What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Fri, 9 Jan 2009, 1:00pm

Lehmann Black Cube

Tested at £325
100100
5

With this kind of clarity and punchiness, this Lehmann is a great phono amplifier

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For

  • Excellent clarity, crisp sound, snappy, great timing and detail

Against

  • Sound can be a tad lean sometimes

If basic aesthetics are your thing then look no further, because the aptly named Black Cube is as straightforward as it gets. The lightest phono amp on test, it's unobtrusive with a well-made but plastic black finish.

Like the Pro-ject Tubebox SE, the Lehmann is cartridge loading adjustable, but this is more user friendly with its small slide switches. It also switches from MM to MC.

Playing Carmina Burana, the Cube displays a sound that is the best on test for sheer clarity. Vocals are crisp and wonderfully clear, while also being honest and emotive.The choir sounds like individuals singing together, as opposed to an amphorous mass singing from the same sheet.

If detailing is your thing then this Lehmann has it in spades, and the subtleties in the complex Motown production of Dancing In The Street really stand out.

What you get from the Black Cube is a snappy, punchy performance that's exciting and cohesive. Timing is spot on, and music has that foot-tapping quality that makes you want to keep listening.

You do get a touch of leanness with sound, but that's forgivable when you consider the clarity that's on offer with this cracking unit.

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