Kept in a smoke-free home. Rock solid imaging with and expansive soundstage.
Voices and instruments appear to be coming from their respective places on stage - not from the speakers! Whether you're listening to Frank Sinatra, Israel (Iz) Kamakawiwo'ole's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow, the Eagles "Hotel California, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Boston, ELO, or Mozart, every genre sounds amazing with this versatile amp. This amp is extremely musical, engaging, textured, and emotional. I can recommend the AQ1001DT to anyone.
AQ 1001 DT Tube Integrated Amp. Tube complement: KT88 output tubes x 4; 12AU7 x 4. Inputs: three pairs of gold-plated RCAs.Output: 5-way gold-plated heavy duty binding posts. Front panel controls: on/off, level, source. Power Output: 50W x 2 (Ultralinear), 29W x 2 (Pure Triode). Diminsions: 16.25 in x 12 in.
Manufacture: Antique Sound Lab, enchanced model by Divergent Technologies. Frequency response: 15Hz - 23KHz. S/N Ratio with A weighting: 95db (0.7mV). Output Impedance: 4, 8 ohm.
Input Sockets: RCA Gold Plate. Output terminal: 5 Way Gold Plate Heavy duty. Chassis Finish: Polished Chrome Steel. Front Panel Finish: Black Aluminum Silver Anodizing. Antique Sound Lab (ASL) products are currently imported to North America by Divergent Technologies of Ontario, Canada, and upgraded internally by this remarkable dealer.
The 1001 is a 50 watt ultralinear push-pull amp with a passive attenuator that accepts up to three line-level sources. The tube complement is four 12AU7s and four KT88s. The unit is well constructed. With its tall black transformer towers, mirror-like chrome base, and brilliant glass tubes, the AQ is attractive and should inspire pride of ownership in its buyers. The unit also features nice touches like a removable power chord, 4 and 8 ohm transformer taps, and solid metal binding posts.A few words about setup and break-in. Whenever possible, we request components that have been broken in to shorten the loan period and increase the consistency of sound. Nevertheless, the AQ arrived fresh from the factory, and when first plugged in sounded horrible compared to my veteran Anthem Amp1. Since I was the only reviewer with a multimeter, I set the bias to its specified 45 millivolts and reset it after several weeks. With time, the AQ loosened up and began to show its true colors.
DT products have additional design features for enhancing performance (higher quality parts) and user convenience calibrated external bias adjustment, etc. The DT version is a classic amp with a few charming modern touches. I listened to a wide variety of music through the AQ, and several recordings stand out in my memory. The Lion King Original Cast recording is a disc that my family enjoys listening to. The Los Angeles production is a true audio spectacle, with left and right percussionists flanking the stage, banging out contrasting rhythms on a vast array of hand drums and gongs.The song "Endless Night" is a moving lament sung by the older Simba to his absent father. The AQ captures the emotional essence of this tender moment.
The amp demonstrated its excellent manners in rendering subtle dynamic contrasts. As the actor's voice soars from medium to loud, the effect is truly moving, just as I remember during the live performance. In my experience, tube components render the way a voice grows and projects more convincingly than solid state devices.
Another recording that sounded great through the AQ1001DT was A Latin Vibe! A budget-priced Latin Jazz collection of vibraphonists from the Concord label. One track on this disc is Poncho Sanchez' slow rendition of Morning. This laid-back tune was richly rendered by the AQ.
Flute sounded relaxed, breathy, and dimensional. Vibes rang with metallic overtones. The similarities between the AQ and my Anthem Amp 1 are many.
Both excel at portraying performances in real space. The AQ, however, basks music in a clearer light than the slightly off-white perspective of the EL34-based Anthem. Even though both amps barely meet the 1.6s' minimum power requirements, both serve up demanding material with satisfying levels of drama and scale. One obvious difference between the AQ and the Anthem is the AQ's input level control. This feature allowed me to effectively control the intensity of sound as opposed to using the less efficient digital attenuator on my CD player.The AQ's strongest attribute is its picturesque midband. Even with limited break-in and stock tubes, the AQ presented a rich palette of musical colors. The amp is well built, pleasing to the eye, and much more versatile than my Anthem, and I haven't even touched on the issue of fine-tuning with driver and power tubes. With so many favorable qualities, the AQ1001DT is easily recommended. The bottom end of the AQ1001DT was deep and full.
The midrange was wonderfulsweet, warm, emotional, musical, and engaging. The top end never offended with any of the nasties that some of my recordings can bring out. It was never harsh or bright, and remained true and accurate.
Its imaging was solid, and the soundstage was as wide as my speaker placement. Stevie Ray Vaughan's version of Tin Pan Alley, from his Couldn't Stand the Weather CD, was terrific. The amplifier softened the hardness of SRV's guitar without losing much of its bite.
His guitar work was more rounded and a little softer than it is with most solid-state amps. The bass had slightly less weight and solidity, and Stevie's voice had less growl and chestiness, but the soundstage was wide and three-dimensional, with good space between the instruments. This song was one of my favorites with this amp. Hotel California, from the Eagles' Hell Freezes Over CD, is another favorite.
I love the sound of acoustic guitar through a tube amp. Don Felder's opening guitar solo had that soft, rounded sound that is hard not to like. Don Henley's voice was relaxed and warm.Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's Somewhere Over the Rainbow, from his Facing Future CD, was magical. Iz' voice was rich, warm, and a little soft, more like Frank Sinatra's. The ukulele sounded soft and round, with an extended decay of each strum. Iz' ukulele playing got out of the way of his vocals, and the music just happened. Hans Theesinks' Call Me CD was another disc that sounded way better than usual with this amp. His version of "Maybelline" had me hooked in the first twenty seconds. His breathy voice was very realistic and engaging. The twanginess of the guitar was softened, making it easier to engage with. The horns were full and somewhat soft, not harsh or excessively brassy.
The AQ1001DT made this disc softer and more palpable, adding to an already enjoyable experience and making this disc another of my favorites. There was a lot to like about this amp. It was very musical, engaging, textured, and emotional. The AQ1001DT is all business. Three covered transformers are lined up at the rear.
In front of the transformers are four KT88 output tubes. Standing guard in the front are four 12AU7s.
The sturdy black faceplate holds the volume and input selector controls and on/off switch. Around the back of the amp are three single-ended inputs labeled CD, Tuner, and AUX1. There are also six hefty gold-plated speaker binding posts, giving you the option of four- or eight-ohm taps. A detachable power cord socket and fuse holder round out the array.
One nice feature of this amp is the bias adjustment arrangement. Lets not get lazy now, tube amps take a little work.I didnt take the AQ1001DT apart to have a peek inside, but I can tell you that this is a solidly built amp, and it is very good-looking, with its chrome chassis and black accents. I heard no hums, pops, or buzzes while it was running, and believe me I put this amp through its paces. Once the tubes were burned in the bias held steady, and this little 50 watt beauty had plenty of power to keep my speakers fully powered. Whether it was the KT88 tubes or the circuitry of the amp, the AQ1001DT reproduced the whole musical spectrum without overwhelming me with background noise. Before I talk about the musical picture, lets pick apart the sound of this amp, starting with the bass. I was quite surprised by the bass performance of the AQ1001DT. With most tube amps that I have had in my system, a certain amount of weight and extension is always missing in the bottom octaves. That did not happen with the AQ1001DT. Unless I shifted my attention to it, the thought of bass rolloff never entered my mind. Adjectives like full, taut, extended, and fast applied to the low end performance of this amp. It was easy to follow bass lines in the music, Pat Methenys Letter From Home CD being a prime example. I recently received two new CDs from the BMG Jazz Club, Clarence Gatemouth Browns American Music Texas Style and Keith Jarretts double CD, Whisper Not. Gate was really swinging through the AQ. The horns were full and rich. There was a smooth and coherent spread of sound in front of me. The midrange was not too lush or euphonic, and ah, the guitars. The texture and body of acoustic guitars was something no solid state amp could match. From Russell Malone and Grant Green to Luiz Bonfa, the sound of my favorite stringed instrument was thoroughly engaging through the AQ1001DT. I cant neglect to mention The Eddie Gale Quintets CD, A Minute with Miles, on Mapleshade. This is the best-sounding disc that I own. Through the AQ1001DT, the sound of horns had a slick, polished clarity. The trumpet was reproduced with as much realism as my system could muster. Another newfound musical treasure is the CD Neighborhoods, by Ulu Dara, which I recently discovered through the local public radio station. This is an eclectic mix of blues, folk, and R&B, and there is some fantastic storytelling going on, especially in the track Red Ant.
The music sounded, smooth, clear, and detailed without being overtly hi-fi. The midrange of this HDCD disc could have been recorded better, but the AQ caught the musical picture quite well. The excellent midrange performance also extended into the upper ranges. I didnt notice any lack of extension or overt rounding off of the uppermost octaves.
The highs were round, clear, and extended. The high frequencies were sweeter than with my solid state amps. They were also not as flat-sounding, and sibilance was a tad tamer. This was icing on the cake. What surprised me was that the top end of the AQ1001DT, although sweeter, was more open, extended, and detailed than with my amps.My Monarchys are slightly diffuse in the midrange. The AQs soundstage is very layered but natural, depending on the recording, of course. I could clearly hear way into the soundstage. Part of this is due, Im sure, to this amps quiet operation. On the Ulu Dara CD, the shaker sound was downright eerie. When I walked around the side and back of my left speaker I swore that I was walking around someone playing a shaker. I have heard other amp/speaker combos do better, but these are the kinds of musical experiences that are evoked by this amp.
I was better able to hear into the music, and small musical details were more easily heard than through my amps. Another thing about the AQ1001DT is that it is receptive to changes in system configuration. I used it to evaluate power cords and the Balanced Power Technologies Isolators that we got in. It also saw duty in my re-evaluation of the Richard Gray Power Company units. Any such changes were readily apparent with this amp, as was a fortuitous tube swap.Banerjee swapped the four JJ 12AU7s that came with this unit for some NOS RCAs, and sent me the NOS tubes for a listen. Wow, talk about bringing this amp to a new level of performance, in terms of overall musicality, background silence, dimensionality, and inner detail. The NOS tubes made the top end noticeably more open, detailed, and clean, and the mids and bottom were more solid and real. NOS tubes are a must-hear with this amp if you want to wring even more performance out of an already excellent product. The AQ1001DT gave the impression in my system of a well-balanced set of virtues.
You know something is right when you dont want to put your own gear back in your system. It is nice when an amp pulls you into the music and you just want to listen for a long time. Ive never been one to fall for the goosebump factor BS. The only time I get them is when Im in my truck rolling (or inching) down an L.Freeway and a cool song comes on, but for some reason, with this amp in my system, you guessed it, goosebumps happened more than once. The AQ1001DT had the ability to connect me to the music right after turn on and it didnt let up. Before I sign off I have to relate a little story to you. When it was time to return this unit, I was asked to take it to Upscale Audio, which is a new local dealer for Antique Sound Lab. When Victor Chavira and I walked into Kevin Deals showroom, we were surprised to find a pair of Avantgarde Duo speakers hooked up to Antique Sounds little MGSI15DT and the new Ajoe Tjoeb 4000 CD player.
Victor and I were amazed, even flabbergasted at what we heard. Antique Sound Lab might not be as recognizable a brand as the top dogs here in the U. S, but that shouldnt stop you from auditioning these fine-sounding, well built, and very reasonably priced products. I have many other interesting items.
The item "Antique Sound Lab AQ-1001DT Divergent Technologies Rare Vintage Integrated Amp" is in sale since Monday, February 22, 2021. This item is in the category "Consumer Electronics\TV, Video & Home Audio\Home Audio\Receivers & Amplifiers\Amplifiers & Preamps".The seller is "macsantos" and is located in Roseville, California. This item can be shipped to United States.
65: Unnecessary in any state, country, planet, or galaxy.