Affinity to the Unobtainium.
Unlike almost any other company on this planet in pursuit of the perfect tone, Audionet is not run by engineers. Or marketing people. Or mutual funds. Audionet is the brain child of scientists.
Who first convened in a garage, of all places. Only it was the subterranean car park of famous German Bochum University. Where it was decided to attack all questions of high end musical reproduction at the deepest possible level. To see what cutting edge science could come up with in terms of audible wonder. These same scientists are still running the company, after 20 years. And since they’re scientists, they much prefer to leave the singing of praise to other professionals:
“It occurs to me the best narrative line to take in describing the sound of the Audionet components is to tell you what I wasn’t thinking about. Information retrieval, for one, was not on my mind. Tonal balance, frequency response, signal purity, noise level – all of these weren’t rumbling around inside my cranium.
That says a lot. It means that here was a pair of mid-level, relatively affordable, components able to scale up in these areas into the neighborhood of the Big Boys – to the highest level. I knew we were off to a merry start. As you’ll see, this will be the major theme of this review.
Now let’s talk about what I did take note of. Over the years, I’ve heard many audiophiles talk about the seeming impossibility of reproducing realistic transients. I have to agree. If you’ve ever been in close proximity to a live drum set, you’ll know what the issue is. The speed, the force, the aggression of a single cymbal strike is outrageous.
In this regard, Audionet is in a class by itself. From the very first note – you’re going to be caught off guard.
The transient hits hard, with blazing speed and a sharp edge. Audionet gear refuses to slow it down. Indeed, with one of the highest slew rates in the industry, the specs clearly reflect what I am hearing. Full orchestral blasts exert maximum pugilistic verve. Abetting the impact is a dark-hued tonal balance that doesn’t skimp on the lower frequencies and packs oodles of weight and heft.
Beyond the sheer power, there are two more things to note about that transient onslaught. First, the treble is not rolled off and is allowed to roam freely. Second, dynamic range is staggering: not only do big macros give no hint of compression, they travel to places previously unheard at Nack Labs. The Audionet thrust coefficient is something else!
Yet peak SPLs do not bite you. Nice! I don’t know how Audionet managed that. How do you pack power, speed and full treble extension without harming the sensitive cochlea of the listener? Certainly, I did not expect it at this price point.”
See? We couldn’t have said it better or more eloquently than Mr. Marshall Nack, extremely wise words. To quote quote Audionet founder, Mr. Thomas Gessler, at this point: “There’s one thing above all. I want to hear the music breathe.”
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TAS EDITOR’S CHOICE AWARD 2018
THE ABSOLUTE SOUND loves Audionet MAX and gave him the TAS EDITOR’S CHOICE AWARD 2018. Scientific Magic.
SAM 20 SE review in Stereo
“The 20 SE enhances the strengths of the “standard” SAM model to perfection, demonstrating the potential of the SAM G2 circuitry – but only for a limited time: when all 200 of these special amps are sold, they’re gone, so this is one well worth seeking out, and soon.”
MAX & PRE G2 review in The Absolute Sound
Greg Weaver from The Absolute Sound wrote an incredibly insightful review of the Audionet Pre G2 linestage and MAX mono amps. Be sure to read this one!!!
STERN & HEISENBERG review the absolute sound
“The Stern linestage and Heisenberg monoblocks push the bar to previously unattainable levels!” says THE ABSOLUTE SOUND.
Greg Weaver, Senior Writer, and one of the most respected voices in thge industry: “These devices represent a new benchmark. Wait until you get an earful. It is SO clearly apparent what a paradigm shift they deliver, that you will understand immediately…I’m a total Audionet convert!”
STERN & HEISENBERG - i-fidelity
“With the Stern preamp and the Heisenberg mono blocks, Audionet chimes in a new chapter of amplifier building. In more than one respect this trio is blasting conventions; sound quality and price fall definitely within. The attractive … styling by Hartmut Esslinger and the extent of innovative hightech from Audionet’s R&D department form in this triumvirate a passionate symbiosis which brought me a true joy of heart. … the new i-fidelity.net references.”