The Mundorf El-Caps and circuit boards with the volume control are also dampened through the case thanks to this construction
The Mundorf El-Caps and circuit boards with the volume control are also dampened through the case thanks to this construction


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