Acoustique Quality, Amped, Music Hall | CAF 2019

I’ve covered both Amped and Acoustique Quality several times now, including a rather thorough display at High End 2019 in Munich last May that truly impressed me. Both brands have been making quite a push into the US market this year, and for good reason–Amped makes high-powered Class D amps that sound great while remaining affordable, and Acoustique Quality has featured some beautiful designs, both in looks and sound, that deserve your close attention.

Tenacious Sound
Capital Audiofest 2019 brought to you in part by Tenacious Sound.
Verdant Audio
Capital Audiofest 2019 brought to you in part by Verdant Audio!

Both Acoustique Quality, from the Czech Republic, and Amped, which is from Russia, come from countries that are just now making their presence known to American audiophiles. At the 2019 Capital Audiofest, both brands have formed a casual partnership with Music Hall turntables, and the sound in this room was both authoritative and totally free of the grain I usually detect in Class D amplification. Acoustique Quality brought the model I’m most intrigued with, the gorgeous 2-way stand-mounted Passion Teen monitors ($6499 euros/pair). I’ve working on getting a pair of these for review.

Amped featured the 2400 amplifier ($4500) I’ve seen and heard a couple of times now. This compact amp weighs just 18 lbs. yet offer 400 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 800 watts per channel into 4 ohms. At CAF, Amped brought their new feature-packed preamp, which also includes a DAC, phono stage and headphone amp…all for just $2500. Fit and finish on these amps was first-rate.

One of my favorite moments of the show occurred when I was introduced to Roy Hall of Music Hall. “Roy, do you know Marc?” Roy rolled his eyes and sighed and shook his head slowly in his inimitable way. I’ve known Roy forever–he plays Words and Friends with Colleen all the time–but I have yet to review one of his value-driven turntables, and after all these years I’ve felt his analog rigs have really risen to the next level of playback. We’ll see if Mr. Hall reluctantly succumbs to the idea of me doing a review–until then, I hope to get a pair of those Acoustique Quality Passion Teens into my listening room.