Arcam A-18 from Richer Sounds. Deal of the century?
Some people may remember that I bought a new budget system from Superfi back in February consisting of:
NAD 316 amp
NAD 515 CD
KEF Q300 speakers
Anyway, to cut a long story short, after a few week's running-in period the NAD amp sounded flat as a pancake. Dull beyond belief. Just to get any brightness at all I had to crank the treble to the max. In desperation, and without really knowing what the hell I was doing, I wandered into Richer Sounds and purchased an Arcam A-18 amplifier for an unlikely £299. They let me have it on two week's home trial, so I figured I had nothing to lose. In a nutshell, the Arcam blew my mind. It has a pretty laid back sound and it's not very 'punchy', but the soundstage is mind-blowingly huge, the bass / treble / mid-range balance is impeccable, the level of detail is incredible and it makes all my 1970s-recorded CDs sound open, dynamic, magnificent. 'The Yes album' literally just blew my socks off, Steely Dan is amazing and I'm just about to launch 'Dark side of the moon'! My NAD 316 is now sitting in a cupboard from whence I suspect it will never return.
The Arcam A18 -- just checked online and Richer still have 38 left nationwide. Is it deal of the century, or at least, pretty close?