Never heard of Audionet? We're not surprised. Despite producing some great kit this German company has never made a particularly big splash in the UK high-end market.
Having reviewed a number of its products we find it hard to understand why.
Take a close look at this power amp (pictured at the bottom of the pair here, with its companion preamp stage above) and you'll find a wonderfully engineered product that oozes quality, substance and sturdiness. Audionet doesn't deal in fripperies.
It's as simple as these things usually are, but its output of 200 watts per channel is enough to drive just about any price compatible speakers to decent volumes, even in a large room.
In use the unit sounds even more powerful than the figure suggest, and that really is impressive. The Amp 1 V2 runs warm, so make sure you can leave plenty of space around those heavily finned sides to allow for adequate cooling.
More after the break
Excellent for the moneyOnce properly warmed up this Audionet pairing delivers an excellent sound for the money. You have every right to expect a truck-load of composure, and that's exactly what you get. If large dynamic swings at high volume levels are your thing you'll love this pre/power.
Even with something demanding like Holst's Mars this two-boxer keeps on delivering without hardening up or struggling. Big power usually means big bass, and that rings true here.
This combination digs deep and true, managing the rare trick of being both weighty and articulate at low frequencies.
Listen to Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes and the Audionets capture the texture, heft and leading edge of the prominent bassline beautifully.
At this price level it would be a disappointment if that were the limit to the Audionet's talents. It isn't.
This combination is equally at home with subtler music. It sounds fluid and expressive with Clint Mansell's Moon OST, making light work of the piano used in many of the tracks: there's just the right balance of attack, harmonic richness and refinement to convince.
Impressive clarityPerhaps most impressive is the amplifier's clarity. This duo digs up masses of detail and delivers it in an impressively clean and precise manner.
It's almost as though the amplifier processes the recording to make it sound pristine. It's all very impressive, but we can see some finding it all a little too polished.
Importantly, it doesn't dilute the passion and drive of music, nor do they show any particular preference for a specific genre.
It simply gets on with the job of making music without intruding on the experience. This might not sound particularly glamorous, but it's what great hi-fi is all about.