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HFW_OCT12 Densen B-175.indd - kog audio

HFW_OCT12 Densen B-175.indd - kog audio

HFW_OCT12 Densen B-175.indd - kog

REVIEW HI-FI WORLD Style master Packing a lot into a small space but doing it in style, Paul Rigby reviews Densen’s new B-175 integrated amplifier. Back in 1992, Densen released its first amplifier, the DM10. “When that arrived, it cost around £1600” said Thomas Sillesen, founder of Densen. “That was a huge price for an integrated. One of the most expensive of its type at the time. Twenty years later, we wanted to make another, top of the line, integrated. You don’t sell truck loads of integrateds at this price so we partly made the B-175 just for fun.” That wasn’t the principle reason for creating the new amplifier, of course, there were practical reasons too. “There are a lot of users who want a good amplifier but don’t want a large footprint. It’s a small machine on the outside but big on the inside. It’s the antithesis of those big American amplifiers you often see. There are also some customers who live differently, they have a more minimalistic design. A larger system will take over the room. We can supply pre and powers for those who want it though,” said Sillesen. Speaking of pres and powers, the B-175, offering 125W of power and available in albino (natural brushed aluminium) or black, is forged from respected Densen technologies: you will find a combination of the B-250 pre and a slice of the B-330 power amp plus the B-350 monoblocks within its 440x310x64mm sized, 16kg chassis. There were challenges when merging these technologies, though, “Such as the interference between the power and pre amps and achieving a good design in such a small space. Each channel is surface mounted so each power amplifier is the size of a credit card. Hence, the circuitry is squeezed but that has the benefit that you can make the circuitry faster. There’s less radio interference in this way.” Despite the lack of space, Densen has been careful about isolation. Even in terms of how the toroidal power supply is oriented has had an effect. Densen engineers have measured the noise floor when the power supply was installed, twisting the transformer to find the lowest reading. There is also a brief hark back to the original DM10. “The wires used internally are copper with silver coating and Teflon isolation. We used these cables back in the DM10. New old stock,” said Sillesen. And as for those who scream that pre and power separates are the audiophile route, Sillesen has strong views on that, “If you look at performance, I don’t think there is a compromise. The alternatives would be a pre and two monoblocks which HI-FI WORLD OCTOBER 2012 www.hi-fiworld.co.uk

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