Customer Review - Aavik i-180 Integrated Amplifier
Customer Review - Aavik i-180
I recently bought one of these amplifiers which in all honesty I had never even heard of before Kronos AV brought them to my attention.
I had read about them in one of the Kronos newsletters and was intrigued enough to come in for a listen to the Aavik range especially after reading about the designers and their backgrounds.
Having been a customer of Kronos AV for over 30 years I know they are extremely particular about taking on new ranges but they were very enthusiastic about this electronics range.
I had make a short list of a few amplifiers I wanted to listen to including McIntosh, Luxman and the new Aavik i-180 so proceeded to organise a demo.
I listened to the McIntosh MA252 first and was extremely impressed by it. My only slight concern was its output as its 80 watts a channel but it did not seem to be struggling to drive the speakers.
I was unable to hear the Luxman as currently no-one seems to be able to get them at the minute which seems to be the case with a lot of Hi Fi products.
I then listened to the Aavik i-180 which is a bit more expensive than the McIntosh so it had a lot to live up to. I also preferred the look of the McIntosh but at the end of the day its how it sounds.
Initially I was not sure if it was better, it was good but initially I didn’t think it was £1500 better than the McIntosh. However the more I listened the more I liked the Aavik, it had a naturalness to vocals and instruments and there was a blackness behind the music which I have never experienced before.
This was confirmed when I put the McIntosh back on which confirmed immediately the Aavik was better in a number of areas, everything was produced in a more relaxed manner and the lack of background noise was so noticeable. Out of interest I also asked the hear the Aavik matching streamer/dac and adding that created more of the same. However David at Kronos was insistent that I also listened to the Aavik network switch with the streamer. That was simply mind-blowing, the whole system was just magnificent. It is easily one of the best systems I have ever heard.
I bought the amplifier and I will definitely buy the Network switch as soon as I can afford it. I am aware that I also need the right cables including ethernet cables from Ansuz (sister company with Aavik) which while expensive are stunning.
If you have never heard Aavik electronics I strongly urge you to listen to them. I can only imagine what their more expensive ranges sound like and maybe one day I will have a listen, I’m not sure I can stretch my budget, but never say never.
I have now been living with my Aavik i-180 for several weeks and it is just getting better and better. I am enjoying music much more and I have never heard music produced so naturally and the lack of background noise is just unbelievable. It totally changes the way you enjoy music and I can listen for hours with no listening fatigue.
I simply cannot recommend this amplifier highly enough. It is a must hear product and that goes for the whole range.