Aavik I-580 is an absolutely formidable amplifier. Period. Switch on, listen, enjoy – the intelligent Dane makes it easy for you.
Magazine: Fidelity / Author: Michael Vrzal
We are about to come to the Aavik I-580. But first a quick look back. Because Aavik, integrated amplifier, there was something … exactly: It was only a year ago that the U-380 model from the Danish manufacturer took my listening room by storm. Strong design, outstanding sound, and workmanship would be worthy of a Concours d’Élégance from safe manufacturers. The integrated made a smooth walk-through. Also and especially in the all too often overlooked core discipline integration. Under its thick aluminum housing segments were a world-class D / A converter and an outstanding phono equalizer that can be fully adjusted to the cartridge. Full marks, victory across the board.
You probably have to be Michael Børresen to do the following after this triumph: to question everything and to put a new integrated amplifier on the metal feet that seems to contradict everything that made the U-380 the success it still is is.
The large “X” made of metal is used for stabilization and weight distribution: Amplifiers, Phono-Pre and DAC can easily be stacked in any desired arrangement.
Aavik developer Børresen, who does so many things differently than everyone else, now presents: not one, but three new integrated amplifiers. They go by the names “I-180”, “I-280” and “I-580” and are all three, very briefly and simply, the pure analog high-level amplifier section of the U-380 in a new housing concept. All three are purely analog class D amplifiers, are in lightweight housings with a minimal amount of metal, even save weight on the connections and rely even more intensively than any previous Aavik component on the proprietary, very special interference suppression technology from sister company Ansuz.
It all started with the Darkz device feet from sister brand Ansuz. This is where Michael Børresen began with his metallurgical experiments, working his way from pure aluminum through various coatings of the same to titanium – in pure form and with a coating of tungsten and zirconium. Every material, every metal, he says, colors the sound in a characteristic way. The Dane attests to the special tonal cleanliness of the titanium, which is already expensive to buy and whose hardness makes any machining a costly pleasure. Aluminum, on the other hand, the body-and-stomach material of the global high-end community, is basically not the best choice as a paramagnetic material for electrical devices.
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