Audio Aero Prima Amplifier

Do you want something completely new and unusual? Please - the Prima integrated amplifier, created by a small company Audio Aero. By the way, the air theme in the name of the company from the French "silicon valley" is explained by the fact that its production is located in the same place where all kinds of accessories for aviation are made and where the Airbus office is located. In 2004, the company moved under the wing of a major financial group specializing in High End-industry, so in a fairly short period of time Audio Aero products have received international recognition. Now audiophiles in over forty countries know about the equipment, which is made in the south-west of France.

And the equipment, indeed, is very interesting. I was only confused by the design of the front panel. You can't call it elegant, although some charm is certainly present. Well, the French always balanced on the brink of epatage (it is enough to look at their cars); therefore, atypical appearance of Prima, probably, should be considered as an example of good taste. The massive chassis is equipped with three high tapered sorbotan legs, produced under the brand Black Diamond Racing Pyramid. The upper part of the body can not even be called a casing - it is made of thick brushed sheet metal. Fully symmetrical ideology, first-class audiophile RCA connectors and the presence of balanced inputs clearly indicate the desire of the developers to make not just an amplifier, and uncompromising thing. Finally, the circuitry of the Prima is also curious. It is a hybrid integrated amplifier. Its preliminary stages are built on miniature 6021W tubes (one per channel), which are directly soldered into the board. This allowed to shorten the signal path, reduce vibrations and thus minimize the microphone effect. The volume control, in spite of the push-button "drive", is, as the description suggests, analog. The termination stage uses TDA7293V (two chips per channel), DMOS-FET-ready power amplifiers. Such an unusual neighborhood of tubes at the input and chips at the output. Frankly speaking, I was at a loss as to what to expect from such a combination.

The "Frenchman" showed a whole, filigree picture. Rarely do you get such a clear combination of high spatial resolution and harmonic resolution. Even the most complex high or low spectra the Prima conveys without falsity, clearly and richly. The soundstage lacks even the slightest linkage of images to the speaker drivers. Pardon the clich?, but the speakers really do dissolve into thin air. The sound space is free, large-scale, every image is well formed in it, and the sources with the bass spectrum in general do not seem to be imaginary, but very real. There is only one defect in the scene - the backgrounds are approximated. The tonal pattern is completely devoid of coloring. The microdynamic qualities are also up to the mark. The device brings the mood of the performer very gently - there is no false dramaticism or contrived festivity in the music. Everything is in moderation, emotions are as clear as the eye can see. Absolute dynamic qualities seemed sufficient, but in general we must admit that the Audio Aero amplifier slightly lacks speed, drive, attack. The device sounds accurately, almost like a reference amplifier, but when playing energetic music it is lazy to extract the courage, to strike a spark. Therefore, the "Frenchman" is of interest primarily to those who have a weakness for acoustic, chamber or choral music. Here Audio Aero amplifier is unparalleled.

Audio Aero Prima Amplifier photo