As long as it sees a copasetic load, the Bakoon fires off bass transients loaded with generous pigment to results in great elasticity. This careful blend expands dynamic contrast, maintains moisture and turns into engaging lifelike acts that get my foot tapping. Although softer and warmer, the inherently calm and meticulous Pass also was capable of this palpable action. When needed, it easily unlocked torque to hit hard without apology as though stiffening a suspension and engaging a turbo. Amps voiced like today's are attractive to rev-happy listeners and the INT-25/Vox 3 pairing fit that profile to perfection. The difference by choice was highlighting also other speaker traits. I'm convinced that many would have been very surprised had they witnessed how dynamically gifted the Pass was at my place and how easily it shifted gears accordingly to the music on the menu. The ability to remain rich, mature and serene on the surface yet always ready to scale up big and snappy emerged as one of its greatest virtues.

One of four 700-watt power transistors

To reverse the above order, it's fair to wonder whether a fundamentally quick lucid integrated would keep up with the Pass on tonal complexity, expressiveness, pristine backdrop and musical dosage. I knew no machine in the same price bracket that would meet all of its criteria. From what I'd heard, the Thöress F2A11 has far lower power, the Audio Reveal Second favors more torque and less richness and the SPEC RSA-M99 may not have hit as hard.

Moving on, to assess the INT-25's raw drive became the next stop on my Boenicke W11SE+. Here the gap between INT-25 and AMP-13R widened. Whilst both share the same power rating on paper, the Bakoon is only okay into this load and unlike into the Vox 3afw, far from spectacular. The key misses are lack of effortlessness and fill above 70dB of SPL where the petite AMP-13R runs out of gas. During nocturnal sessions this would suffice but that's not my audio habit so no dice. The Pass wrote a different far fiercer bolder story. It didn't lack for intestinal content. Elasticity during dynamically challenging passages at stout levels delivered in large part. The sensation of ease, pleasant tactility and air propagated in just the right way to image large and free. The Boenicke woofers were fully controlled and the speaker's inherently hi-res organic character preserved. In short, the Pass did its thing on a somewhat lesser scale than it had with the far easier Vox 3afw load.

To double-check my findings, now AGD Production's class D Audion monos fronted by the tubed Thöress preamp stepped in. Here my W11SE+ behaved still wilder, snappier and more powerful,  hardly a surprise with quadruple the power. The sense of ease and responsiveness still increased with the DFP's volume turned to the right. Voices grew substantially bigger which was this preamp's familiar effect. So was its bass crack. This proved once more how thunderous the DFP is. Images became bolder which made the DFP/Audion set a bit more flamboyant and spicy. However, the Pass wasn't humbled spatially. Its frames of all musical shapes simply slimmed a bit. In that sense the INT-25 aimed at accuracy. To many ears that would be, for lack of a better word, correct. To me it was simply different but no less valid. Most importantly, on imaging the INT-25 didn't strike me as too distant, unclear or inferior in any way. It simply had its own plan on how to organize a soundstage which was executed as meticulous as all else.

In closing, now is the time to say how each time the INT-25 played, it provided a sense of uniformity and correctness regardless of musical genre. It always sounded just right and this along with richness and malleability formed its sophisticated backbone. – Dawid Grzyb