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Q: Since this is your flagship but affordable, people will wonder if it can be improved upon. Could you accomplish better results with internal upgrades, mods or other socketry? Essentially would higher-priced parts make a difference? Or is the M2-1500M as good as it gets at this stage of the game?

A: As to parts quality, the RCAs are gold plated to prevent corrosion, the XLRs are Neutriks. Speaker terminals are also gold plated and fully insulated with a clear plastic shroud to prevent electric shock. This insulation is mandatory for European distribution and will become a general requirement worldwide IMO. Most class D SMPS amplifiers are electrically hot at the speaker posts. Touching them and the chassis simultaneously could restyle your hair at high current output without this insulation. None of these parts are proprietary nor are they cheap. I do not believe that substitution of any of the connectors would audibly improve signal transfer.

Can the amp be improved upon though? We constantly strive to improve our products. This starts with a SOA class D core amplifier module. Next is the wiring. We use silver/Teflon wire for two reasons. One, silver is an excellent conductor and Teflon a first-class insulator. Two, both silver and Teflon are more pliable than copper/plastic and impart less strain on components where a bend in the wire harness is required. Next is EMI/RFI shielding combined with AC power filtration and robust grounding. Our EMI/RFI filters for the mains and input/output signals are medical grade quality. Switches, connectors and all associated electrical parts are manufactured by ISO9001 companies and meet mil-spec standards. Lastly we use only stainless steel hardware, aluminium and powder-coated steel to eliminate corrosion anywhere in or on the amplifier. The fastening hardware is all stainless steel and the exterior Torx fastener heads are flat and countersunk into the cover for a sleek easily cleaned surface. You ask if this is as good as it gets. My answer is that it is as good as we can produce at this time. The future holds further improvements due to experience and improved technology.

The Q&A conversations filled in a considerable amount of detail about the nature of the product and the practicality of the design philosophy. Put simply D-Sonic aims to achieve extreme performance by sensible but effective means with a new purportedly state of the art power module at its core. Could the upstart M2-1500M really be a high-tier challenger?

The unveiling.
Mr. Deacon’s chosen Internet model keeps end-user pricing low. That efficient cost-conscious thinking extends to shipping and the review pair was sent USPS. Packaging was intelligently compact in a single sturdy double-ply cardboard box that was relatively lightweight. Internal protection consisted of industrial-grade multiple 4½" interlocking polystyrene caps occupying two levels, one for each amplifier, plus a 3½"  thick polystyrene side spacer.

The amps themselves are long and narrow, measuring 7.25 W x 15 D x 4" H and weighing 11.5 lbs each. Faceplates are ½" anodized and machined aluminium billet with curved corners and a subtle bit of sculpting along the lower edge. Side panels are 14-gauge steel in a powder coat finish. Color is classic black on black. The front panel sports a single blue LED to indicate power up and the computer-style mains rocker is mounted on the rear panel. The amplifier is intended to stay on 24/7 and draws a mere 13 watts at idle. The units make use of thermal and short protection that self-reactivates after elimination of the fault condition. There is also soft clipping in the circuit to prevent damage although it is hard to imagine the amplifier being driven into that condition under any sane circumstance. The inputs accommodate both RCA and XLR via a slider on the rear.

The amplifiers arrived as I was finishing up the Madison Audio Lab cable review. The overlap gave me opportunity to indulge in a multitude of cable swaps as the amplifiers broke in. Initial sessions were done with the subwoofer to fine tune midrange response and check for anomalies in the crossover range. The amps were then run fullrange into the Apogees to see how they would fare into a low-impedance load with both the Audio Space Reference 2S preamplifier and direct from the Wyred4Sound DAC2 via RCA and XLR. To test how it would react to speakers requiring considerably gentler handling, I reconfigured the system for the Audio Space AS-3/5As. Those are lovely little 2-way monitors with the heart of their classic British ancestors run both full range and with sub.

Initial listening sessions were conducted with the supplied power cords. Mr. Deacon is adamant that these are not throwaways and believes that the purchaser will not require an upgrade. To quote, "these are high-quality hospital grade product sourced from Interpower and not inexpensive." So I put Mr. Deacon’s claim to the test.

The results with the stock cords were quite good but showed limitations on low-level dynamics and definition that could not be addressed with interconnect or speaker cable changes. The Apogees constitute a tough challenge and all previous amplifiers benefited strongly from upgraded power cables. The next logical step was to introduce Audio Art SE power cords. The difference was immediate and dramatic. There was improved enunciation on low-level material as well as a lower noise floor resulting in expanded dynamic range with higher resolution. Transients and trailing edges were better defined as were loud and soft gradations. With the Audio Art power cords the capabilities of M2-1500Ms were elevated from good to great. For the remainder of the audition they stayed. Another improvement came from resonance control. The oversized stock rubber feet achieved good results but the Audio Exklusiv Footers increased resolving power in the lower octaves without diminishing bass quantity. The contribution was subtle but the accumulative effects from the other enhancements was of high elevation. The basic rule with this amp is, treat it like a high-grade performer and it'll reward you in turn by sounding like one.

A quick sampling of listening material. "Symphonic Dances: Non Allegro" from the HRx edition [Rachmaninoff: Symphonic Dances Reference Recordings HR-96] is a 24/176.4 recording of Eiji Oue and the Minnesota Orchestra engineered by Keith O. Johnson to showcase an exceptional range of dynamics and fine instrumental detail with all of Reference Recording’s classic virtues. Huge hall ambience, subtlety, rich texture and big crescendos with impact.

"Drive the Winter Away" from The Little Barley Corn: Toronto Consort [Dorian Recordings DOR-93186] features smaller scale works recorded in Humbercrest United Church in Toronto.

Wonderful warm acoustic and Dorian’s minimal microphone technique conjure up lively renditions of 16th and 17th century winter festival music by The Toronto Consort. Baroque instruments and vocals. A recording audiophiles consider a well-worn chestnut.

"The Might of Rome" from Gladiator: Music From the Motion Picture [Decca 289 467 094-2]  sports drums, synth, vocals and acoustic instrument building with frenzy and unrelenting power to a traditional majestic symphonic piece complete with chorus. Hans Zimmer is given a broad canvas to paint on in classicist style.