Beginning at the end of 2003, Positive Feedback Online (PFO) established its first annual awards for fine audio. The following is an opportunity for their editors and writers to recognize superior merit in the audio arts though their “Writers’ Choice Awards”. Their writers and reviewers have been given broad leeway to cite excellence in fine audio wherever they find it: products, people, recordings, events, groups, etc., so that their readers can be better informed.
Danny Kaey has chosen the darTZeel CTH-8550 Integrated Amplifier
One of the highlights of this year was without a doubt the stupendously good, no make that great, darTZeel integrated amplifier. Perhaps the closest realization to what I would consider an integrated amplifier, this puppy has all the goodies and then some. Did I mention its made in Switzerland? A fantastic amplifier section, a terrific phono stage (MC), fully adjustable input and output settings and a gorgeous gold tone faceplate, this is about as close to heaven as Hervé Delétraz can make an integrated design. Having formally reviewed it in a previous issue, I am still uncovering much of the magic that makes this amplifier sing. To boot, you’ll get instant darTZeel envy from anyone visiting your home – if you are looking for your last system built around an integrated amplifier, I’d look no further (that is until you realize that darTZeel also makes a separate stack…). Anything less would be uncivilized. Highest recommendation, A+++. $20,000