Jump to content
IGNORED

Article: Review | Boulder 866 Integrated Amp


Recommended Posts

The album with Stern/Kansas City Symphony album you mentioned - I believe it's called "Britten's Orchestra" doesn't seem to be available. If anyone knows how to find it - especially a download - let us know. 

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, VincentvM said:

Hey Chris, 

 

Thank you very much for the review, but for me it feels that when reviewing products from firms like Boulder, Tidal, Nagra, DaTtZeel, Goldmund and other companies you are breathing the same rarified air as they are exuding.

Some audio producties and firms are very established, but not intertersting.

You pay. You Get. Simple. Safe. Boring.

I respect the rebranding, but I miss the passion. Yes ,Bentleys are nice to drive now that they're Bavarian, bt the reporting should be about the outside next hot thing.

Preferably cheap and rediculously overchieving.

Boulder is neither.

Please challenge us with outfield discoveries instead and leave you comfort zone.

 

Kind regards,

Vincent

Follower of yours since your first inception, but my account got purged.

T+A Guy

Chris is looking for a digital - analog integrated (one box) that's high quality enough for those phones and has all the features he needs. He's also going to review the Parasound, which I believe retails for $3000. So not cheap, but not rarefied air for such an integrated.

There aren't lots of boxes like that on the market, actually. I guess he could try something like the Mytek or one of the Topping units, but that puts him in the same price neighborhood as the Parasound, so it doesn't really make a huge difference.

One caveat -  I would be interested to see how a good Class D amp sounds with his phones-it might be a way for some people to get good results for much less money.

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, firedog said:

The album with Stern/Kansas City Symphony album you mentioned - I believe it's called "Britten's Orchestra" doesn't seem to be available. If anyone knows how to find it - especially a download - let us know. 

 

20 hours ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Yes, it's the Britten album. I talked to Marcia Martin at Reference Recordings about it a while ago, and she confirmed it is no longer available due to an agreement with the musician's union about how many copies could be sold. Bummer.

 

Could it be "Britten's Orchestra" sold more copies than anticipated after it won a Grammy award? Maybe the Kansas City Symphony musician's union will make available in some form in the future. Seems a shame to leave it out of print.

 

Quote

Prof. Keith O. Johnson and David Frost have received a 2010 Grammy Award!  Category 94 Best Surround Sound Album For vocal or instrumental albums. Albums only.

 

I have dementia. I save all my posts in a text file I call Forums.  I do a search in that file to find out what I said or did in the past.

 

I still love music.

 

Teresa

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Priaptor said:

Kudos to Boulder.

 

Looks to be a great product with a great price sweet spot. Unlike some of the other manufacturers that only produce for the super wealthy it is nice to see Boulder taking charge to provide their great technologies to a much broader audience. 

 

Beautiful amp, I would definitely consider if looking for an integrated solution.  But at $15K I'm gonna save my salt of the earth accolades for NAD, Schiit, and the like.  

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/17/2020 at 12:35 PM, PeterG said:

 

Beautiful amp, I would definitely consider if looking for an integrated solution.  But at $15K I'm gonna save my salt of the earth accolades for NAD, Schiit, and the like.  

To each his own. My accolades to Boulder was mainly for recognizing a different buyer than their standard products are made for and coming out with a very desirable product that is in reach to many more buyers to enjoy their excellence. While 14K is still lots of money to most, it is a high end ROON endpoint capable DAC, integrated amp offering from one of the most very expensive high end manufactures out there. 

 

We have seen so many of these uber expensive electronics manufacturers concentrating on products while racing to stratospheric pricing that few if any can afford that I like when I see this. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

$15K is an insane amount to pay for audio to most people and enough by itself for an very good complete system, even by audiophile standards. 

On the other hand, "high end" audio is so high priced these days that $14K for a high quality fully integrated electronics centerpiece - just add speakers- is considered "modestly priced".

I'm sure this piece is good enough to match with any speakers you'd want - relatively modest or even some that cost several times it's price, so in that narrow sense it is a "bargain". Compare it to some other Boulder stuff and it doesn't seem so high priced. 

Main listening (small home office):

Main setup: Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>QuietPC Low Noise Server>Roon (Audiolense DRC)>Stack Audio Link II>Kii Control>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.

Secondary Listening: Server with Audiolense RC>RPi4 or analog>Matrix Element i Streamer/DAC (XLR)+Schiit Freya>Kii Three .

Bedroom: SBTouch to Cambridge Soundworks Desktop Setup.
Living Room/Kitchen: RPi 3B+ running RoPieee to a pair of Morel Hogtalare. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, firedog said:

$15K is an insane amount to pay for audio to most people and enough by itself for an very good complete system, even by audiophile standards. 

On the other hand, "high end" audio is so high priced these days that $14K for a high quality fully integrated electronics centerpiece - just add speakers- is considered "modestly priced".

I'm sure this piece is good enough to match with any speakers you'd want - relatively modest or even some that cost several times it's price, so in that narrow sense it is a "bargain". Compare it to some other Boulder stuff and it doesn't seem so high priced. 

 

Agree @firedog.

 

While I generally don't believe one needs to spend this kind of money on high-fidelity reproduction, as a statement of luxury backed up by a company that has been around >30 years, at $14.5k as a 200Wpc (8-ohm continuous) stereo amp, DAC, and streamer, this looks good...

 

No way I would consider this a "bargain" but of course it's aimed at a different market segment where the words "bargain" and "value" have a different context than for "Joe Six Pack". :-)

Archimago's Musings... A "more objective" audiophile blog.

Free The Music - No MQA!  :nomqa:

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, MhtLion said:

Great review. I'm very interested in Boulder 866. How was its internal DAC vs the high-end DACs you have? I'm sure there is a difference, but I wonder how much of difference. Happy Holidays!

One area where you can take the 866 performance to another level is using a reference level DAC. For example, I used the Berkeley Audio Design Aloha DAC RS3 with the 866 for testing. It was fantastic, but I brought this amp in because I could use it as an all in one unit. If one wants to improve upon the 866 and price or footprint isn’t an issue, a reference level DAC can do it. 

Founder of Audiophile Style

Announcing The Audiophile Style Podcast

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know that Boulder products have a unique look but, IMO, with the slanted face plate and the "twisted" heat sinks it does kind of look like it got squished in transit. 🙂

"Relax, it's only hi-fi. There's never been a hi-fi emergency." - Roy Hall

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." - William Bruce Cameron

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Allan F said:

I know that Boulder products have a unique look but, IMO, with the slanted face plate and the "twisted" heat sinks it does kind of look like it got squished in transit. 🙂

 

Or overheated and melted...

Current:  JRiver 26 on Win 10 PC (AMD Ryzen 5 2600 with 32 GB RAM) or Daphile on an AMD A10-5700 with 8 GB RAM

DAC - TEAC UD-501 DAC 

Amplification - Bow Technologies Wazoo Integrated (great amp - silly name)

Speakers: Wharfedale Linton Heritage - KEF LS50 - ELAC unifi UB5's - Linn Tukans - others......

Cables: Tara Labs RCS Reference speaker cables and DiMarzio Interconnects

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello,
 
I’m very interested in Boulder 866, and found the review.
- Comparison set up would be Pass Int60 + Bryston BDA 3.14
 
1) Devialet 
2) darTZeel LHC-208 
3) Boulder 866 
 
My first interest is Boulder 866 because it’s from the US. 
(I live in the US, so expect to be easy to fix or do something).  
 
My questions are,
 
1) How’s your impression? (Especially compared to Pass, Devialet and dartzeel) 
     Not just better/worse, but how’s different?
2) Do you experience any technical glitch? (In terms of touch screen, wireless integration)
3) Can you use Apple Airplay? (It’s important to me, I use apple music/idagio and need to stream it.)
Positive feedback review mentions NO airplay capability but other reviews mention it’s capable. 
 
I want to solely focus on sound quality since watt is more than enough.
I strictly listen to Classical music.
 
Thank you.
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I  bought a used CODA CSiB (Version 1, 150 watt, Class A first 18) as a headphone amp for the RAAL SR1a. Compared to my Benchmark AHB2 amp it was much better with the RAAL. Compared to the RAAL HSA-1B headphone amp it was almost as good. I am using Audience Conducter SE speaker wire to the RAAL Amp Interface box.

 

The CODA is shockingly quiet. Almost AHB2 level quiet.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...