August
2020

Country of Origin

USA

Andante & Gran Vivace

Reviewer: Srajan Ebaen
Financial interests: click here
Main system: Sources: Retina 5K 27" iMac (4GHz quad-core with Turbo boost, 32GB RAM, 3TB FusionDrive, OSX Yosemite. iTunes 14.4), PureMusic 3.02, Audirvana 3, Qobuz Hifi, Tidal Hifi, Denafrips Terminator, Soundaware D300Ref SD transport & USB bridge; Preamplifier: Vinnie Rossi L2 Signature with WE VT52/300B or Elrog 50/300B; Power amplifiers: LinnenberG Audio Liszt monos; Headphone amp: Kinki Studio; Headphones: Final D8000; Loudspeakers: Audio Physic Codex; Cube Audio Nenuphar; Aurai Audio M1 [on loan]; Cables: Complete loom of Allnic Audio ZL3000; Power delivery: Vibex Granada/Alhambra on all source components, Vibex One 11R on amps, LessLoss C-MARC Entropic cords between wall and conditioners; Equipment rack: Artesanía Audio Exoteryc double-wide 3-tier with optional glass shelves, Exoteryc Krion and glass amp stands; Sundry accessories: Acoustic System resonators; Room: 4 x 6m with high gabled beam ceiling opening into 4 x 8m kitchen and 5 x 8m living room, hence no wall behind the listening chairs
Second system: Source: Soundaware D100Pro SD transport; DAC/pre: COS Engineering D1; Amplifier: Bakoon AMP-13R; Loudspeakers: Acelec Model One w. Franck Tchang magnesium 360° super tweeters, Zu Submission subwoofer, LessLoss Firewall for Loudspeakers; Power delivery: Puritan Audio Lab PSM-156; Equipment rack: Hifistay Mythology Transform X-Frame [on extended loan]; Room: ~4x6m
Desktop system: Source: HP Z230 work station Win7/64; USB bridge: Audiobyte Hydra X+; Headphone amp: COS Engineering H1; Headphones: Audeze LCD-XC; Powered speakers: Fram Audio Midi 150
Upstairs headfi system: Source: Soundaware A280 SD transport; DAC: Auralic Vega; Integrated amplifier: Schiit Jotunheim R; Headphones: Raal-Requisite SR1a
2-channel video system: 
Source: Oppo BDP-105; DAC: Kinki Studio; Preamp: Wyred4Sound STP-SE II; Power amp: Pass Labs XA-30.8; Loudspeakers: German Physiks HRS-120; Room: ~6x4m
Review component retail: $12'499 Andante, Gran Vivace TBA

Photo compliments of Dawid Grzyb

Multiply. Populate the world. Man wrote the book. He followed its mandate. Then he didn't know when to stop. In that scheme of things, AGD Production just got started. Being about upscale hifi not sex, overpopulation won't ever be an issue. Unhealthy interest still could be. It simply won't have young men go blind, just deaf. Following the good book, AGD's portfolio is multiplying. After his Audion & Vivace monos whose fast-switching gallium-nitride Mosfet output stages pack inside 8-pin KT88 glass bulbs, designer Alberto Guerra now adds the Andante PreDac and higher-power monos called Gran Vivace.

The original KT88 GaNTube of Audion & Vivace.

The switch-mode power supply of the 100-watt Vivace (200w/4Ω, 360w/2Ω) contains an inactive voltage bus. Once wired up in lieu of the lower bus, Vivace can tap the max power of the bigger new KT120. Hello Gran Vivace. Owners of the standard Vivace can have theirs rewired at the California factory. It rolls with Alberto Guerra's concept of modular solid-state amps.

Of course pure power amps still need voltage-trimmable signal to do their job.

Photo compliments of Dawid Grzyb

The fully balanced direct-coupled Andante digital/analog companion preamp provides such signal from various sources. It's a 32-bit R2R DAC of four industrial chips with network streaming, four analog inputs and three outputs. All digital data upsample to 32/384 via AKM's 4137 SRC. Passive volume utilizes a 256-stepped resistor matrix. There's HD AptX Bluetooth and DLNA, Roon, Tidal and MQA. By menu, input 1 can configure to either MC or MM phono. XMOS' XU208 USB transceiver supports up to 768kHz PCM and 24'576MHz native DSD512 on Linux/Windows, 12'288MHz DSD256 via DoP. RJ45 connects directly to the network. One box does all conceivable modern sources, file and resolution types with touch-sensitive controls, Apple remote and universal 90-264VAC 50/60Hz voltage input.

Photos compliments of Dawid Grzyb

Menu items include balance control, phase inversion, display brightness, MC/MM phono selection and four digital filter options including the default bypass plus dither and de-emphasis.