I have to confess I was growing impatient lately, counting the days left until the opening of the main audio event in northern Germany – Norddeutsche HiFi-Tage. The fact that the city I live in hosts the second biggest audio show in Germany makes me feel lucky, because it is great opportunity, that costs basically nothing, to align one’s expectations and internal reference to what is considered top-notch in terms of audio reproduction nowadays.
Recently my attention is being focused more on the artistic interpretation than on the reproduction quality. I think this is a good sign. The decisions when to hit the string and how long to let the tone ring, as well as how intense each stroke should be are aural expression of the artist’s interpretation of the music at the moment of transferring an idea into a sound. As an amateur guitarist I’ve been confronted with that matter throughout my own experience and I realize that even a simple three-chord progression might be performed in many different ways by slightly varying the timing and the intensity of the strokes.
This is some beautiful music I encountered guys – Beethoven, Chopin & Liszt: Piano Works – performed by the talented young artist Alexei Melnikov. I don’t remember when was the last time I had a toe-tapping experience with Beethoven’s music, but the fact is that this record brought the shiver back. It is simply stunning what Alexei is doing with the keyboard of the beautiful Shigeru Kawai EX grand piano.
Some time has passed since Audio Note OTO SE Signature took over the amplification task in my audio system, and as it usually happens when a new component of higher quality has been introduced, some deficiencies intrinsic to other links in the audio chain are being revealed. Armed with some new knowledge, obtained during the communication with Peter Qvortrup, I went through a process of system optimization evolving around this single-ended amplifier with the main goal to bring the best out of it. I am glad that the end result is a level of enjoyment that surpassed anything I used to know.
I have the pleasure to enjoy Audio Note OTO Phono SE Signature amplifier in my system guys. Peter Qvortrup, the owner of Audio Note UK, was so generous to sent me one unit to test and review. In my initial email to him I simply stated that I am interested in this pure class A single-ended amplifier that would probably suit my taste better than my push-pull Line Magnetic LM-211IA . Few weeks later Andy Whittle, the sales manager of Audio Note UK, was standing downstairs with a big, 20 kilogram heavy box containing the requested amplifier. After unpacking I realized that I am not accustomed to see such a solid build every day.