This review page is supported in part by the sponsors whose ad banners are displayed below

This review first appeared in the January 2011 issue of hi-end hifi magazine of Germany. You can also read this review of the Audionet gear in its original German version. We publish its English translation in a mutual syndication arrangement with the publishers. As is customary for our own reviews, the writer's signature at review's end shows an e-mail address should you have questions or wish to send feedback. All images contained in this review are the property of fairaudio or Fonel - Ed.

: Jörg Dames
Sources: Fonel Simplicité, Archos 7 with docking station
Amplification: Integrated – Fonel Emotion, pre/power –Gamut D3i/D200i, Belles 21A, Funk Lap-2.V3b, Octave HP 300
Loudspeakers: Thiel CS 3.7, Sehring S 703SE
Cables: Low level - Straight Wire Virtuoso, Vovox; high level - LS: HMS Fortissimo, Reson LSC 350; power -
Hifi-Tuning Powercord Gold with IeGo termination
Power delivery: MF-Electronic power strip
Review component retails: PRE1 G3 €3.590, AMP €7.990/pr, EPS €1.790

Part of a reviewer’s job are the reconnaissance emails and/or phone calls with the manufacturers to learn about their specific design philosophies. Routinely this happens in English. Besides broadening one’s own understanding this can get colorful when the person on the other end isn’t fluent.

Recently I had an Italian speaker maker on the horn who (charmingly so if you consider how the organ of smell usually gets short shrift in this hobby) raved about the linear fragrancy response of his creations.

Subsequent correspondence with Audionet boss Thomas Gessler revealed that he too believes their electronics to be ‘fragrant’ albeit based on somewhat different design goals than loudspeakers. Based out of Bochum, team Audionet has a flair for conceptionally interesting gear with specific features. That the quartet of review loaners consisting of the PRE1 G3 preamp with optional EPS power supply and AMP monos also lent a significant auroma to my listening room was true too. Inspecting the cosmetically very clean monos with their simple fascia display, subdued lettering and single button, most the action is ‘round back. Though not overburdened with frilly features, the Audionet AMP offers decidedly more than usual.


Brief or longer depression of its button transcends basic on/off to include display brightness, multistage signal detection for auto turn-on, external timer mode (scheduled standby override) and internal countdown (from 15 minutes to above 99 hours). The latter preheats the electronics down to the minute to be ready for the next session. RCA or XLR selection via gold-contact relay is controlled the same way. Ditto whether the display shows chosen input or operational temperature (cool, OK, high).

Further display data include error messages based on DC, HF oscillation, overload or thermal runaway. The integral microprocessor of course doesn’t just issue warnings. When prompted, it interrupts power to protect against damages. It even points at AC polarity inversion but in that case interferes not operationally.

The keep it simple motto of course has its own charms in hifi. Even so I failed to view Audionet’s AMP feature set as frilly. It seemed exceedingly well thought out and practical instead. Shutting the monos down overnight, I always waited until the display gave the go-ahead the next morning before starting a new session. Depending on ambient temperature this took +/- 15 minutes. With an idle consumption of 100 watts—that's about standard efficiency for this component breed—that was a welcome change from designs which take hours before coming on song.

The Audionet AMP chassis are narrow but deep. This footprint’s impact on circuit layout is said to minimize power supply disturbances; optimize inter-stage isolation; and limit the capacitor/inductor-free signal path to 25cm of total length. Inside one notices the potted 850VA toroidal power transformer and two beer-can filter caps with 94.000µF of total capacitance. Upon power-down those caps are gently discharged over a few seconds while the display confirms "discharging now please wait".

For maximal isolation the input stage gets its own discrete voltage supply from a secondary 80VA toroid. I now must add that one of the loaners exhibited hum above average from usual review samples. Granted my Berlin utility power is no paragon of DC purity (such artefacts cause premature transformer core saturations, hence hum) but thankfully the magnitude of noise here was still low enough to not intrude.