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Amplifier Lecson Stereo review

A cautionary tale this. A tale of an amp that had a best buy within its grasp, but blew it at the lastfence. You see, the people at Lecson have spent a considerable amount of time and effort getting the construction, finish and sound of the new Stereo amp, well, just right.

Its glossy black fascia is obviously based on the successful Quattra design and there’s even an input for MC as well as MM phono cartridges. You’ll have to make do without the separate rec-out facility however, butan additional tape monitor option is provided by way of compensation.

Inside, the high quality sealed ALPs volume control, PMI op-amps in the disc network (as used by Meridian) and TIP141/TIP146 Darlington’s in the power amp (as used by Albarry PP1) all have a respectable heritage. Great so far. But unfortunately no-one thought to test the amp near full output for any length of time.

Hook the Lecson Stereo up to a pair of insensitive speakers, wind up the wick and, before you know it, the output stage overheats, goes short-circuit and sends the substantial 160VA power supply back to meet its maker.

Sound quality

The frightening unreliability of the Lecson Stereo, as supplied, really took the wind from our sails. Teamed-up with a pair of very sensitive speakers, like the Audio Note Js used here, it sounds positively glorious. But then we coerced no more than a few watts from this unlucky amplifier – it smoldered but never expired.

Nice to get a decent ‘3D’ picture for once, commented one listener. This was particularly true via MM where it was rich, full but rarely rumbustious, leaving the Rachmaninov Symphonyto expose its impressive weight, power and authority. Genuinely open and rounded in impact, the panel concurred. At the other extreme its handling of string and percussive tones was equally engaging – sweet but detailed and infused with a captivating ambience.

It proved slightly drier and cooler via CD and though this diluted the impact or the ‘slap’ of skins, it did not detract from the very precise, sophisticated sound and grand sense of performance. Either way its music simply opened out, welcoming in our row of appreciative listeners who, on the basis of this alone, would have awarded it an enthusiastic best buy.

Conclusion

‘A good bang for the bucks’, concluded one listener, not knowing just how close to the truth he was. Still, Lecson has assured us that all future Stereos will be furnished with adequate heatsinking.The price might go up by ?10 or so to accommodate the extra metalwork. But if it can retain this superb sound quality while improving reliability then it will have a genuine stormtrooper on its hands.

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