Here's my 'review' as posted at www.audiocircle

Hi People,

I'm not really a reviewer but here goes...
An audiophile friend was kind enough to lend me his single ended pentode 9W integrated amp [a popular one] which I was able to compare head to head with my AKSA before I apply the Nirvana upgrade to my AKSA 55W.
On stock form, the AKSA was on par with the SEP amp. Actually, it could be better but I had to strain my ears to hear the diff. True to its promise, it doesn't sound like the typical solid state amp. In the stock form, it already sounded like a tube amp which sounded 'sweet' - liquid midrange and silky treble which is not harsh and edgy at all. The bass of the SEP amp was there but is not as defined as the stock AKSA. Had enough of comparing since most of the time the sound was really similar so I decided to go on with the Nirvana upgrade.
A couple of days passed. AKSA upgraded to Nirvana. Break-in period may or may not be over.
Well, like what everyone was saying, the Nirvana upgrade is 'worth every penny'! The AKSA55N is now completely a different beast. The first thing I noticed was how solid and defined the bass has become. I would imagine comparing the stock against the A55N version and would term the stock bass to be wobbly and out of control. With A55N, there is speed and slam! The bass sounded deeper, defined and almost real! Overall, I would sum A55N's sound to be very involving like a veil was removed and now I can clearly hear the music like it's supposed to sound. Every sound has its own character and space on the soundstage and they all sounded so natural and very distinct. I really could tell the diff between a nylon classical guitar and a steel string acoustic guitar. Sound would come from outside the left and right speaker boundary which leads to a wider soundstage. The soundstage has become deeper as well and with more height info.
To confirm, I again hooked up the SEP amp and listened to my test tracks.... then switched back to A55N... darn! I was shaking my head. My impressions was confirmed. It has become a better amp and everything improved which put a grin on my silly face. The difference could easily be discerned. Indeed, this is really a VERY musical amp!!! It has the liquid midrange and silky treble sound sought from tube amps and the deep solid bass of a high powered solid state amp.

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