I receive a steady trickle of emails asking which loudspeakers I recommend for less than $500. Invariably I respond with a hat-tip toward the Usher S-520 (reviewed here, ~AU$300)…
…said reader then replies with a “Which amp, bro?”. The Ushers like LOTS of go juice (current) and until it was discontinued last year I gave REDGUM’s Sonofa’GUM 5500 the nod (reviewed here, AU$695). Otherwise I’d recommend the user seek out something second hand or vintage with “as much power as possible”. But power (invariably) costs money and if you don’t wanna go Class D, options narrow fast when your budget sinks below the $1000 Plimsoll line.
Enter Audio-gd’s new entry-level integrated amplifier: the Precision 1.
The gain and pre stages run in Class A, there’s no global feedback and volume attenuation takes place in the current domain; that’s King-Wa’s signature ACSS technology at work.
Out back, four inputs – three single-ended and one ACSS – allow for flexibility aplenty. You get 90 wpc into loudspeakers (8 ohms) AND a headphone amplifier that pushes 16 wpc into 40 ohms.
Just like the Rega Brio-R, heat-sinking is via the aluminium casework. Unlike the Brio-R, the Precision 1 doesn’t cost $1k. It’s US$550 + shipping. You get a LOT of amplifier for the money – little wonder the first production run has already sold out. A second run is available now for pre-order.
If it retains the Audio-gd house sound – and I’ve not reason to suspect it won’t – there’ll be the transparent super-neutrality that’s neither cold nor needles and pins that I heard in the Master 10 (reviewed here). The Precision 1 presents as the go to budget box for those needy Usher S-520.