What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Tue, 11 Mar 2008, 5:00pm

Tangent AMP-200

Tested at £280
60100
3

This end of the market is very crowded, and the Tangent doesn’t quite do enough to stand out

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For

  • Rich, smooth and balanced sound means performance is very likeable

Against

  • Can’t quite handle the highest highs or lowest lows
  • build quality could be better

Tangent might not be a household name… yet, but it's making a bid for that status with its wide range of likeable audio products. The AMP-200 might not be perfect, but it does show much of that likeability, at least where sound is concerned.

Put on Jack Johnson's Sleep Through the Static album, and the smooth grooves flow with real fluidity. It's the well-defined and refined midrange that's most responsible for this. Vocals and acoustic guitars in particular are rich and soulful, making the listening experience relaxing and enjoyable.

Make the switch to Radiohead's In Rainbows though, and you discover that there's a limit to the Tangent's tonal range. The deepest bass notes aren't as deep or rigid as they should be, and the highest treble lacks some resolution and stability. Despite the claimed 100W per channel rating, when pushed, the Tangent struggles, introducing a bit of frazzle to the already slightly rough treble.

The unit itself also looks and feels a little on the cheap side, and the uninspiring remote increases the feeling of cost-cutting. However, the slight tonal flatness and imperfect build wouldn't be real concerns were it not for the AMP-200's real problem: the competition. Next to the cracking machines from Rotel, Marantz and Cambridge Audio, the Tangent looks just a bit average.

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