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Some components work year in, year out with such yeoman reliability and solid excellence as to eventually be taken for granted. Then they fall below the radar of loquacious reviewers who constantly chase the latest and greatest - even if they're owned by such a one. Thus it is with my Peter Daniel designed and built AudioSector Patek SEs. These bloody chip amps are simply flawless and based on a recipe of parts minimalism and extreme mechanical chassis coupling which Peter has perfected over various incarnations including his versions for AudioZone.

In fact, tube man Stephæn on staff who -- rightly -- fancies Joe Fratus' fantastic Art Audio PX25 (of those in Joe's stable I've heard, it's his finest amp if 6 watts serve you right) also owns a Patek V2. He is surprised how its solid-state virtues are balanced such as to give a valve slave nothing to grouse about. Then there's Manley nut Paul Candy on the moons who owns the AudioZone Amp-1 iteration. Three strikes and you're in as in, out from the cold of transistorlandia and into the warmth of thermionic city? Not exactly. There's nothing unduly cozy about superior low-power SET sound. Let's just say that if image density, speed, jump factor and a non-fatiguing treble are important to you, these chip amps deliver in spades just like modern SETs on copasetic speakers.

For quite a while now, I've pondered what higher-power transistor amps unconditionally stable into 2 ohms to acquire to accommodate more conventionally designed speakers on review assignment. My wish list of attributes, besides excellent sonics, include small size and affordability. As with any truly great ideas which, when they finally dawn on you, elicit a "duh, what took you so long" response, it eventually occurred to me that once again, Peter would be my man. Just as I commissioned him on the first pair of production Patek SEs, I've now commissioned him for a Patek version -- final christening up to the designer -- that'll deliver a steady 100 watts into 2 ohms.

It's against my religion to be interested in speakers that need more power than that to sing in a room sized for real menschen, not CEOs. But low-impedance stability is a must for some of the 88dB loudspeakers I should start to include in my review diet to not focus exclusively on the narrow sector of high-sensitivity designs. Naturally, before I welcome such specimens, I need to have proper amplifiers to do them justice. My current Pateks will bridge to 100 watts driven balanced but this naturally also halves impedance and a 2-ohm stretch of load is then seen as a punishing 1 ohm.

Peter is presently researching chips and paralleling schemes and as before, he has carte blanche on the specifics of the electrical, mechanical and aesthetic design. As far as I'm concerned -- I also commissioned him years ago for two 240-to-120V step-down transformers to run US gear on EU voltages -- Peter Daniel is the man. If you're a denizen of DIYAudio, you already know that he also is a generous contributor who routinely designs circuit boards for group buy-ins at next to cost. That spirit of sharing is expressed in his signature line there: "My 'chosen position' is not to make unverifiable fact-claims about the sound of things I design, but to be content that they please me, and that they are competently engineered so that others can build and enjoy them. I don't do auditory research for publication, I just find the results from the talented practitioners to be very useful in my own work."

Today's missive is simply to give credit where due and not have a designer and his products drop out of discussion and visibility just because his stuff keeps going and going and going without fuss. If your budget is limited and you want stone-reliable, quiet, great-sounding transistor amps built with fiendish attention to detail, AudioSector is a destination that belongs on your map. As the above indicates, Peter Daniel also welcomes custom jobs. One of our readers hit him up for a Patek integrated and the site not only shows it now, it's become a standard order item. If you go that route, just remember to give the man room and time. He doesn't rush anything. If you want something he presently doesn't make but is interested in making for you, he'll properly prototype and dial and tweak it until he's comfortable to put his name on it. That could take a few months or more. That's fine by me. Whatever I've bought from Peter thus far seems bound to outlast me. A bit of upfront patience isn't merely sufferable, it's de rigeur for anything custom and hand-made by a master craftsman.