Post correction, resolution did improve. It wasn't night and day but audible versus ‘neutral' which already had been anything but poor. Precision and articulation stepped up, presumably due to improved phase and channel balance. On good recordings, it now was nearly spooky how holographically precise musicians and their instruments localized in virtual space. My reference amps get €3'000 more than a pair of li'l Ascendo but still don't manage this level of aural 3D – a sad truth for yours truly. To make up as it were, they soundstage a bit more generous, offer a tick more treble detail and on the most brutal of low-bass attacks, show a bit more ease and authority. But in the end, I couldn't vote on any better or worse. What you prefer remains a matter of taste. I viewed that as massive kudos for Ascendo. Next to being wildly more affordable, their DNA1000.2HE were certainly far more adaptable to real-world acoustic issues.

Integral AVB networking makes Ascendo's first power amp a scalable multi-tasker. Stereo amp with optional room correction? Mono amps with speaker crossover correction? Multi-channel strapping for ambitious home theatres? Activation of passive speakers? It's all par for this course. In home hifi, Ascendo's little brick/s should have little to no competition. With AVB, there's even amp-direct streaming. Volume control and album-specific DSP via browser interface are already on the docket. That will transform the DNA1000.2 HE into a kind of minimalist integrated. As always, performance headroom for significantly dearer investments remains but for this money—not sorry for the cliché—the Ascendo really is the hammer. In stereo or mono, it marks a very very high performance index. Already without any DSP correction, there's tonal balance perfect for long sessions, impressive dynamics, advanced depth layering and the special highlight of reach-out-and-touch dimensionality. Add personalized adaptation to room and listener preference and further gains are virtually guaranteed. Given the sticker, I don't know of any other power amp I'd recommend more highly.

Psych profile for Ascendo's DNA1000.2 HE (without corrections unless otherwise noted)…
• Tonally well sorted and even, slightly mellow above the presence region.
• Powerful, dynamic and resolute. High definition but not overdamped especially in the bass. Linear scaling with volume.
• Authentic midband with friendly presence band and treble. Comprehensive DSP can obviously shift this default balance.
• Good resolution across the band for this price range.
• Well-above average dynamics particularly on the macro scale.
• Exceptional depth layering, standard stage width.
• Particular forté: articulated dimensional relief for tangible tone bodies. With room/speaker correction, this aspect improved further to become a real go-to for any listener valuing this quality.
• Classy workmanship and finishing, with low-key industrial design practically approaching cosmetic self denial.
• Comprehensive DSP for room/speaker correction.

• Concept: Class D transistors
• Trim: black
• Inputs: 2 x XLR analog, 3 x RJ45 (AVB)
• Power; 2 x 500w/4Ω stereo, 1 x 1'050w/4Ω bridged, 4 x 500w/4Ω bi-amp
• Dimensions & weight: 360 x 155 x 255mm (DxHxW), 16.3kg
• Power consumption: ~16 watt at idle
• Other: channel-specific DSP with crossover, room and speaker correction on amplitude and phase; AVB networking for application scaling (stereo, mono, double mono, ambitious multi-channel), direct streaming via AVB, volume/DPS control by web browser, pre-installed correction filters for general room modes, live/dead rooms, four magnetic footers for horizontal/vertical placement
• Warranty: 2 years