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Reflections on the Audia Flight Strumento No 4 Stereo Amplifier

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  • Reflections on the Audia Flight Strumento No 4 Stereo Amplifier

    My time with the 250 pound Audia Flight amplifier is rapidly coming to an end and now is as good a time as any to post some followup thoughts to my original review. (Paul Manos, the AF distributor, reclaims his amplifier this weekend).

    My original thought and review of the Strumento No 4 was posted at and can be found at:







    The Strumento No 4 has continued to impress me in the many months since the publication of the review. In fact, the amplifier sounds even better than it did at the time of the review as a result of some changes in the system including the addition of Gary Koh"s/Genesis Advanced Technoogies' startlingly transparent and quiet Power Cords, the new Doshi V3.0 phono section and Furutech's latest NCF Nano AC receptacles. In fact, the Audia Flight has lasted in my system longer than any other solid-state amplifier to date and it brings tears to my eyes to day goodbye to this Italian gem (the plight of all reviewers!) The AF proved--and given the S5's extremely revealing nature--an exceptional match or the Magico S5s (soon to be replaced by the S5 Mk. 2). The various changes to the system continued to open up the amplifier's upper octaves and reduce the amplifier's noise floor. In the end, the Audia Flight never ceased to impress me with its simply effortless nature, naturalness, bass control, amazing soundstage and spatial recreation. The amplifier's ability to reproduce the three-dimensionality of drums, cellos and the like was at times, especially on say the Yarlung tapes, positively spooky.

    But the performance of the Audia Flight amplifier was definitely greater than the sum of the parts. Far too often, reviewers and audiophiles toss around descriptions-say of solid-state amplifiers--as sounding like neither tubes or solid-state. Or even in one case, a single-ended triode tube amplifier (I had the amplifier and as good as it sounded, single-end amplifier sounding like wasn't one word that came to mind to describe its sound). Even Bob Carver would be hard pressed to imitate that sound. Far too often, these so called ground breaking solid-state amplifiers simply contain to my ears colorations that make them sound darker and rolled off. But there is no cheating mother nature. Those old solid-state coloration hadn't been eliminated. They just took a little more time to identify.

    Enter the Audia Flight Strumento No 4 amplfier. Here for the very first time in my long experience as a reviewer is a solid-state amplifier that doesn't sound like solid-state--or tubes---for that matter. The amplifier simply pays homage to the music. The Audia Flight was one of those rare amplifiers that I could listen to for hour upon hour without any feeling of wanting to wash the dishes. Or post on an audio forum! A solid-state amplifier didn't lack for low level resolution. A solid-state amplifier with exceptional soundstaging. A solid-state amplifier with good harmonic integrity especially with the best of source material like 15 ips tapes. Moreso, a solid-state amplifier that just was smooth as a baby's butt and didn't have that solid-state edge, thinness or mechanical quality to it. No, the Strumento No 4 doesn't sound like it can go from 0-60 in 3 seconds but for some reason it's still cat quick sounding. In the case of the Audia Flight, the amplifier like the speakers just seemed to disappear allowing the largest to the minutest of changes elsewhere in the system, be it a change in tubes, cartridges or even connectors on my tape preamp to shine through. Alas poor Audia Flight!

    And to think that there's now a Mk. 2 version now available of the Strumento No. 4!
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

  • #2
    Heard it with Goebel reference speakers which is a very tough load with low sensitivity . Audio flight was able to drive it without much problem . U may want to review CH precision M1 monoblock . Was told it's very good . It seems Oliver Goebel will pair his speakers with CH Precision coming Munich 2016

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by audioblazer View Post
      Heard it with Goebel reference speakers which is a very tough load with low sensitivity . Audio flight was able to drive it without much problem . U may want to review CH precision M1 monoblock . Was told it's very good . It seems Oliver Goebel will pair his speakers with CH Precision coming Munich 2016

      Thanks for the suggestion. BTW, AF has a new Mk. 2 version of their amplifiers.

      I think Marshall Nack might have already reviewed the CH Precision for PF but will have to check.

      Think Jack or Allen might be running the CH Precision? Know Jack really like his CH Precision amplifiers but took a bit of fiddling to get them to sound just right.
      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
      ________________________________________

      -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
      -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
      -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yessir. I run M1s and Allen runs an A1. I run the M1s on BI-AMP mode so getting the preferred tone had me going around in circles with the settings for a while before I found Goldilocks.

        I've heard Strumentos twice, first at the local dealer Frank's display and early into Myles' review period. I must say that expertly set up both times, I had nothing to complain about. Zip, nada. To me the whole point of having the good stuff is so I don't get distracted and can just enjoy what's playing and enjoy the company if I'm entertaining. The No4 is in my good stuff list.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Myles, just wondering if you had heard the MK2 version of the Audia Flight No. 4 and if so, what are the main differences? I think it may have won some major award in Japan but not sure. Many thanks.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ashandger View Post
            Hi Myles, just wondering if you had heard the MK2 version of the Audia Flight No. 4 and if so, what are the main differences? I think it may have won some major award in Japan but not sure. Many thanks.
            No I haven't and am not up on the differences. Perhaps I can get the US importer to comment.
            Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
            Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
            ________________________________________

            -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
            -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
            -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
            -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
            -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
            -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
            -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
            -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
            -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
            -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

            Comment


            • #7
              Many thanks for the feedback. Just wondering if there are any other solid state amps on your radar that have impressed you and you are hoping/planning to review in the near future? Many thanks

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ashandger View Post
                Many thanks for the feedback. Just wondering if there are any other solid state amps on your radar that have impressed you and you are hoping/planning to review in the near future? Many thanks
                Nothing on the horizon but you never know what falls into your lap. Right now trying to dig out from under what I have in house. This month plan to finish the Charisma cartridge and Magico reviews. Maybe two more tape reviews since that's almost done and just need to tart it up.
                Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                ________________________________________

                -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Would be great if you managed to get the Nagra HD or Classic amps for review as they could be a great match for your Magico S5s.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ashandger View Post
                    Would be great if you managed to get the Nagra HD or Classic amps for review as they could be a great match for your Magico S5s.
                    Good suggestion.
                    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                    ________________________________________

                    -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                    -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hello Myles,
                      I am seriously considering acquiring a Strumento No. 4.
                      Has your appreciation changed since?
                      Current system is Nagra MPA, Magico V2, Aqua Formula xHD.
                      Thanks

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jracine View Post
                        Hello Myles,
                        I am seriously considering acquiring a Strumento No. 4.
                        Has your appreciation changed since?
                        Current system is Nagra MPA, Magico V2, Aqua Formula xHD.
                        Thanks
                        The amplifier I reviewed was the Series 1. Sometime after, that was succeeded by the Series 2 that I haven’t heard. So I can’t comment on the latest amplifier; that said the original version was ever so easy to listen to and easily drove my Magicos. But the amps do run on the warm side that's great if you have kitty cats. Wish I could be more help.
                        Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                        Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                        ________________________________________

                        -Magico S5 Mk.2 speakers with SPod feet
                        -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                        -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                        -Doshi V3.0 phonostage
                        -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                        -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                        -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                        -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                        -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                        -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Looking to buy a series 1.
                          I think the big question here is.... do you prefer the 116?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
                            My time with the 250 pound Audia Flight amplifier is rapidly coming to an end and now is as good a time as any to post some followup thoughts to my original review. (Paul Manos, the AF distributor, reclaims his amplifier this weekend).

                            My original thought and review of the Strumento No 4 was posted at and can be found at:







                            The Strumento No 4 has continued to impress me in the many months since the publication of the review. In fact, the amplifier sounds even better than it did at the time of the review as a result of some changes in the system including the addition of Gary Koh"s/Genesis Advanced Technoogies' startlingly transparent and quiet Power Cords, the new Doshi V3.0 phono section and Furutech's latest NCF Nano AC receptacles. In fact, the Audia Flight has lasted in my system longer than any other solid-state amplifier to date and it brings tears to my eyes to day goodbye to this Italian gem (the plight of all reviewers!) The AF proved--and given the S5's extremely revealing nature--an exceptional match or the Magico S5s (soon to be replaced by the S5 Mk. 2). The various changes to the system continued to open up the amplifier's upper octaves and reduce the amplifier's noise floor. In the end, the Audia Flight never ceased to impress me with its simply effortless nature, naturalness, bass control, amazing soundstage and spatial recreation. The amplifier's ability to reproduce the three-dimensionality of drums, cellos and the like was at times, especially on say the Yarlung tapes, positively spooky.

                            But the performance of the Audia Flight amplifier was definitely greater than the sum of the parts. Far too often, reviewers and audiophiles toss around descriptions-say of solid-state amplifiers--as sounding like neither tubes or solid-state. Or even in one case, a single-ended triode tube amplifier (I had the amplifier and as good as it sounded, single-end amplifier sounding like wasn't one word that came to mind to describe its sound). Even Bob Carver would be hard pressed to imitate that sound. Far too often, these so called ground breaking solid-state amplifiers simply contain to my ears colorations that make them sound darker and rolled off. But there is no cheating mother nature. Those old solid-state coloration hadn't been eliminated. They just took a little more time to identify.

                            Enter the Audia Flight Strumento No 4 amplfier. Here for the very first time in my long experience as a reviewer is a solid-state amplifier that doesn't sound like solid-state--or tubes---for that matter. The amplifier simply pays homage to the music. The Audia Flight was one of those rare amplifiers that I could listen to for hour upon hour without any feeling of wanting to wash the dishes. Or post on an audio forum! A solid-state amplifier didn't lack for low level resolution. A solid-state amplifier with exceptional soundstaging. A solid-state amplifier with good harmonic integrity especially with the best of source material like 15 ips tapes. Moreso, a solid-state amplifier that just was smooth as a baby's butt and didn't have that solid-state edge, thinness or mechanical quality to it. No, the Strumento No 4 doesn't sound like it can go from 0-60 in 3 seconds but for some reason it's still cat quick sounding. In the case of the Audia Flight, the amplifier like the speakers just seemed to disappear allowing the largest to the minutest of changes elsewhere in the system, be it a change in tubes, cartridges or even connectors on my tape preamp to shine through. Alas poor Audia Flight!

                            And to think that there's now a Mk. 2 version now available of the Strumento No. 4!
                            Myles hello,

                            Now that you ve gotten the Goldmund Telos 280 (loved your review of the Goldmund combo, wonder if you going to do a follow up, like for the Strumento) as you reference, how would you compare the Strumento and the Telos? Thanks so much! Kind regards!

                            Comment

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