Synthesis Amplifiers: One of High End's Best Kept Secrets?


Just stopping by to share my enthusiasm for my new Synthesis A100 Titan integrated amplifier. For the past few years, I have been on the hunt for the best integrated amp I could find in my price range. I've had a Line Magnetic 508ia, a Devialet, a Lyngdorf TDAI-3400, a Boulder 866, a Vitus RI-101 mk2, and a Vitus SIA-025 mk2 in the past four or five years. I enjoyed aspects of each of these amps, some related to sonics, some to functionality, and some to build quality. 

And yet, in each case, after several months, I found that I wasn't quite getting the sound I wanted--rich, three-dimensional. engaging, and dynamic without being fatiguing. Too often, I found myself picking the sonic picture apart, assessing this or that at the expense of pure musical enjoyment.

I finally decided to give up on my hunt for the "perfect" solid state solution and go back to tubes, which led me to audition the Synthesis A100 Titan, an amp that features an octet of KT66 tubes, a pair of 12AX7, a pair of 12BH7, and even an onboard DAC. I was intrigued by this amp, but found very, very little written about it in the audio forums (here and elsewhere), except the praise of a couple of folks.

I've had it about a month now, so while I cannot give a guarantee that it is my "lifetime amp" in light of my history of amp promiscuity, I can say with absolute assurance that I find this amp far more satisfying and exciting than any of the amps I've had through here over the past few years.

In short, I am just astonished by it. I had assumed that at the very least, the onboard DAC would be inferior to my Lampizator Baltic 3, which is just wonderful in every respect, but as I spend more time comparing, I am not even sure of that anymore. The onboard DAC is so good that I am now planning to try some different USB cables to see how much performance can be squeezed out of it. Very possibly, my excellent Lampi may soon be up for sale.

Just to be clear, this is no ad, and I have no affiliation whatsoever with any dealer or distributor. I just can't believe how good this amp is, and how relatively unheralded it is. So I am heralding. The Titan is a pure pleasure to listen through every night, and a magical match with my Fyne speakers. The presentation is utterly immersive, and spellbinding. I am no longer picking the sound apart. There's no need.

If you are in the market, I highly recommend an audition.

 

 

128x128waltersalas

Side note, purchased a Chord Mscaler. Really adds a benefit to the A40 when using its internal DAC.

I notice a little bit of a hum very briefly when first powering up my A100, but it quickly goes away. I have not noticed any noise at all changing the volume.

In the year I have owned the Synthesis, I have come to love it more and more. It is just a stunning piece.

I have the A100 biasing information if anyone needs it (send a pm).

 I haven’t needed to change tubes yet so I haven’t needed to rebias, but it seems straightforward enough if you’ve a decent multimeter.

Ditto on the positive comments regarding the A100. I don’t think I’ve owned a better sounding amp and I’ve owned a few in over 40 years. I would like to try their monoblocks at some point but I’m quite content with the A100. 

@waltersalas I just sent a response to your message with a link to the PDF file but it looks like Audiogon's system has zapped the link and are reviewing the message I sent. Let me know if it comes through. I don't want to post the link to the file publically as I'm not sure Luigi intended it for that.

Cheers

Rooze

Glad to know the warm up hum is normal. I’m still enjoying the amp everyday. In my next residence I’m going to add the amp to drive my Franco Serblins. I’m excited for this. I have no doubt the A40 can handle the task. Currently, I’ve been listening to my Dali Epicon 2 monitors, which sound great. With the FS it will be Italian driving Italian. Match in heaven.