As mentioned on the website a few weeks ago, All That Jazz is the exclusive retailer of a new brand of amplifier in the marketplace called “DARK HORSE”. Dark Horse products are the “brain child” of Victor J Berry, better known for the NEXUS brand of multi-room systems. The first product released under the Dark Horse name is a 200 watt mono block “D-Class” amplifier.
From the “get-go”, this little amplifier has proven to have “balls galore”. 200 watts at 8 ohms or 400 watts at 4, this ergonomically small amplifier is “huge” in power. When I first received the amplifier at the beginning of April, the amp was immediately hooked up and run through a system in our store – King Rex pre-amp, K2 CD Player, Pro-ject RPM 5.1 turntable w/ Ortofon 2M blue and ASW Genius 200 speakers – I was not sure about the product. The amp produced incredible bass response, but the image field was very one dimensionable. The amplifier also proved to be very bright. Knowing Victor Berry and his ability as a designer, I quickly dis-assembled the amps from the store system and connected them to my home system which I know.
After running this system for a few hours (total of about 40 CDs) I did notice some dramatic changes in the performance of the amplifier. Firstly, the biting high frequency was gone, secondly the bass and midrange became more even, and finally the amplifier started to image – pretty well actually. At this point, I decided to ask my friend Jim friend for his opinion. This was a great test as Jim has been building up his system for many years and listens constantly. He was good enough to connect these two units to his system to hear how they performed. We were also fortunate enough to get the ears of a reviewer for a magazine as “back-up” ears.
What were the results? ” This is not the same amp that I listened to in your store” said Jim. It was always fast with good bass but this burned in amplifier – with only a few hours on it sounds great! The reviewer echoed Jim’s comments and stated at $1300-1400 this amplifier is a steal! When I mentioned the price of 1179. + HST, he was simply astounded! This amplifer can easily compare with amps costing oodles more.
Some of the changes made were running “GutWire B12” power cables, changing the speaker wire and simply putting time on this little demon. I can only assume that after a true burn-in period, it will simply sound fantastic! We will keep you posted but the word at this point is “highly recommended” at this pricepoint! Drop in for a listen.